St. Kilda (1986, 2004)
Scotland -- Great Britain
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||This volcanic archipelago, comprising the islands of Hirta,
Dun, Soay and Boreray, with its spectacular landscapes along the coast of
the Hebrides. It includes some of the highest cliffs in Europe, which provide
a refuge for impressive colonies of rare and endangered species of birds,
especially puffins and gannets.
The archipelago of St Kilda, the remotest part of the British Isles, lies 41 miles (66 kilometres) west of Benbecula in Scotland's Outer Hebrides. Its islands with their exceptional cliffs and sea stacs, form the most important seabird breeding station in north-west Europe. The evacuation of its native population in 1930 brought to a close an extraordinary story of survival.
Particularly the puffin is a beautiful and romantic bird. its plumage is a striking black and white and its bill is bright yellow. After floating on the ocean and diving for fish during the winter, the puffins come ashore by the hundreds in the spring to begin courting. Puffins are modern when it comes to affairs of the heart. They mate for life, splitting up in the winter and meeting again in the spring to return to the same burrow. As well, child raising responsibilities are shared equally between both sexes. They take turns incubating the egg and, after their new puffling is born, they take turns fishing to feed it.
There have been people on St Kilda since prehistoric times, exploiting the rich resources of the sea, growing crops and keeping animals. It is not clear when the first settlers came to St Kilda, but simple stone tools found on Hirta suggest that Bronze Age travellers may have visited St Kilda from the Western Isles some 4,000 to 5,000 years ago. In the 1830s the Rev Neil Mackenzie found what were probably remains of burial cists in Village Bay. Excavations in 1995 revealed a possible burial structure dating from the Bronze Age.
In 1844 an earth house (souterrain), possibly a store associated with an Iron Age house dating from about 2,000 years ago, was discovered. It consists of a long passage, with shorter passages or cells branching off.
Source: St. Kilda -- National Trust for Scotland World Heritage Site
Other World Heritage Sites in Great Britain (on this site). Inactive links are not described on postage stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, United Kingdom Section, for further information about the individual properties.
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Revised 26 jun 2008