St. Kilda – the original one The remotest place in the U.K. What is it Like? Why is it special?
St.Kilda - island archipelago! Outer Hebrides Scotland, U.K. What is it Like?
Britain's first designated World Heritage Site - ranking it with places such as the Taj Mahal. St. Kilda, lying almost fifty miles (80kms) west of the Outer Hebrides, is made up of four main islands - Hirta, Soay, Dun and Boreray. It is the remotest and most inaccessible location in the British Isles.
The sea blowing over the jetty in winter Winters are mild and summers cool. There is high rainfall and strong winds. The prevailing wind is south-westerly -gales with gusts of over 100 knots. Being the only land mass in this area St.Kilda creates its own clouds. St.Kilda is the windiest place in Britain. The average temperature in January is 5.6°C and in July 11.8 °C. The weather can change rapidly. Weather and Climate
Buttercups and irises in the Village Meadows Primroses growing on the exposed cliffs of Oiseval A total of 174 species of flowering plants have been recorded from the islands. (not many because of the harsh climate) There are no proper trees or shrubs - least willow and creeping willow are both present, but these only grow a few inches high. Plants – (vegetation or flora)
Whales and dolphins Land and sea animals Soay sheep are unique – an unspoiled ancient breed sheep. Unique species of mouse And insects – lots of midges in summer!
Birds St Kilda is not as inaccessible as one might expect. Each year, in spring and in autumn, the islands are visited by an ever-growing list of migrants. Some are on their regular route to and from more northerly breeding grounds, while others are blown off course. Over a hundred species may turn up in any year. Fulmars, skuas, gannets and puffins.
Great auk St Kilda is without doubt the most famous site in Britain for the now extinct great auk. The original pen gwyn. An account related how the great auks or garefowl are taken by surprising them where they sleep, or by intercepting their way to the sea and knocking them on the head with a staff: One of the last was apparently caught on Stac an Armin around 1840. The great auk officially became extinct when a lone survivor was killed in Iceland in 1844. Extinct birds
Finlay and Christina MacQueen - 1910 On 29th August 1930, the last 36 remaining inhabitants left St Kilda left forever after their traditional lifestyle was corrupted by the outside world. For centuries St Kildans had lived a self sufficient community lifestyle, scaling cliffs to catch sea birds. Humans on St. Kilda
These people lived under their own form of democracy with a parliament meeting held every morning in the village street. They made shoes out of Gannets and considered boiled puffin with their porridge a great delicacy. The old village and street Government:
Life was never easy, with hunger and hard work being commonplace. Developing a taste for earning and an easier life, the islanders were evacuated to various places… A photograph of inside Scotland's remotest school St Kilda, 1905 … with the elderly left to survive on meagre charity handouts.
In 1912 there were acute food shortages and in 1913 an outbreak of influenza. The war of 1914-18 brought a naval detachment to Hirta and regular deliveries of mail and food from naval supply vessels. When these services were withdrawn at end of war feelings of isolation increased. There was more emigration of able-bodied young islanders and a breakdown of the island economy. In 1930 the remaining 36 islanders requested evacuation to the mainland.
In 1931 St Kilda was sold to the Marquess of Bute, a keen ornithologist. He bequeathed them to The National Trust for Scotland in 1957. St Kilda was bequeathed to The National Trust for Scotland by the 5th Marquess of Bute in 1957. In the same year, it was designated a National Nature Reserve by Scottish Natural Heritage. Just before his death, the Marquess of Bute agreed to lease a small area of land on Hirta to MoD as a radar tracking station for its missile range on Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides. The opening of the museum in House 3, 1982
Nomination of St Kilda for inclusion in the World Heritage Site List Few who have been to St Kilda and stood in the Village surrounded by the cries of a million seabirds can fail to have been moved by the place and its story.