Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly ( / s ɪ l i / ; Cornish : Syllan gold Enesek Syllan ) are an archipelago off the southwestern tip of Cornwall . One of the islands, St Agnes , is the most southerly point in both England and the United Kingdom , being over 4 miles (6.4 km) further south than the most southerly point of the British mainland at Lizard Point .

The population of all the islands at the 2011 census was 2,203. [2] Scilly forms part of the ceremonial county of Cornwall , and some services are combined with those of Cornwall. However, since 1890, the islands have had a separate local authority . Since the passing of the Isle of Scilly Order 1930, this authority has had the status of a county council and is known to the Council of the Isles of Scilly.

The adjective “Scillonian” is sometimes used for people or things related to the archipelago. The Duchy of Cornwall owns most of the freehold land on the islands. Tourism is a major part of the local economy, along with agriculture-particularly the production of cut flowers .


Ancient history

Scilly has been inhabited since the Stone Age , and until the early 20th century its history had been one of subsistence living. Farming and fishing continues, but the main industry now is tourism.

The islands may correspond to the Cassiterides ( Tin Isles ) visited by the Phoenicians and mentioned by the Greeks . However, the archipelago itself does not contain much tin-it may be that the islands were used as a staging post.

Ennor is one of the most important sites in the world. Rising sea levels flooded the central plain around 400-500 AD, forming the island of islands and islets. [3] The word Ennor is a contraction of the Old Cornish [4] In Noer ( Moer , mutated to Noer ), meaning ‘the land’ [4] or the ‘great island’. [5]

Evidence for the older large island includes:

  • A description written during the Roman times designates Scilly ” Scillonia insula ” in the singular , indicating a single island or an island much bigger than any of the others.
  • Remains of a prehistoric farm-have-been found there Nornour , qui is now a small rocky skerry far too small for farming. [6] [7] There was an Iron Age Britain community here that extended into Roman times. [7] This community was probably formed by immigrants from Brittany, probably the Venetian who were active in the mining trade in Cornwall and Devon .
  • At some low tides the sea becomes shallow enough for people to walk between some of the islands. [8] This is possibly one of the sources for stories of drowned lands, eg Lyonesse.
  • Ancient field walls are visible below the high of some islands (eg Samson ).
  • Some of the Cornish language places also appear to reflect past shorelines, and former land areas. [9]
  • The whole of southern England has been steadily sinking in opposition to post-glacial rebound in Scotland: this has caused the rias (drowned river valleys) on the southern Cornish coast, eg River Fal and the Tamar Estuary . [7]

Offshore, Midway between Land’s End and the Isles of Scilly, is the supposed location of the mythical lost land of Lyonesse , referred to in Arthurian literature, of which Tristan is said to have been a prince. This may be a common memory of the land, but this legend is also common among the Brythonic peoples; the legend of Ys is a parallel and cognate legend in Brittany as Is That of cantre’r gwaelod in Wales .

Scilly has been identified as the place of exile of two heretical 4th century bishops, Instantius and Tiberianus, who were followers of Priscillian . [10]

Norse and Norman period

In 995, Olaf Tryggvason became King Olaf I of Norway . Born c. 960, Olaf had been raided various European cities and fought in several wars. In 986 he (supposedly) puts Christian Seer on the Isles of Scilly. He was probably Priscillian and a part of the tiny Christian community that was exiled here from Spain by Emperor Maximus for Priscillianism and their part in the Priscillin heresy. In Snorri Sturluson’s Royal Sagas of Norway, it is said that this seer told him:

Thou wilt become a king, and do celebrated deeds. Many men wilt thou bring to faith and baptism, and both to thy own and others’ good; and that you may not doubt the answer. When thou comest to thy ships many of thy victims will conspire against thee, and then a battle will follow in which many men will fall, and thou wilt be wounded almost to death, and carried over to thy ship; yet after seven days, you must be well, and you must be baptized.

