“No finer set of men ever left these shores, nor were men ever led by a finer commander”.
These were the words of Sir Clements Markham as the National Antarctic (Discovery) expedition 1901-04 left England.
The expedition base at Hut Point comprised three huts, which the Discovery picked up prefabricated from Lyttelton, New Zealand, en route to Antarctica.
There was a single-roomed hut for magnetic observations, a similar building for the seismograph, and an 11.3 metre square building to be erected as a shore station. This large hut was built by James Moore of Sydney and intended to house a small landing party.
The base was established at Hut Point on Ross Island in February 1902. The men lived on board the Discovery moored nearby while the larger hut was used for many ancillary purposes until the expedition’s departure in February 1904.
The hut is now protected under the Antarctic Treaty and cared for by the Antarctic Heritage Trust. In 2015 the Trust completed a two-year programme of conservation at Discovery Hut to weatherproof and repair the building. More than 500 artefacts were conserved over the 2014 winter by artefact conservators working at New Zealand’s scientific research facility, Scott Base. A maintenance fund has been established.