HISTORY OF THE PROJECT

The Trust’s project is the largest heritage project ever undertaken in the polar regions

Credit: Alasdair Turner

The Trust’s Ross Sea Heritage Restoration Project is a multi-year, multi-site heritage conservation programme in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica. 

Since 2006 we have engaged over 60 international heritage and conservation specialists in Antarctica working in our custom-built facilities in the most challenging heritage conservation environment on earth.

In January 2015 we completed a major phase of conservation work on Ross Island which included the conservation of three historic bases and more than 18,000 artefacts:

  • Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1908 base and its collection of more than 6,000 artefacts
  • Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s last expedition base at Cape Evans and its 11,500 artefacts
  • Scott’s first expedition base at Hut Point and 500 artefacts.

All three sites have a comprehensive monitoring and maintenance programme of work in place for at least 25 years.

Saving Scott's and Shackleton's Huts


Teams of professional conservators, with specialisms in paper, timber, textile and metal conservation, have either over-wintered at Scott Base or spent summers in the field working from our conservation laboratory. Collectively, they have conserved a staggering 18,202 individual artefacts including clothing, equipment and personal items.

Conservation work now centres on Carsten Borchgrevink’s 1899 base at Cape Adare, and fundraising and planning to conserve Hillary’s 1957 historic hut at Scott Base.

Project background

In 2002, HRH Princess Anne launched the Trust’s Ross Sea Heritage Restoration Project (RSHRP) in Antarctica, a long-term international project to secure the bases and conserve the thousands of artefacts associated with the sites.

At around the same time the international community began to recognise the importance of these sites. The Getty Foundation made significant funding available for the project and the World Monuments Fund listed all four sites on their 2008 list of the 100 Most Endangered Sites on Earth.  They are also protected under the Antarctic Treaty System.

In 2012 the Trust took on management responsibility for Hillary’s Hut, the original Trans-Antarctic Expedition building that remains at New Zealand's scientific research facility, Scott Base.

Current Conservation

Borchgrevink's Hut

Find out more about our conservation work with this hut from the British Antarctic Expedition of 1898-1900.

Hillary's Hut

Help us conserve this historic site, which marks the foundation of New Zealand's Scott Base.

You can help support us

We rely on valuable support from trusts, foundations and individual supporters. 

Donate Here

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