Today I walked up to the other other side of St Mary’s. You’ll never guess what I found! OK if you’ve been paying attention you can probably guess.
But first, another entrance grave.
From the English Heritage panel:
Innisidgen Upper Burial Chamber
There are as many as 80 prehistoric chambered tombs known on the Isles of Scilly, but this is one of the best preserved. They are generally of the form known as ‘entrance graves’, and date from the Neolithic or the early Bronze Age. The name ‘entrance grave’ may be misleading, since this type of prehistoric monument is unlikely to have been constructed solely for burial purposes. Such ‘graves’ could also have functioned as shrines or as a focus of ceremonies. . . . Although nothing has been found in this chamber, the walls revealed traces of rough clay mortar, suggesting that it was once plastered and possibly even decorated.
This is Tresco, the second largest island of Scilly. It’s about 3.5 km long so you can easily walk from the north to the south.
In the north you’ll find King Charles’ Castle, which is neither a castle nor built by, for or in the time of King Charles. It’s a 16th century fort, but it was occupied by Royalist Forces in the Civil War (a century later).
And this is Cromwell’s Castle (also not a castle), built by Parlimentarian forces after they took the island from the Royalists during the Civil War.
On a clear day you can certainly see the Isles of Scilly from here. Also on a rainy day, if slightly less then. The island to the rear is Bryher.
And that’s Tresco stretching out out before us. The southern tip looks a long way away.
Castle to Castle.
The main settled areas are in the middle of the island. To the south are the Abbey Gardens, the main attraction on the island.
In 1834, Augustus Smith left Hertfordshire and took up residence on the Isles of Scilly as Lord Proprietor and leaseholder of all the islands, choosing Tresco as his home… He selected a site adjacent to St Nicholas Priory – which had fallen into disrepair in the sixteenth century – to build his home. On a rocky outcrop above these ruins, Augustus Smith built his house, which he named Tresco Abbey. In addition to constructing the house, he started almost immediately creating a garden based around the priory ruins. In order to protect his early plantings from the winter gales, he built a series of walls around the garden. The garden then expanded across the south-facing hillside on a series of terraces carved from the granite subsoil. Tresco Island
The unique Valhalla collection is situated within Tresco Abbey Garden and contains some 30 figureheads, as well as name boards and other decorative ships’ carvings from the days of sail. Over the years, many ships and lives have been lost on the rocky coasts of the Scillies and it is from shipwrecks – mostly of merchant vessels – that the collection was built up, starting in about 1840, by Augustus Smith of Tresco Abbey, ‘Lord Proprietor’ of the Islands. . . . [M]ost of the figureheads date from the middle and end of the 19th century and come from merchant sailing vessels or early steamships that were wrecked on the Isles of Scilly. Tresco Island