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There were no roads on the islands, produce being carried by people on their backs. They used small open boats to move between the islands, managing stock such as Hebridean sheep and collecting puffins on Boreray, and collecting gannets and their eggs from the sea stacs.


Estimate for the building of a new boat for St Kilda
Illustration: The National Trust for Scotland

Until a jetty was built in Village Bay in 1901, all their produce was landed - precariously - on the rocks.


Islanders landing stores form the S.S. Dunara Castle
Photograph: From a postcard

 

They had little contact with the mainland until the mid 19th century. The factor arrived by boat each year to collect the rents and was accompanied by a minister who performed baptisms and weddings.


The Factor, Mr Mackenzie, arriving to collect the rents c.1910
Photograph: Anna Mackenzie

© The National Trust for Scotland