The legend continues, as the seer foretold, Olaf was attacked by a group of mutineers upon returning to his ships. As soon as he had recovered from his wounds, he let himself be baptized. He then stopped raiding Christian cities, and lived in England and Ireland. In 995, he used an opportunity to return to Norway. When he arrived, the Haakon Jarl was facing a revolt. Olaf Tryggvason persuaded the rebels to accept him as their king, and Jarl Haakon was murdered by his own slave, while he was hiding from the rebels in a pig sty.

With the Norman Conquest , the Isles of Scilly came under more centralized control. About 20 years later, the Domesday survey was conducted. The islands would have formed part of the ” Exeter Domesday” tour, which included Cornwall, Devon , Dorset, Somerset , and Wiltshire .

In the mid-12th century, there was reportedly a Viking attack on the Isles of Scilly, called Syllingar by the Norse, [11] recorded in the Orkneyinga saga – Sweyn Asleifsson “went south, under Ireland, and seized a barge belonging to some monks in Syllingar and plundered it. ” [11] (Chap LXXIII)

… the three chiefs-Swein, Þorbjörn and Eirik-went out on a plundering expedition. They went first to the Suðreyar [Hebrides], and they went to the Syllingar, where they won a great victory in Maríuhöfn on Columba’s-Mass [9 June], and took much booty. Then they returned to the Orkneys. [11]

” Maríuhöfn ” literally means “Mary’s Harbor / Haven”. The name does not make it clear if it is referred to a port on a larger island than today’s St. Mary’s, or a whole island.

It is considered that Cornwall, and possibly the Isles of Scilly, came under the dominion of the English Crown late in the reign of Æthelstan ( r 924-939). In early times one group of islands in the possession of a confederacy of hermits. King Henry I (r 1100-35) gave to the abbey of Tavistock who established a priory on Tresco , which was abolished at the Reformation . [12]

Later Middle Age and early modern period

At the turn of the 14th century, the Abbot and convent of Tavistock Abbey petitioned the king,

stat [ing] which they hold some isles in the sea between Cornwall and Ireland, of which the largest is called Scilly, to which ships between France, Normandy, Spain, Bayonne , Gascony , Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Cornwall: , because they feel that in the event of a war breaking between the kings of England and France, they would not have enough power to do justice to these sailors, they ask that they might exchange these islands for lands in Devon, saving the churches on the islands appropriated to them. [13]

William the Poer, Coroner of Scilly, is recorded in 1305 as being worried about the extent of wrecking in the islands , and sending a petition to the King. Robert and Henry Sage (English), Richard de Tregenestre (Cornish), Ace de Veldre (French), Davy Gogch (possibly Welsh, or Cornish), and Adam le Fuiz Yaldicz (Spanish? ).

The Cornish language , but the language seems to have gone into decline in Cornwall beginning in the Late Middle Ages ; it was still dominant between the islands and Bodmin at the time of the Reformation, but it suffered an accelerated decline thereafter. The islands APPEAR to-have lost the old Celtic language before parts of Penwith on the mainland, in contrast to the history of Irish or Scottish Gaelic .

During the English Civil War , the parliamentarians captured the isles, only to see their garrison mutiny and return the isles to the royalists . By 1651 the Royalist Governor, Sir John Grenville , was using the islands as a base for privateering raids on Commonwealth and Dutch shipping. The Dutch Admiral Maarten Tromp sailed to the islands and on arriving on 30 May 1651 demanded compensation. In the absence of compensation or a satisfactory response, he declared war on England in June. It was during this period that the Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years’ War started between the isles and the Netherlands .

In June 1651, Admiral Robert Blake recaptured the isles for the Parliamentarians . Blake’s initial attack on Grimsby , Tresco and Bryher . Blake on a battery on Tresco to fire on St Mary’s , but one of the guns exploded, killing its crew and injuring Blake. A second battery proved more successful. Subsequently, Grenville and Blake negotiated the Royalists to surrender honorably. The Parliamentary forces then set to fortifying the islands. They built Cromwell’s Castle-a gun platform on the west side of Tresco-using materials scavenged from an earlier gun platform. Although this poorly sited earlier platform dated back to the 1550s, it is now referred to as King Charles’s Castle .

