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Church and museum

The church and manse represent an important chapter in St Kilda’s long history, one which saw revolutionary changes to the unique way of life that had evolved there.

Daily life for St Kildans was similar to elsewhere in the Hebrides – they were Christian, spoke Gaelic, kept sheep and cows, grew cereals and vegetables, and fished, but their remote location resulted in some unusual customs. From the 18th century, ministers or missionaries were sent to the islands on a more regular basis, and a visiting minister in the early 19th century felt that they were ‘ignorant of the leading truths’ of Christianity. A church and manse were built in the early 19th century for a resident minister, and there was a school from 1884. Today, the church, manse and schoolroom have been restored and visitors can see how they might have looked in the 1920s (based on a photograph from 1936).

The museum, which is in one of the restored houses on the Street, brings to life the story of St Kilda’s natural wonders, its history and its people. The displays also include pottery, textiles, agricultural implements, dress and personal items, all associated with the community and visitors to the islands.