Scott’s Hut was built by the British Antarctic Expedition of 1900-1903. It was the base of operations for Captain Robert Scott and his team who ultimately reached the pole but failed in their attempt to return to camp and perished en route. In a tragic story, he was beaten to the South Pole by the Norwegian expedition led by Roald Amundson
The hut was prefabricated in England before being brought south by ship and erected in Cape Evans. The walls used seaweed quilts for insulation and redistributed the heat from the stoves. Some of team described it as being so warm it was uncomfortable.
The building had a stable attached for the 19 Siberian ponies they had brought with them and a utility room. Sadly Robert Scott never returned from the expedition and while some men remained behind to search for the bodies the following spring, the building was eventually abandoned. It was last used by Ernest Shakleton’s team on their expedition in 1917 and has been abandoned since but preserved in a remarkable state due to the cold temperatures.
Scott became a hero throughout Britain following his passing, however as time went on, his legend came under scrutiny with questions surrounding the circumstances in which his team perished. Recent commentary has however been more favourable and has simply put the disaster down to misfortune.
The hut which he built in Antarctica as a base for the expeditions is now a tourist attraction with visitors able to get a glimpse of what it was like for Antarctic explorers 100 years ago. The cold has meant the cabin has been preserved, some of the food is even still edible.
The following entries are from Robert Scott’s own diary discovered with his body.
Thursday, March 22 and 23 – Blizzard bad as ever – Wilson and Bowers unable to start – to-morrow last chance – no fuel and only one or two of food left – must be near the end. Have decided it shall be natural – we shall march for the depot with or without our effects and die in our tracks.
Thursday, March 29 – Since the 21st we have had a continuous gale from W.S.W. and S.W. We had fuel to make two cups of tea apiece and bare food for two days on the 20th. Every day we have been ready to start for our depot 11 miles away, but outside the door of the tent it remains a scene of whirling drift. I do not think we can hope for any better things now. We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more.
Location: Cape Evans, Antarctica