During the night of 22 October 1707, the islands were the scene of one of the worst maritime disasters in British history, when six of the Royal Navy ships headed from Gibraltar to Portsmouth , six were driven onto the cliffs. Four of the ships sank gold capsized, with at least 1,450 dead, including the commanding admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell .

There is evidence for inundation by the tsunami caused by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake . [14]

The islands APPEAR to-have-been frequently raided by Barbary pirates to enslave residents to supporting the Barbary slave trade . [15]

Governors of Scilly

Main article: List of Governors of Scilly

An early governor of Scilly was Thomas Godolphin , whose Francis received a lease on the Isles in 1568. They were styled Governors of Scilly and the Godolphins and their Osborne relative held this position until 1834. In 1834 Augustus John Smith acquired the lease from the Duchy for £ 20,000. [16] Smith created the title of Lord Proprietor of the Isles of Scilly for himself, and many of his actions were unpopular. The lease remained in his family until he was re-elected to the Duchy of Cornwall. Today, the Dorrien-Smith estate still holds the lease for the island of Tresco .

  • 1568-1608 Sir Francis Godolphin (1540-1608)
  • 1608-1613 Sir William Godolphin of Godolphin (1567-1613)
  • 1613-1636 William Godolphin (1611-1636)
  • 1636-1643 Sidney Godolphin (1610-1643)
  • 1643-1646 Sir Francis Godolphin of Godolphin (1605-1647)
  • 1647-1648 Anthony Buller (Parliamentarian)
  • 1649-1651 Sir John Grenville (Royalist)
  • 1651-1660 Joseph Hunkin [17] (Parliamentary control)
  • 1660-1667 Sir Francis Godolphin of Godolphin (1605-1667) (restored to office)
  • 1667-1700 Sidney Godolphin, 1st Earl of Godolphin (1645-1712)
  • 1700-1732 Sidney Goldolphin (1652-1732)
  • 1733-1766 Francis Godolphin, 2nd Earl of Godolphin (1678-1766)
  • 1766-1785 Francis Godolphin, 2nd Baron Godolphin (1706-1785)
  • 1785-1799 Francis Osborne, 5th Duke of Leeds (1751-1799)
  • 1799-1831 George Osborne, 6th Duke of Leeds (1775-1838)
  • 1834-1872 Augustus John Smith (1804-1872)
  • 1872-1918 Thomas Algernon Smith-Dorrien-Smith (1846-1918)
  • 1918-1920 Arthur Algernon Dorrien-Smith (1876-1955)


The Isles of Scilly form an archipelago of five inhabited islands (six if Gugh is’ counted separately from St Agnes) and Numerous other small rocky islets (around 140 in total) lying 45 km (28 mi) off Land’s End . [18]

The islands’ position produces a place of great contrast-the improvement of the sea, greatly influenced by the North Atlantic Current , which allows them to grow more easily. The chief agricultural product is cut flowers, mostly daffodils . Exposure to Atlantic winds the weather from time to time. This is reflected in the landscape, most clearly seen on Tresco where the lush Abbey Gardens on the sheltered southern end of the island contrasted with the low heather and bare rock carved by the wind on the exposed northern end.

Natural England HAS designated the Isles of Scilly as National Character Area 158. [19] As a share of 2002 campaign marketing, the plant conservation charity Plantlife thing sea thrift ( Armeria maritima ) as the ” county flower ” of the islands. [6] [20]

This table provides an overview of the most important islands:

Island Population
( Census 2001 )
Area (km²) Main settlement
St Mary’s 1,666 6.58 Hugh Town
Tresco 180 2.97 New Grimsby
St. Martin’s (with White Island ) 142 2.37 Higher Town
St Agnes (with Gugh ) 73 1.48 Middle Town
Bryher (with Gweal ) 92 1.32 The Town
Samson – (1) 0.38
Annet  – 0.21
St. Helen’s  – 0.20
Tean  – 0.16
Great Ganilly  – 0.13
remaining 45 islets  – 0.57
Isles of Scilly 2,153 16.37 Hugh Town

(1) Inhabited until 1855.

In 1975 the islands were designated as an Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty . The designation covers the entire archipelago, including the uninhabited islands and rocks, and is the smallest such area in the UK. The islands of Annet and Samson have large terneries and are well populated by seals . The Isles of Scilly are the only British haunt of the white-toothed shrew( Crocidura suaveolens ), where it is known locally as a ” teak ” or ” teke “. [21]

The islands are famous among birdwatchers for their ability to attract rare birds from all corners of the globe. The peak time of the year for this year when it is not unusual for several of the rarest birds in Europe to share this archipelago. One reason for the success of these islands is to provide you with the information you need, but they are often favored by you and your country.

Tidal influx

The tidal range at the Isles of Scilly is high for an open sea rental; the maximum for St. Mary’s is 5.99 m (19.7 ft). Additionally, the inter-island waters are mostly shallow, which at “spring tides” allows for dry land between several of the islands. Many of the northern islands can be reached from Tresco, including Bryher, Samson and St Martin’s (requires very low tides). From St. Martin’s White Island, Little Ganilly and Great Arthur are reachable. Although the sound between St. Mary’s and Tresco, The RoadIt is quite shallow, it never becomes totally dry – but according to some sources it should be possible to wade at extreme low tides. Around St Mary’s several minor islands become accessible, including Taylor’s Island on the west coast and Tolls Island on the east coast. From Saint Agnes, Gugh becomes accessible at each low tide, via a tombolo .


St. Mary’s Heliport (1981-2010) [22]
Climate chart ( explanation )
Average max. and min. temperatures in ° C
Precipitation totals in mm
[ show ]Imperial conversion

The Isles of Scilly has a temperate Oceanic climate ( Köppen climate classification Cfb), and has one of the mildest climates in the United Kingdom. The average annual temperature is 11.8 ° C (53.2 ° F) in comparison with London, where it is 11.6 ° C (52.9 ° F). Winters are among the warmest in the country due to the effects of the ocean, and despite being the same latitude in Winnipeg , Canada, snow and frost are extremely rare. Summers are not warm on the mainland. The Scilly Isles is one of the sunniest areas in the southwest with on average 7 hours per day in May. The lowest temperature was recorded at -7.2 ° C (19.0 ° F) and the highest was 27.8 ° C (82.0 ° F). [23]The maximum snowfall was 23 cm (9 in) on 12 January 1987. [24] May and November.

[ hide ]Climate data for St. Mary’s Heliport, 1981-2010 averages
month Jan Feb Mar Apr may Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec year
Record high ° C (° F) 15.1
Average high ° C (° F) 9.7
Daily mean ° C (° F) 8.0
Average low ° C (° F) 6.2
Record low ° C (° F) -7.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 94.8
( 2.429 )
Average precipitation days 14.5 13.0 11.5 10.4 8.5 6.9 8.9 9.7 10.2 14.4 14.9 15.2 138.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 58.8 79.8 124.4 192.4 218.5 206.3 204.1 203.4 160.1 113.0 74.6 54.4 1689.8
Source: Met Office [25]


All the islands of Scilly are all composed of granite rock of early Permian age, an exposed part of the Cornubian batholith . The Irish Sea Glacier is ending in the north of the Isles of Scilly during the last Ice Age . [26] [27]


Main article: Fauna of the Isles of Scilly


National government

Politically, the islands are part of England, one of the four countries of the United Kingdom . They are represented in the UK Parliament as part of the St Ives constituency . As part of the United Kingdom, the islands are part of the European Union and are represented in the European Parliament as part of the multi-member South West England constituency .

Local government

See also: Council of the Isles of Scilly

Historically, the Isles of Scilly administered Were you one of the Hundreds of Cornwall , Cornwall ALTHOUGH the quarter sessions HAD limited jurisdiction there. For the sake of justice , shrievalty purposes, and lieutenancy purposes, the Isles of Scilly are “deemed to be part of the county of Cornwall”. [28] The archipelago is part of the Duchy of Cornwall [29] – the duchy owns the freehold of the country and the country in the country, as it does in Cornwall proper.

