Ellen Hutchins Festival

This website and ellenhutchins.com are run by the Ellen Hutchins Festival team to share the story of Ellen Hutchins (1785-1815) of Ballylickey, Ireland's first female botanist. To contact the Ellen Hutchins Festival Team, use this email.

The Ellen Hutchins Festival in Heritage Week, August 2015 in the Bantry Bay area, was the first ever celebration of her life and work. It marked 200 years since Ellen’s death in 1815. The Festival was a great success and is now annual, the next one being 15-23 August 2020.

Before the Festival in 2015, Ellen’s story had been almost forgotten, except by those in the specialist areas of botany to which she contributed, those studying the history of Natural History, and by family and friends around Ballylickey where Ellen lived and ‘botanised’.

Ellen Schools Website and the Supercomputer

This Ellen schools website was developed by two members of the Ellen Hutchins Festival team (with help from many others) in March 2018 in response to the announcement on 21 February that Ellen was one of six Irish scientists featuring in a competition to name Ireland’s new national supercomputer.

‘The competition looks to shine a light on a shortlist of six pioneering Irish scientists and to educate young students about their lives and achievements’, says the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) which is running the competition launched by Minister Richard Bruton, Minister of Education and Skills.

School students were encouraged to vote for a candidate accompanied by a short essay, poster or video to support their choice. The  Supercomputer was called Kay after Kathleen "Kay" McNulty Mauchly Antonelli (12 February 1921 – 20 April 2006). She was an Irish-American computer programmer and one of the six original programmers of the ENIAC, one of the first general-purpose electronic digital computers.



Website materials: text – Madeline Hutchins, design – Jenny Dempsey

Thank you to all those who contributed written pieces for the site, those who allowed us to use their wonderful photographs, and to those who gave permission to use images, including the Herbarium, Botany Department, Trinity College Dublin; the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; the Master and Fellows of Trinity College Cambridge. A special thank you to Neil Jackman of Abarta Heritage for use of the audio clips of Ellen’s letters from the Ellen Hutchins Heritage Trail and Audio Guide and to the Heritage Council and Crow Crag Productions for use of the video.

The Ellen Hutchins Festival is very grateful to UCC Library, the Botany Department of Trinity College Dublin, and Bantry Credit Union for providing financial assistance for the development of the schools materials and this website.



Text and images here can be used freely by school students and school teachers within an education setting.

Other uses come under normal copyright regulations. If you wish to make a specific use of some of the material in a non educational setting, please contact us.

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Key to abbreviations used in photo captions

HFC  - Hutchins Family Collection  KEW - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London

NHM - Natural History Museum London. TCC  - Trinity College Cambridge. TCD -  Trinity College Dublin