Mary Slessor and Maggie Keswick Jencks have today been unveiled as the first women who will be commemorated in The Hall of Heroes at The National Wallace Monument in Stirling, following a campaign that has captured the hearts and minds of the public across the globe.
Mary Slessor and Maggie Keswick Jencks unvield as the first women in the Hall of Heroes
The historic announcement marks the start of the most significant development in The Hall of Heroes since the first busts of Robert Burns and King Robert the Bruce were installed in 1886, and is the culmination of a four-month project that began with a shortlist of 14 remarkable Scottish women followed by a public vote to choose the one woman to be inaugurated into the Hall of Heroes.
Dolina MacLennan represented the Saltire Society on the Selction panel
From the thousands of votes which were cast online and by visitors to the Monument, the two women emerged clearly as the frontrunners, and following scrutiny of all votes the Selection Panel took the momentous decision that both Mary Slessor and Maggie Keswick Jencks should be welcomed into the Hall of Heroes.
Zillah Jamieson, Chair of Stirling District Tourism, explained: “This has been an incredible campaign, one which has ignited passions and has stimulated an amazing response. The level of enthusiasm for women to be given recognition has been truly inspirational – and the challenge for us as a self-funding charity has been to raise the funds required to embark on this project, and to now introduce these women into The Hall of Heroes. We are proud that we have been able to do this - with the help and the support of the visitors who come to the Monument”.
Missionary Mary Slessor, and co-founder of the Maggie’s Centres, Maggie Keswick Jencks, will join the gallery alongside the existing sixteen busts of famous men from Scotland’s history.
Both women exhibited selflessness and personal commitment to social improvement, and through their efforts to help others they achieved worldwide recognition.