The island of Hirta

The island of Hirta

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January 8th, 2016

The Hirta island, the largest one in the St Kilda archipelago, is a beautiful and kind of a mysterious island.

St. Kilda was part of the Lordship of the Isles, then a property of the MacLeods of Dunvegan from 1498 until 1930. There were three chapels on St. Kilda, dedicated to Saint Brendan, Saint Columba, and Christ Church, but little remains. There are also the remains of a beehive house, known as the Amazon’s House.

The islanders had a very democratic system, and decisions were taken by an island council, made up of all the menfolk. The present village was set out in the 1830s above Village Bay.

The islands were continuously populated from prehistoric times until 1930 when the remaining inhabitants were evacuated. On 29 August the 36 inhabitants were removed to Morvern on the Scottish mainland at their own request.

The island was bequeathed to the National Trust for Scotland in 1957 and was designated as Scotland’s first World Heritage Site in 1987.

Although not a tourist place, the Village Bay area of the island can still be visited on request. There are a large number of cleits and huts here which were used to store dried sea birds, fish, hay and turf.

The island currently houses a small missile tracking military base.

Tags: Hirta Island St. Kilda

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