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St Kilda Military Base

A collection of green-painted buildings on Village Bay on Hirta, the St. Kilda Military Base (usually referred to simply as 'the base') was first established in 1957 on land leased from the Marquess of Bute. This lease was renewed by the National Trust for Scotland in 1976 for a further 25 years, and now runs until 2028. The base is now operated by contractors QinetiQ, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, providing offices, communications, workshops and technical support for radar heads on the summits of Mullach Mor and Mullach Sgar, which track launches from the Hebrides Missile Range, together with accommodation and recreational facilities for the staff.

The original buildings, which comprised Nissen huts and other temporary buildings, were the work of the Air Ministry Construction Unit. These were replaced 1969-70 by the present green-painted concrete buildings and the pier was extended at the cost of 0.5 million. Further enhancements to the pier were completed in 2013. A diesel-fuelled power station runs continuously to provide electricity to the base and the National Trust facilities. The base was garrisoned by various regiments until the army withdrew in 1998, with operations passing to the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency.

Within the base is the Puff Inn, built by the army and said to be the remotest pub in Europe. It was once open to all visitors but access is now limited to QinetiQ and NTS staff only.


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