The past 10 days have seen the start of a new archaeological survey project for this World Heritage Site. Four members of staff from the Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland are working with two NTS Archaeologists to map features in the islands’ historic landscape. A similarly intensive survey undertaken in the mid-1980s by the Commission provided details on Village Bay, An Lag and the east side of Gleann Mor. This has proved invaluable to those involved in conservation and research on the island. But there is so much more to St Kilda than just these three areas.
Fortunately Mary Harman surveyed all of the cleits in the archipelago in the late 1970s. The Trust has been using her landscape plan to aid its approach to the management of these unique structures ever since. But now that millimetre-accurate Ground Positioning Systems are available, the opportunity to integrate our understanding of the cleits with that of the other structures on the island is one that cannot be missed.
The intention is that, over the coming three years, a survey of all sites in the landscape on Hirta and its associated islands will be completed. The results will be publicly available through the Commission’s website and used by the Trust to better inform our management of this very special place. More information will be posted here once the details have been processed and new discoveries confirmed.