Armin, Stac an

Stac an Armin
©2020 Gazetteer for Scotland

Stac an Armin

A remarkable large outcrop of rock, Stac an Armin (meaning 'the warrior's stack') lies off the northern end of the island of Boreray in the St. Kilda group, some 51 miles (82 km) west of North Harris in the Outer Hebrides. Taking the form of an immense dog-tooth and owned by the National Trust for Scotland, the rock has an area of 5.3 ha (13 acres), rises to a height of 196m (643 feet) making it the highest sea stack in the British Isles. It is a nesting ground for sea birds. Three men and eight boys escaped the smallpox epidemic which devastated Hirta in 1727 because they had been landed here to collect seabirds and the disease struck Hirta during their intended stay of just a few days. However, they were trapped here for nine months as no-one on Hirta was well enough to retrieve them. Britain's last Great Awk (Pinguinus impennis) was killed on Stac an Armin in 1840 and the species was globally extinct four years later.

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