Susanna Drury recognised as a female role model at the Giant’s Causeway

Susanna Drury Landscape Painting of the Giant's Causeway

Uncovering forgotten but fascinating women’s stories from history, mythology and contemporary culture is the focus of the National Trust at the Giant’s Causeway, as they embrace the Herstory 20/20 storytelling movement.

Herstory is the Irish women’s storytelling movement which partners with RTÉ, Underground Films, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum and the BAI Broadcasting Authority of Ireland to deliver a storytelling platform like no other, focusing on authentic female role models and a game-changing education programme, inspiring countries around the world to start their own Herstory movements. 

The National Trust will join the Herstory 20/20 movement by dedicating an area of the Visitor Centre interpretation area to an influential woman who has changed the course of the Causeway’s history by opening it up to scientific understanding and inspiring the first wave of visitors. 

The UNESCO World Heritage site will focus on Susanna Drury (c.1710-c.1770) a talented Irish painter and an authentic female role model who is distilled within the history of the Giant’s Causeway site and is credited in literature for bringing international attention to the iconic landscape through her realistic illustrations of the natural wonder.

The copy of the Drury/Viavres engraving in the Encyclopédie
The copy of the Drury/Viavres engraving in the Encyclopédie
The copy of the Drury/Viavres engraving in the Encyclopédie

Her paintings of the spectacular rock-formation meant she created such beautiful, evocative and accurate detail which intrigued the minds of visitors to travel and explore the unique landscape, and too sparked scientific interest which enabled the first discovery of how the Giant’s Causeway was formed.

Ciara McClements, Visitor Experience Manager, National Trust explained;

“We are really delighted to be able to share the story of how influential Susanna Drury was to the success of the Giant’s Causeway, without her illustrations sparking such interest among many people it is possible that we would not have the success we experience today.

“The National Trust is perfectly aligned to this unique project as our key purpose is bringing nature, beauty and the history of special places to as many people as possible, and we feel it is only right that we should share the legacy of Susanna Drury with the vast amount of visitors we welcome from over 160 different countries worldwide.

“Just in 2018, the National Trust dedicated a year-long national programme to ‘Women and Power’ shining a light on women’s histories whilst celebrating the historic milestone and 100-year anniversary from when women secured the right to vote in 1918. 

“I would really encourage local and international visitors to stop for a moment and take in what this wonderful woman has achieved in the 18th century so that we can talk about her as an awe-inspiring female role model for generations to come.”

The Susanna Drury exhibition area will be available from 1st February at the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre.