Mailboat from St Kilda Island

St Kilda mailboat. A crudely made, boat-shaped block of wood with hollowed out interior, closed by a swing lid. In poker work on the lid 'St Kilda MAIL BOAT LETTERS INSIDE'. The container is attached to a float made from a sheep's bladder. This and similar mailboats were used by the inhabitants of the island of St Kilda to send messages to the Scottish mainland until the population was evacuated in 1930. The mail usually reached the mainland within a day or two but on occasions was picked up in Iceland and even Denmark.

Object Details

ID: AAB0429
Collection: Natural History
Type: mailboat, St Kilda
Display location: Display - Sea Things Gallery
Date made: Before 1930
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: 140 mm x 1450 mm x 340 mm

Your Request

If an item is shown as “offsite”, please allow eight days for your order to be processed. For further information, please contact Archive staff:

Tel: (during Library opening hours)

Click “Continue” below to continue processing your order with the Library team.