Please Sign In | Register
Google pluspinterestShare on Stumble UponShare on RedditFacebookShare on Tumblr
TITLE
West Coast, St. Kilda
EXTERNAL ID
PC_PRISCUS_WCS6416
PLACENAME
St Kilda
DISTRICT
Harris
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Harris
PERIOD
1890s
CREATOR
George Washington Wilson
SOURCE
Mark Butterworth - Priscus
ASSET ID
29646
KEYWORDS
islands
cliffs
seabirds
fulmars
hair ropes
rock climbing
West Coast, St. Kilda

This photograph was taken by Scottish photographer George Washington Wilson (1823-93) and was used to illustrate talks he gave on Highland history. The following description is taken from Washington Wilson's own lecture notes.

On the west side of the Island the cliffs are very grand, and it is amazing how they manage to secure the birds from spots apparently so inaccessible. The rocks on which the bird's nests are portioned off to each family a part - as although it is the custom to work for the common good, some families, in which there are several active grown up sons, prefer working independently of the community, and abide by their own lot. But excepting in a case of this kind it is impossible, the birds being often so difficult to get at, it is important that two or more climbers should be connected by their famous hair ropes, so that if one slips there is still a chance of those in the same connection remaining firm. The birds in many such cases are thrown over the cliffs in to the sea to be picked up by a party in a boat.

For guidance on the use of images and other content, please see the Terms and Conditions page.
High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
Powered by Capture

West Coast, St. Kilda

INVERNESS: Harris

1890s

islands; cliffs; seabirds; fulmars; hair ropes; rock climbing

Mark Butterworth - Priscus

Imaging the Past

This photograph was taken by Scottish photographer George Washington Wilson (1823-93) and was used to illustrate talks he gave on Highland history. The following description is taken from Washington Wilson's own lecture notes.<br /> <br /> On the west side of the Island the cliffs are very grand, and it is amazing how they manage to secure the birds from spots apparently so inaccessible. The rocks on which the bird's nests are portioned off to each family a part - as although it is the custom to work for the common good, some families, in which there are several active grown up sons, prefer working independently of the community, and abide by their own lot. But excepting in a case of this kind it is impossible, the birds being often so difficult to get at, it is important that two or more climbers should be connected by their famous hair ropes, so that if one slips there is still a chance of those in the same connection remaining firm. The birds in many such cases are thrown over the cliffs in to the sea to be picked up by a party in a boat.