The Local Government Act 1888 allowed the Local Government Board to establish in the Isles of Scilly “councils and other local authorities separate from those of the county of Cornwall” … “for the application of the act of local touching local government.” Accordingly, in 1890 the Isles of Scilly Rural District Council (the DRC) was formed as a sui generis unitary authority , outside the administrative county of Cornwall. Cornwall County Council provided some services to the Isles, for which the DRC made financial contributions. The Isles of Scilly Order 1930 [30]granted the Council the “powers, duties and liabilities” of a county council. Section 265 of the Local Government Act 1972 , but renamed the Council of the Isles of Scilly . [31] [32]

This article is also intended to be of greater importance for the purposes of the application of local laws and the law of the environment. [33]

The Council of the Isles of Scilly is a separate authority to the Cornwall Council unit of authority, and as such is not part of the administrative county of Cornwall. However, the islands are still considered to be part of the ceremonial county of Cornwall.

With a total population of just over 2,000, the council of the English speaking councils , and by the English Unitarian Council. As of 2015 , 130 people are employed full-time by the council [34] to provide local services (including water supply and air traffic control ). These numbers are significant, in that they are almost directly related to the council, as an employee or a councilor. [35]

The council consists of 21 elected councillors – 13 of whom are returned by the ward of St Mary’s, and two of each of the “off-island” wards (St. Martin’s, St. Agnes, Bryher, and Tresco). The latest elections took place on May 2, 2013; All 20 members were independents (one seat vacant). [36]

The Council is headquartered at Town Hall, by The Parade Park in Hugh Town , and also performs the functions of the AONB Partnership [37] and the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority . [38]

Some aspects of local government are shared with Cornwall, including health , and the Council of the Isles of Scilly together with Cornwall Council form a Local Enterprise Partnership . In July 2015 devolution deal Was annoncé by the government under qui Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly are to create a map to bring together health and social care services under local control. The Local Enterprise Partnership is also bolstered. [39]


Two flags are used to represent Scilly:

  • The Scillonian Cross, selected by the readers of Scilly News in a 2002 vote and then registered with the Flag Institute as the flag of the islands. [40] [41] [42]
  • The flag of the Council of the Isles of Scilly, which incorporates the council’s logo and represents the council. [40]

An adapted version of the old Board of Ordnance flag has also been used, after it was left behind when munitions were removed from the isles. The “Cornish Ensign” (the Cornish cross with the Union Jack in the township) has also been used. [40] [43]

Emergency services

The Isles of Scilly is part of the Devon and Cornwall Police force area. There is a police station in Hugh Town .

The Cornwall Air Ambulance Helicopter provides cover to the islands. [44]

The islands have their own independent fire brigade – the Isles of Scilly Fire and Rescue Service – which is staffed entirely by retained firefighters on the islands.


Main article: List of schools on the Isles of Scilly

Education is available in the United States. There are five schools in St. Agnes, St. Mary’s, St. Martin’s and Tresco, and secondary schooling in St. Mary’s. Secondary students from outside St Mary’s live at a school boarding house (Mundesley House) during the week. In 2004, 92.9% of pupils (26 out of 28) achieved GCSEs at grade C and above, compared to the English average of 53.7%. [45] Sixteen- to eighteen-year-olds are entitled to a free sixth formplace at a state school or sixth form college on the mainland, and are provided with free flights and a grant towards accommodation. Post eighteen, suitably qualified students is waiting for universities and colleges on the mainland.


Historical context

Since the mid-18th century the Scillonian economy has relied on the trade and has maintained its population. Over the years the kind of trade this HAS varied due to ‘wider economic and political factors That-have seen the rise and fall of industries Such as kelp harvesting, control , smuggling, fishing, shipbuilding and, latterly, flower farming . In a 1987 study of the Scillonian economy, Neate found that many farms on the islands were struggling to remain profitable due to increasing costs and strong competition from overseas producers, with resulting diversification into tourism. Recent statistics suggest that agriculture on the islands now represents less than 2% of all employment. [46][47] [48]


Today, tourism is estimated to account for 85% of the islands’ income. The islands have been successful in their environment, favored culture, efficient culture, efficient co-ordination of tourism and good transport links by sea and air to the mainland, uncommon in scale to similar-sized island communities . [49] [50] The majority of visitors stay on St. Mary’s , which has a concentration of accommodation and other amenities. Of the other inhabited islands, Tresco is a timeshare resort, and is the most obviously tourist-oriented. Bryher and St Martin’sare more unspoilt, St Agnes is the least-developed of the inhabited islands.

