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Religion and Culture

In the 18th century ministers or missionaries were sent to the islands on a more regular basis. A church and manse were built in the early 19th century for a resident minister, and there was a school from 1884.

The children in the school
Photograph: The National Trust for Scotland

The St Kildans were of Hebridean stock and spoke Gaelic. They dressed in a manner similar to people from the Western Isles. In 1697 Martin Martin recorded that they loved music and games, but by the late nineteenth century their adherence to the Free Church of Scotland led to a less joyful life.

St Kildan women in 1886
Photograph: George Washington Wilson Collection, University of Aberdeen

© The National Trust for Scotland