Dear Esther Wiki
Approaching the Bothy

Approaching the Bothy.

The Bothy is one of several long-abandoned buildings found on the Island.


According to the Narrator, the bothy was constructed in the early 1700s by a goatherd named Jacobson. He came to the island every summer to work on the bothy, hoping that becoming a man of property would secure him a wife and children. Unfortunately, though he completed the bothy, Jacobson died two years later from an unknown illness contracted from one of his goats.

Sometime afterwards, Donnelly comes to chart the Island, and uses the bothy as temporary lodgings during his stay with the shepherds. During his stay, Donnelly suffered from syphilis and a crippling addiction to laudanum, as well as a quiet distain for the shepherds who dwelled there. After he left, the island was completely abandoned sometime later, and the bothy was left to rot.

When the Narrator arrives on the island, he uses the bothy as a shelter, eating, sleeping, and keeping his belongings there until eventually moving into one of the caves as the Hermit did, before finally committing suicide.


The Bothy is a small building built mostly of stone and wood, with two rooms, the larger of which contains an old wood-burning stove, and the smaller room a fireplace. After being abandoned for nearly two centuries, the bothy has fallen into disrepair: Much of the stonework is covered in moss, the woodwork is rotting, both the back and front doors have fallen off their hinges, and the windows are all broken. The crumbling remains of a doorway stick out from the side of the bothy, possibly a place to keep animals.

The bothy was originally completely empty, but the Narrator furnished it with a picnic table, folding chairs, and a campbed, as wells several crates serving as impromptu shelving. Empty paint cans and garbage are strewn across the floor, and wooden planks lean against the wall, possibly previously used to board up the bothy before being removed by the narrator and likely used as firewood, due to the lack of trees on the Island.


A bothy is a kind of simple shelter, usually owned by someone on the estate it's located, but is left unlocked and free to use for any travellers. They are particularly common in Scotland, where the Island is found.