HRH The Princess Royal has welcomed home the iconic lookout barrel to the UK following its journey around the world from Athy in Ireland to South Georgia and back
Sir Ernest Shackleton’s original QuestCrow’s Nest – a lookout barrel from his fourth and final voyage on expedition ship Quest – has returned to London after touring the world.
The Crow’s Nest (or Quest Barrel) is one of the last vestiges from the Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic Expedition, also known as The Quest Expedition. It arrived back at All Hallows by the Tower church in London, having been the centrepiece of the South Georgia Museum’s ‘Shackleton’s Last Quest’ exhibition in Grytviken for the past year and a half, its first return to South Georgia since the Quest Expedition in 1922.
It formed part of a special event on September 7 marking the achievements of the intrepid explorer and renowned leader Sir Ernest Shackleton, organised by charity the South Georgia Heritage Trust (SGHT) and attended by the Trust’s Patron HRH The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence.
The event at All Hallows provided not only an opportunity to celebrate the return of the Crow’s Nest, but also brought together modern-day polar explorers including Dr John Shears, the leader of the Endurance22 expedition funded by the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust, which discovered the resting place of Shackleton’s famous ship Endurance on the seafloor beneath the ice in the Antarctic’s Weddell Sea.
Following the event at All Hallows, Dr Shears spoke at a special dinner attended by HRH The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence. As part of his talk, Dr Shears showed a short film about the Stromness Villa narrated by TV presenter and historian Dan Snow, and also a fellow Endurance22 team member. The film shows never-before seen footage of the Stromness Villa as it is now and the degradation that the ravages of the South Georgia climate have caused over the years.