St Kilda

St Kilda

St Kilda (Scottish Gaelic: Hiort) is an isolated archipelago 64 kilometres (40 mi) west-northwest of North Uist in the North Atlantic Ocean. It contains the westernmost islands of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The largest island is Hirta, whose sea cliffs are the highest in the United Kingdom, and three other islands (Dùn, Soay and Boreray) were also used for grazing and seabird hunting. The islands are administratively a part of the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar local authority area.

The origin of the name St Kilda is a matter of conjecture. The islands’ human heritage includes numerous unique architectural features from the historic and prehistoric periods, although the earliest written records of island life date from the Late Middle Ages. The medieval village on Hirta was rebuilt in the 19th century, but the influences of religious zeal, illnesses brought by increased external contacts through tourism, and the First World War all contributed to the island’s evacuation in 1930. The story of St Kilda has attracted artistic interpretations, including Michael Powell’s film The Edge of the World and an opera.

St Kilda may have been permanently inhabited for at least two millennia, the population probably never exceeding 180 (and certainly no more than 100 after 1851). The entire remaining population was evacuated from Hirta (the only inhabited island) in 1930. Currently, the only year-round residents are military personnel; a variety of conservation workers, volunteers and scientists spend time there in the summer months.

The entire archipelago is owned by the National Trust for Scotland. It became one of Scotland’s five World Heritage Sites in 1986 and is one of the few in the world to hold joint status for its natural and cultural qualities. Parties of volunteers work on the islands in the summer to restore the many ruined buildings that the native St Kildans left behind. They share the island with a small military base established in 1957.

Two different early sheep types have survived on these remote islands, the Soay, a Neolithic type, and the Boreray, an Iron Age type. The islands are a breeding ground for many important seabird species including Northern Gannets, Atlantic Puffins, and Northern Fulmars. The St Kilda Wren and St Kilda Field Mouse are endemic subspecies.

Outline
St Kilda (Scottish Gaelic: Hiort) is an isolated archipelago 64 kilometres (40 mi) west-northwest of North Uist in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Recommended world heritage video

  1. Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande, Modena

    Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande, Modena

  2. Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna

    Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna

  3. Heritage of Mercury. Almadén and Idrija

    Heritage of Mercury. Almadén and Idrija

  1. Engelsberg Ironworks

    Engelsberg Ironworks

  2. Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta

    Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta

  3. Citadel, Ancient City and Fortress Buildings of Derbent

    Citadel, Ancient City and Fortress Buildings of Derbent

  1. Rila Monastery

    Rila Monastery

  2. Monastery and Site of the Escurial, Madrid

    Monastery and Site of the Escurial, Madrid

  3. Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow

    Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow

  1. Historic Centres of Stralsund and Wismar

    Historic Centres of Stralsund and Wismar

  2. Old Rauma

    Old Rauma

  3. Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville

    Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville

  1. Alto Douro Wine Region

    Alto Douro Wine Region

  2. Santiago de Compostela (Old Town)

    Santiago de Compostela (Old Town)

  3. Ironbridge Gorge

    Ironbridge Gorge

  1. Parco Nazionale del Cilento, Vallo di Diano e Alburni

    Parco Nazionale del Cilento, Vallo di Diano e Alburni

  2. Acropolis, Athens

    Acropolis, Athens

  3. Aranjuez Cultural Landscape

    Aranjuez Cultural Landscape

  1. Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém in Lisbon

    Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém in Lisbon

  2. The Wadden Sea

    The Wadden Sea

  3. Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona

    Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona

  1. Tower of Hercules

    Tower of Hercules

  2. Historic Areas of Istanbul

    Historic Areas of Istanbul

  3. Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns

    Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns

  1. Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine’s Abbey, and St. Martin’s Church

    Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine’s Abbey, and St. Martin’s Church

  2. Ilulissat Icefjord

    Ilulissat Icefjord

  3. Litomyšl Castle

    Litomyšl Castle

  1. The Trulli of Alberobello

    The Trulli of Alberobello

  2. Our Lady of Ljeviš

    Our Lady of Ljeviš

  3. Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch

    Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch

  1. Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay

    Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay

  2. Seventeenth-century canal ring area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht

    Seventeenth-century canal ring area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht

  3. Works of Antoni Gaudí

    Works of Antoni Gaudí

  1. Antonine Wall

    Antonine Wall

  2. Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island

    Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island

  3. Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne

    Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne

  1. Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto

    Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto

  2. Wartburg Castle

    Wartburg Castle

  3. Monastic Island of Reichenau

    Monastic Island of Reichenau

facebook comments
Comment
To the Top