Wordie House, HSM no. 62
Base F, Argentine Islands

Wordie House was established on 7 January 1947, on Winter Island (65°15'S, 64°16'W). The hut is named after James Wordie, the chief scientist and geologist on Shackleton's Endurance expedition of 1914–17. In later years, he was also an advisor to Operation Tabarin. The hut stands on the foundations of an earlier building, used by the British Graham Land Expedition from 1935–36, led by John Rymill. The original hut was destroyed in 1946; possibly by a tsunami.

Meteorology

The most important scientific research carried out at Wordie House was in meteorology. Recording instruments were housed in meteorological screens, one of which can still be seen today a short distance to the east of the hut. Wordie House began one of the longest and most important meteorological recording programmes in the Antarctic. When Wordie House closed in 1954 this work was transferred to the nearby Faraday base on Galindez (now known as Vernadsky and operated by the Ukraine). Wordie House contributed to producing one of the longest and most important continuous scientific datasets from the Antarctic which continues to this day.

Nissen hut and balloon shed

As well as the living quarters, Base F included a Nissen hut and a balloon shed (both of which are now gone). Balloons were released daily to gather meteorological data. A greenhouse on the side of the main hut was used for growing vegetables. To the southwest of the hut a timber sign still stands with the words “British Crown Land”, a relic of the pre-Antarctic Treaty age when claims to Antarctica were still actively maintained.

Today

Wordie House was designated a Historic Site and Monument in 1995 and has been our responsibility since 2009. There are around 500 original artefacts on site. Initial conservation works and making the hut weathertight have been completed.

Download your full information sheet here.

Read more information about Wordie on the British Antarctic Survey Archives website

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