Visiting Stonington Island

Base E on Stonington Island was established in February 1946 and had two periods of operation from 1946–50 and 1960–75 when the base permanently closed. The normal occupancy of the station was 6 to 17 people. This building is the second British hut built on the island.

Building guide

Stonington is a small island with two historic bases; Base E, a British Base in its second incarnation and East Base, a former American base. Base E is unusual in that the main building is a two storey structure. Alongside the main building is a separate generator shed, pup pens, a concrete water tank, anemometer tower and a radio mast as well as a storage shed and a stone burial of two men who died whilst out sledging in 1966. Inside the building are the large living quarters and a few artefacts and supplies, but most of the contents were removed when the base closed in 1975.

Wildlife

Stonington Island has been identified as an Important Bird Area, with breeding Antarctic Imperial shags. In February 2007 135 chicks were recorded, and South Polar Skuas and Antarctic Terns are also confirmed as breeding at the site. 

Please take note of the following during your visit:

  1. The preferred landing site is in Fishtrap Cove to the south of the two bases. 
  2. Ensure all outdoor clothing and boots are clean before entering the building. Please use the boot scrubber provided. 
  3. The hut windows are all covered with fixed shutters and so electric torches will be needed to see anything of the interior. 
  4. The site is a Historic Site and Monument and therefore overnight stays should not be made. Please do not handle, use or remove any artefacts or sit on chairs and other furniture. 
  5. Access to Base E is limited to the main hut and generator shed. Access is not permitted to any of the attached or associated structures, including the dog pens and jetty. 
  6. Access to East Base is limited to the main hut. Visitors should not enter the southern extension, meteorological tower, and bunk room, the small hut to the south of the bunk room or the rubbish dump. 
  7. Care should be taken not to disturb the remains of the old burnt out Base E. 
  8. The graves of Thomas Allan and John Noel take the form of a rock cairn with the coffins only marginally concealed. This site should be treated with appropriate respect. 
  9. Please do not smoke or use matches, candles or stoves in or around the building. 
  10. Leave a record of your visit in the visitor book and please report any damage to the hut or its contents or maintenance required to the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust: info@ukaht.org 
  11. A designated cleaning kit is kept in the porch. Please ensure that the hut is clean on your departure and that snow/water is mopped up from the floors. 
  12. Please ensure that the doors and windows are securely closed when you leave.  

For all official guidelines and specific instructions please refer to the Stonington Island Antarctic Treaty Visitor Site Guide.

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