Leaflets for the Ellen Hutchins Heritage Trail arrived last Friday, 18th May, at the Tourist Office in Bantry, and some of the people most closely involved in producing the Trail collected to be the first to see the leaflets and to listen to the audio guide tracks alongside them.
Neil Jackman and Roisin Burke of Abarta Heritage looking at the leaflets in the Bantry Tourist Office
The sun shone as we gathered for a photo outside the Tourist Office and then we headed to Spot 2 on the Trail, the beach by the airstrip, known to Ellen as “the shore under Blue Hill”.
Madeline Hutchins: Ellen Hutchins Festival, Eileen O’Shea: Bantry Development and Tourist Association, Roisin Burke: Abarta Heritage, Clare Heardman and Angela O’Donovan: Ellen Hutchins Festival, Breda Moriarty: Deep Maps Project UCC.
Listening to the audio guide introduction track
Madeline Hutchins, one of the authors of the Trail and Ellen’s great great grand niece, on the shore under Blue Hill, by the airstrip.
The Trail has nine stops, most of them reached by car, but then there is the opportunity to explore the area and some have significant circular walks from them, such as the Coorycommane Loop Walk from Coomhola Bridge. For each spot, the leaflet and the audio guide provide information on the place, the plants and an aspect of Ellen’s story.
See the Trail page from the menu above for the online version of the leaflet and links to the audio guide.
An essay on Ellen Hutchins (1785-1815) Ireland’s First Female Botanist – Botany and Beauty, Landscape and Letters appears in the newly published Volume Three of the Journal of the Bantry Historical and Archaeological Society.
On Thursday May 10th at the West Lodge Hotel, Bantry, the Bantry Historical Society launched the new Journal, edited by Dr Colum Hourihane, and the occasion was also a celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the founding of the local history society.
The Journal was launched by Mrs. Brigitte Wagner-Halswick, Managing Director of Rowa Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Bantry. She mentioned Ellen in her address, saying that she felt a sense of affiliation to Ellen as a woman who had experienced difficult circumstances.
In the foreword the editor says “the purpose of this collection is to celebrate the long life and history of the society”. The Ellen Hutchins Festival owes its own existence to the Bantry Historical society as it initiated the first Ellen Hutchins Festival in 2015, and has given the Festival continuing support, particularly through the involvement of Angela O’Donovan, now the society’s cathaoirleach, as one of the three Ellen Festival Team Leaders. The Festival is now annual, during Heritage Week in the Bantry area. This year’s dates are Saturday 18th to Sunday 26th August. See the Festival page in the menu above for information on events as they become confirmed.
The Journal is available to purchase from Bantry Bookshop, William St., Bantry, and also at SuperValu, Bantry. The Journal is priced at €15.