St Kilda the group of three islands 50 miles out in the Atlantic to the west of Harris can no longer be claimed as the most westerly of the British Isles since the annexation of Rockall, which is l90 miles still further west.
The group, because ofi ts isolation, dramatic topography and wildlife and the unhappy circumstance that in 1930 its remaining people had to be evacuated. because of a lack of manpower to eke out a living, has long held a special fascination, particularly for naturalists.
- St Kilda Geolocation Latitude 57.815132° N Longitude -8.58431° E
- St Kilda Postcode 3182
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The main island of Hirta had been occupied since prehistoric times, and fowling among the great colonies of sea birds puﬂins for feathers and meat, young fulmars for oil, young gannets for meat & herding sheep, crofting and ﬁshing made up the islanders way of life.
Many cleitan (used for storing food) and other traces of this primitive existence may still be seen, with descendants of the goat like sheep now wild, the ruins of successive generations of dwellings, and even distinctive species of mouse and wren.
The group includes Soay, with its peculiar breed of indigenous sheep.
Boreray “the gannets’ isle, with its neighbouring sea stacks. Stack an Armin and Stac Lee, Dun and the Stac of Levenish.
The St Kilda archipelago Was bequeathed to the National Trust for Scotland by the 5th Marquess of Bute in 1957, and because of the scientiﬁc interest of their natural history the islands have been leased to the Nature Conservancy Council, who are carrying out a long term programme of research on the Soay sheep, the nesting sea birds and the vegetation. Every summer National Trust working parties visit the island and with excellent help from the Service detachments on Hirta, associated with the south Uist rocket range, good progress has been made in restoring the small village community at Village Bay, the dykes and cleitan, and this work continues. Access to St Kilda is not only difficult but ﬁrmly restricted, apart from National Trustexpeditions.
The scenery is spectacular, with Conachair, on Hirta, rising to 1,396 ft and dropping on its seaward side in the highest sheer cliff in Britain, and Boreray soaring jaggedly to 1,245 ft, with 40,000 pairs of birds on its cliffs and its stacks. Gleann Mhor on the north west side of Hirta, has a so called Amazon’s House which has aroused speculation since the days of Martin Martin, the 17th-cent chronicler.