To mark Women's History Month, we've compiled a list of 10 of the most

A strong connection to Surrey, whether by birth or actions later in life, qualified all the women for inclusion in the below list.

And so, without further ado...

Ada Lovelace

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Dubbed a visionary in her own time, Lovelace was a pioneering 19th century mathematician who worked with the grandfather of the computer Charles Babbage on his seminal computing device, the Analytical Engine.

She wrote a famous description of Babbage's machine and proposed, way ahead of Babbage himself, using the device for more complex uses than pure calculation like the input of algorithms that remain at the heart of modern computing today.

Jane Austen

The renowned UK author spent most of her life in Hampshire, but was titled a 'Surrey Girl' in a recent essay in the Surrey Hills magazine for the importance the county played in her novels, not least 'Emma'.

Her description of the Surrey countryside in a passage from that celebrated book in particular speaks to Surrey's natural beauty life few other authors have:

"It was a sweet view – sweet to the eye and the mind. English verdure, English culture, English comfort, seen under a sun bright, without being oppressive".

Gertrude Jekyll

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Horticulturalist, artist, writer, Jekyll's influence was widespread and she counted among her contemporaries greats including John Ruskin and William Morris.

She is credited with having a massive impact on landscape design and gardening, and helped pioneer the renaissance-esque Arts and Crafts movement with Ruskin, Morris and others.

Ethel Smyth

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Smyth lived for many years near Frimhurst before moving to Woking. She was not only a celebrated composer in her lifetime but an activist with the Suffragette movement too.

She composed the March for Women anthem of the movement and joined Emmeline Pankhurst on a number of demonstrations, serving time in jail for her activism.

Despite facing myriad misogynistic criticisms of her work, Smyth was the first female composer to be granted a damehood in the UK.

Delia Smith

Born in Woking in 1941, Delia is regarded as one of the most influential popular chefs in UK history.

Indeed, the impact of her televised show Delia's How to Cook was attributed to a 10 per cent rise in egg sales in Britain, being dubbed 'The Delia effect'.

Her cookbooks frequently hit the heights of the best seller charts, with The Winter Collection for example selling two million copies in hardback to become one of the fastest-selling books of the 90s.

Judi Dench

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One of Britain's best-loved actors and a titan of the theatre and silver-screen alike, Dench was born in York but since moved to Surrey where she has lived for decades.

Her breakthrough roles came in the theatre where she starred in a number of acclaimed productions of Shakespeare and Chekov plays.

She is perhaps best known though for her later work on the silver screen, not least as 'M' in the latest saga of James Bond films.

Natascha McElhone

McElhone was born in Walton and is perhaps best-known for her starring role in 1998's iconic The Truman Show.

After the death of her husband aged 43, McElhone was praised for her book After You: Letters of Love, and Loss, to a Husband and Father, in which she wrote of her subsequent life in a series of letters addressed to him.

Susie Dent

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'Lexicographer' Susie Dent has become a national treasure as the chair of Dictionary Corner in Channel 4's beloved words and numbers show Countdown.

Dent was born in Woking, and linguistic degrees from Oxford and later Princeton in the US point to her public mastery of multiple languages.

Ruth Wilson

A further gifted Thespian from Surrey, Wilson grew up and went to school in the county as she honed her acting skills.

They would later result in numerous accolades in both the theatre and later in screen roles, including two Olivier Awards for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress and nominations for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe too.

She has most recently wowed audiences on both sides of the Atlantic with her starring turn in the BBC's His Dark Materials adaptations from Phillip Pullman's acclaimed book series.


The youngest impressive woman on our list, Wolfychu is a YouTube star and internet sensation who also hails from Surrey.

She voices an anime-style cartoon starring herself in the title role and boasts a staggering 3.1 million subscribers on the video hosting platform to date.