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St Kilda village and related structures

A Scheduled Monument in Beinn na Foghla agus Uibhist a Tuath, Na h-Eileanan Siar

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.8128 / 57°48'45"N

Longitude: -8.57 / 8°34'12"W

OS Eastings: 10084

OS Northings: 899310

OS Grid: NF100993

Mapcode National: GBR 5872.HGH

Mapcode Global: WGQX1.BW8J

Entry Name: St Kilda village and related structures

Scheduled Date: 6 February 1963

Last Amended: 21 May 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2276

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: cross-incised stone; Ecclesiastical: burial ground, cemetery, graveyard;

Location: Harris

County: Na h-Eileanan Siar

Electoral Ward: Beinn na Foghla agus Uibhist a Tuath

Traditional County: Inverness-shire

Description

The monument comprises the core area of human occupation on St Kilda, in the area around Village Bay. The monument was first scheduled in 1963, but an inadequate area was included to protect all of the archaeological remains: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

Although the historical record of human settlement on St Kilda is largely confined to the last three centuries, there is evidence around Village Bay for occupation from perhaps as early as the Bronze Age through to the 1930s, when the island was evacuated (the structures post-dating the evacuation are excluded from the scheduling).

The prehistoric evidence includes stone tool quarries, corbelled structures built into the scree, so-called horned structures, and a souterrain. Early medieval occupation is evidenced by, amongst other things, cross-incised stones and the probable sites of two chapels, one of which is sub-circular. The precise site of the medieval village is unknown, although at least one structure, known as 'Calum Mor's House' (NF 1006 9948), may be a rare surviving structure. It is the later village, first laid out in the 1830s and expanded in the 1860s, with its distinctive surrounding head dyke and scatter of cleitean (small drystone structures used for storage), that has the biggest present-day visual impact. The church (post 1826, pre-1834), manse (c. 1834), schoolhouse and featherstore (1819) are also included in the scheduling.

Beyond the head dyke the remains include enclosures and hundreds of cleitean, some in distinctive clusters. In addition, a single gun emplacement and magazine was built in 1918 to defend the village, following an attack by a German submarine earlier that year.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan and measures a maximum of 1880 m from E-W by 1400 m transversely, as marked on the attached map, to include the village, its related structures and an area around in which associated remains may survive. Within this area, all the post-1930s structures and features are excluded (for example, the surfacing of all post 1930s ground surfaces (tracks, etc.); the above-ground remains of the weather data loggers NE of Ruaival; and all other extant temporary structures post-dating the 1930s (eg. the weather stations; the 'airport lounge', etc.); the above ground remains of the Petrol Oil and Lubricants and Bulk Fuel Installation (the 'POL'); the above ground remains of all services (such as telegraph poles and cables); and the modern structure of the sewage system, which is adjacent to the featherstore).

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it comprises diverse and well preserved multi-period remains of settlement on St. Kilda, structures that date from prehistory through to the early 20th century. These remains, the core of human occupation on the island, have the potential to provide important information about life on St. Kilda through the millennia, an extreme existence that was of enormous interest to Scottish and international observers who documented the life of its inhabitants from early times.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

The monument is recorded in the RCAHMS as NF 09 NE 1.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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