This remarkably preserved scientific station is a 1950s time capsule
Horseshoe Island is well named. The 3000ft high peaks here are arranged in a crescent shape and were first mapped by air by intrepid British explorers in the 1930s. The island sits in Square Bay, off the coast of Graham Land.
You will land at the northwestern tip of Horshoe Island in Sally Cove. From here, it’s a short walk north to the amazingly preserved hut known as “Base Y” or Horseshoe Station.
This was established in 1955 as a scientific base and was closed permanently in 1960. Although unused for over 60 years, Base Y is in a remarkable state of preservation and represents a model example of a fully-equipped exploration and scientific base of the time.
Inside the hut, you will be able to carefully explore by torchlight as you see artifacts from a bygone age. These include the original base generator, tools, light fixtures, tins and packets of original rations, and more items from the daily lives of the scientists who made Horshoe Island their temporary homes.
Although this time-capsule building is the star of the show, it’s not unusual to encounter seals and skuas on or near to the landing site here.
Interesting facts about Horseshoe Island
British Base ‘Y’ is designated as Historic Site and Monument No. 63. It sits on a small peninsula at the northwestern end of the island overlooking Sally Cove. It is noteworthy as a relatively unaltered and well equipped British scientific base of the late 1950s, providing a time capsule of life and science of the time. It was occupied continuously from March 1955 to August 1960, and re-opened for a 4 month period in 1969. In addition to the base building, there is also a balloon shed, pup pens, an emergency store, two pram dinghies and a winch. ‘Blaiklock’, the refuge hut located several miles away, is considered an integral part of the base.
Pictures of Horseshoe Island
Highlights Close to Horseshoe Island
Half Moon Island
South of the Polar Circle
Our trips to Horseshoe Island