Thursday, March 27, 2014

Starvation Terrace - Ulva

On my first visit to Ulva I walked the north road to pay a visit to Gometra. Along the way I noticed a string of abandoned houses above the shore near Ardglass Point. I knew nothing about them at the time, so I did not make the effort to descend through rough ground to see them.

Shortly after my visit I learned that this isolated settlement was called 'Starvation Terrace'. Here is a brief description of its history from the website:

'By 1848 the population (of Ulva) was down to 150. By 1921 nine of the townships were in ruins. Five more were inhabited by a single family and one by two families. Those who could not be cleared, because, old or disabled, no place elsewhere could be found for them in Scotland, Canada or Australia, were gathered together in a terrace of low houses at Ardglass Point. They were left to eke out what they could from the seaweed and the winkles on the shore. That terrace, for good reason, is known as Starvation Terrace and has usurped the name of the Point, now generally referred to as Starvation Point.'

After learning the history I wanted to return to see the ruins of Starvation Terrace. Ten years would pass, but finally, in 2010, on a cruise through the Inner Hebrides, we were set ashore at Starvation Point for a walk on Ulva. Once ashore we climbed through soggy fields to reach the string of roofless houses. They presented quite a sad sight, especially in light of their history. Here are a few photos of Starvation Terrace from 2010.

1 comment:

  1. What a tragic tale. As someone whose ancestors emigrated from Scotland (mainland), I have often wondered what happened to those who were left behind.