Surveying the Scene: Irene Barclay

Hosted by the LSE Library

LSE Library Gallery, United Kingdom


Carrie de Silva

Principal Lecturer in Law and Taxation, Harper Adams University

Carrie de Silva charts the extraordinary career of Irene Barclay (1894-1989), the first woman chartered surveyor.

Whilst the lives and careers of early medical doctors have long been studied, and the lives of lawyers have been the subject of considerable academic and professional activity particularly in the years leading up to the centenary of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919, little attention has been paid to early chartered surveyors.

Irene Barclay was born into a family which put their Christian and left-leaning political views into practical public service. Her career was based on Octavia Hill’s house manager training system but she went on to further qualification and work of national importance.

The consideration of her life draws on Barclay’s work in the public and private sector (simultaneously) over a career lasting from just after World War I until her retirement as managing partner of her own practice, Barclay and Perry, in 1972.

Carrie de Silva is Principal Lecturer in Law and Taxation, Harper Adams University and author of the 'First Women In' [PDF 5MB].

The British Library of Political and Economic Science (@LSELibrary) was founded in 1896, a year after the London School of Economics and Political Science. It has been based in the Lionel Robbins Building since 1978 and houses many world class collections, including The Women's Library.

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