Where I grew up in Virginia, June 1st is ominously recognised as the start of hurricane season. It’s been a suitably stormy day for us here on St Kilda, with the waves crashing and the salt spray flying.
It’s been a busy few weeks, and we had some issues with our internet so this update is long overdue. In the intervening time our first work party has come and gone with much fanfare, and the second work party arrived yesterday and is already cracking on with it.
Work Party 1 out for a daytrip on the Hirta
Kirsty during the museum clean
Amongst the general repair works that keep St Kilda running, WP1 carried out several important archaeological/conservation repairs which I can detail here. Often over winter small areas of our drystone walls collapse, further weakening the structure and leaving a bit of a mess. WP1 repaired three areas of collapse stone for stone to what they were before, using old photos as a guide. It’s like a 3d puzzle!
Ingmar, Malcolm, and Euan puzzling out the stones
Another big task is the repair of Cleit Turf Roofs; the iconic St Kildan structures are always eroding away due to the wind and the sheep. This involves carefully cutting and shaping turf and packing it in over a layer of healthy soil. Its great stress relief as well!
Carefully laying turf on a bed of healthy soil
Holly, Kirsty, and Stu hoisting an impressive turf onto Cleit 70
I am looking forward to the next two weeks of repairs with WP2!
Cheers for now,
St Kilda Archaeologist