Wordie House, Winter Island
A true time capsule, preserving the golden age of Antarctic exploration and science.
Nestled onto the only flat part of Winter Island, Wordie House is a hut built in 1947. It was named by a British Antarctic expedition of the time after James Wordie, who was the chief scientist on Shackleton’s famous 1914 Antarctic exploration. Winter Island is less than 1,000 yards long and is one of the Argentine Islands off the coast of Graham Land.
Before it closed in 1954, the hut was used to take meteorological readings using instruments stored inside special screens, one of which still stands today. These readings were among the most important and longest set of weather data ever recorded about the Antarctic and helped scientists gain a greater understanding of the meteorology of the continent.
Wordie House was made a “Historic Site and Monument” in 1995 and has been looked after by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust since 2009. There are almost 500 original artifacts still on the site, including original cans of coffee, records, pots and pans, plates, and many more £everyday” items. This makes Wordie House a true time capsule from the golden age of Antarctic exploration and scientific research. The hut is now fully weathertight, and work continues on preserving this unique station.
Visits to Winter Island and Wordie House are managed by the nearby Ukrainian station Vernadsky, and you may well be briefed by the Base Commander or other official before you board your boats for the landing.
Uniquely for such a historic site, visitors are allowed to roam freely under the supervision of their expert Antarctic guides. They will answer all your questions about the history of the hut, as well as the artifacts that you can find here.
Visitors to Winter Island can also expect to see seabirds such as skuas and kelp gulls, as well as seals and penguins.
Interesting facts about Wordie House, Winter Island
Base ‘F’ is designated as Historic Site and Monument No. 62 under the Antarctic Treaty. It was built in 1947 on the site of the earlier 1936 British Grahamland Expedition hut, which was swept away by a tidal wave. In addition to the building, there is also a rare timber sign which dates from 1947.
Pictures of Wordie House, Winter Island
Highlights Close to Wordie House, Winter Island
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Port Charcot, Booth Island
Animals in Wordie House, Winter Island
Our trips to Wordie House, Winter Island