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.
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.
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.