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Manse Mysteries

16 January 2008

As part of the ongoing conservation and research programme carried out by the NTS, this winter I am looking into the structural history of the manse on Hirta. Initially I thought this might be a relatively easy task because ample has been written on almost every aspect of St Kilda history. However, there seems to be very few records of the changes made to the manse after the evacuation in 1930.

Manse Mystery

Can anyone help me fill in the gaps?
I would like to answer questions such as:
- What was the interior layout of the building when manse was occupied by the ministers and how did it change after the evacuation? What changes did Lord Dumfries make? And what changes did the Army make?
- Written accounts tell us that some of the rooms were wallpapered and others were lined with wood panels, but which ones?
- When were the sash windows at the front of the building replaced? - When was the building painted white?
- Has the roof been completely re-slated in recent years?

I would really like to hear from you if you have photos, memories or stories, either of the interior and exterior, of the manse pre-1980s.

Every little clue helps.


Samantha, St Kilda Archaeologist

write to: National Trust for Scotland
Balnain House
40 Huntly Street


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