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St Kilda - July 1956 (clip)

Footage of the abandoned settlement at Village Bay

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The film opens with a caption card announcing the arrival at St Kilda Village Bay. From a position aboard a boat, the camera pans along the shoreline while a row boat approaches. A simple map is shown, naming parts of the island. On land, the camera provides us with views of the ruined buildings and natural features of St Kilda. Close up shots provide views of the structure of the houses and field walls. We see a St Kilda wren before further shots of the abandoned settlement and the encroachment of nature upon it. Views out to sea from the village are included as are smaller details of the buildings and objects that suggest the day to day live of the former community.

Questions & Activities


  • Why is the island named St Kilda?
  • What role did St Kilda serve during the cold war? Where are the people?
  • Where is St Kilda and why did the people leave?
  • When was the island last inhabited?
  • Does anyone live there now?
  • How were the houses heated?
  • Why did they leave the kettle behind?


History: Research who owns the island today and why is has been granted World Heritage Status. Find out what the criteria is for gaining World Heritage Status. What other places in Scotland have granted Heritage Status?

Music: Add a soundtrack to compliment the mood of the images.

History / Social Studies / English: Research the history of St Kilda and add a commentary explaining what happened to the people.

Geology / Geography: Find out how the Island of St Kilda was formed in geological terms. Use Google Earth Topography to help you locate St Kilda. What does it tell you about how St Kilda was formed? Look at hot spots etc.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-251-C
Resource Rights Holder By kind permission of Park Film Studios
Project Ref 2037
Date 1956
Genre Documentary
School Subject History, Geography, Social Studies, Music, English, Geology
Who Campbell Harper Films Limited (production company)
Where St. Kilda
Attributes Colour, Silent
Clip Length 3:07
Film Length 16:11