Nina Frances Layard (1853-1935), an Edwardian lady of great determination and skills, was a poet and archaeologist whose influential family moved in significant intellectual circles.
Nina is credited with the first excavations of the Old Dominican Friary in Blackfriars Foundation Street in 1898. Her work at Valley Brick Field in Foxhall Road has recently been restored to its rightful significance in academic writing **.
Nina Layard's paper on Anglo Saxon work at Hadleigh Road Ipswich was presented to the Society of Antiquaries of London by a male colleague in 1906, while she, denied admission, is said to have sat behind a curtain, as not allowed to present it herself. In 1921 she was one of the first women admitted as a Fellow of the same society. As a founder member of the Prehistoric Society of East Anglia she became its first woman president.
[** White, M.J. & Plunkett, S.J. 2004. Miss Layard excavates: a Palaeolithic site at Foxhall Road, Ipswich, 1903-1905. Liverpool, Western Academic & Specialist Press]