Borchgrevink's hut

Borchgrevink's Hut
Cape Adare

This is the base associated with Carsten Borchgrevink’s British Antarctic (Southern Cross) Expedition 1898–1900 and later, Scott’s Northern Party expedition (1911). The site is notable not only for its role in the discovery of Antarctica but also as the only example left of humanity’s first building on any continent. 

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History of the Expedition

British Antarctic (Southern Cross) Expedition, Cape Adare, Northern Victoria Land.

Borchgrevink’s party of 10 men was funded by magazine magnate Sir George Newnes. The expedition was scientific in nature with the aim of studying wildlife, completing meteorological and magnetic observations, and exploring the continent’s interior. Many of the expedition’s scientific records were lost but they did achieve some ‘firsts’: first to erect a building on the continent, winter over, and use dogs, sledges and skis for travel over land and sea ice. Expedition members Bernacchi and Colbeck produced a detailed map of the area that was used by later expeditions.

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Antarctic Heritage Trust conservators found a 106-year old fruitcake among the artefacts from Cape Adare.

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Antarctic Heritage Trust conservators discovered an almost perfectly preserved 118-year old watercolour painting among dust and mould covered papers found in an historic hut at Cape Adare, Antarctica.

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new camp for oldest site
cape adare

A new field camp is being installed at Cape Adare – a remote and wild place where temperatures can reach -30 degrees. The tank huts known as 'turks' will serve as the temporary base for Antarctic Heritage Trust experts conserving the first building on the continent.

The Trust will work at site over several seasons to finish the conservation of the buildings and then the conserved artefacts will be returned.

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Meet the Crew

The crew of 10 men included five Norwegians, two Laplanders, two Britons and one Australian

Borchgrevink headshot
Carsten Borchgrevink
Bernacchi headshot
Louis Bernacchi
Astronomer and Physicist
Nicolai Hanson headshot
Nicolai Hanson


The expedition base at Cape Adare was also visited by Scott's two expeditions; the National Antarctic (Discovery) Expedition in 1902, and by the Northern Party from the British Antarctic (Terra Nova) Expedition, who built their own hut and spent a winter there in 1911. 

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Carsten Borchgrevink's expedition erected two huts, the living hut and the stores hut. Both measured just 5.5×6.5 metres each – a very small space for 10 men to live in for a year. 

The third hut, built by the Northern Party, was a small hut modelled on the same pattern as the larger hut at Cape Evans. This hut has not withstood the high winds at Cape Adare and, with the exception of the cold porch, has collapsed leaving little more than the main frames of the end walls.


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