As a pleasant surprise, the recreation department recently arranged tours of the inside of the hut and I had the opportunity to travel back in time to the days of Captain Robert Falcon Scott. Only 200 people per year are allowed inside the hut.
Discovery Hut was constructed by Captain Scott and his crew in 1902 and is notable for being the first building on Ross Island. While used for science experiments exploring magnetism and gravity (among other things), the hut was not actually inhabited by the men because they found it too cold inside. Instead, they slept on their ship which they kept anchored nearby. The hut has been visited and lived in a number of times since it was abandoned by the original crew in 1904- including a visit by Shackleton’s crew in 1908. A full chronology of the historic site can be found here.
Below are photos of the of the hut- but before you scroll down, take a moment to image the smell of wet hay and decomposed seal fat. Think of the sound of strong sea winds whistling through the wooden walls.
To read more about Scott’s Discovery Hut, please visit the Antarctic Heritage Trust website.
Check out the Google Street View of Discovery Hut!