The islands’ economy is highly dependent on tourism, even by the standards of other island communities. “The concentration [on] a small number of sectors is typical of most similarly sized UK island communities. However, it is the degree of concentration, which is distinctive along with the overall importance of tourism within the economy as a whole and the very limited manufacturing base that stands out. ” [47]

Tourism is also a highly competitive industry, with its reliance on outdoor recreation, and the lower number of tourists in winter in a significant constriction of the islands’ commercial activities. However, the tourist season benefits from an extended period of business when many birdwatchers (“birders”) arrive.


Because of its position, Scilly is the first landing for many migrant birds, including extreme rarities from North America and Siberia . Scilly is situated in the Atlantic Ocean, so many American vagrant birds will make first European landfall in the archipelago.

Scilly is responsible for many firsts for Britain, and is particularly good at producing vagrant American passerines . If an extremely rare bird turns up, the island will see a significant increase in numbers of birders. This type of birding, chasing after rare birds, is called ” twitching “.

The islands are home to ornithologist Will Wagstaff .


The predominance of tourism is one of the most important areas of employment in … [and] this is much more than other remote and rural areas in the United Kingdom. “Tourism accounts for approximately 63% of all employment. [47]

Businesses dependent on tourism, with the exception of a few, tend to be small enterprises typically employing fewer than four people; many of these are family run, provide an entrepreneurial culture among the local population. [47] However, much of the work generated by this, with the exception of management, is poor skilled and poorly paid, especially for those involved in cleaning, catering and retail. [51]

Because of the seasonality of tourism, many jobs on the islands are seasonal and part-time, so can not be guaranteed throughout the year. Some islanders take up other temporary jobs ‘out of season’ to compensate for this. Due to a lack of local casual labor, many of the members of the labor market, who come to the islands for the summer to have a ‘ working holiday ‘.


The islands were not subject to income tax until 1954, and there was no motor vehicle excise duty levied until 1971. [52]


St Mary’s is the only island with a significant road network and the only island with public highways; in 2005 there were 619 registered vehicles on the island. The island also has taxis and a tour bus . Vehicles on the islands are free from annual MOT tests . [53] [54] [55] Roads and streets in Scilly have very few signs or markings, and road numbers (of the three A roads on St Mary’s) are not marked at all.

Air access to the islands is via St Mary’s Airport . Fixed-wing aircraft services, operated by Isles of Scilly Skybus , operate from Land’s End , Newquay and Exeter . [56] The scheduled helicopter service, which previously reported Penzance Heliport with St Mary’s Airport and Tresco Heliport , ceased at the end of October 2012; Tresco Heliport is now closed to scheduled services.

By sea, the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company provides a passenger and cargo service from Penzance to St Mary’s, which is currently operated by the Scillonian III passenger ferry, supported until summer 2017 by the Gry Maritha cargo vessel and now by the Mali Rose . The other islands are linked to St. Mary’s by a network of inter-island launches . [57] St Mary’s Harbor is the main harbor of the Isles of Scilly, and is located in Hugh Town.


The freehold land of the islands is the property of the Duchy of Cornwall (except for Hugh Town on St. Mary’s, which was sold to the inhabitants in 1949). The duchy also holds 3,921 acres (16 km 2 ) as duchy property, part of the duchy’s landholding. [58] All the uninhabited islands, islets and rocks and much of the islands are managed by the Isles of Wildlife Scilly Wildlife Trust, which leases these lands from the Duchy for the one daffodil per year. [59]The trust currently has four full-time employees and 12 trustees, who are all residents of the Isles. The full trust board is responsible for the management of a management team. Its small income and the small number of staff to the trust adopting a policy of recruiting volunteers to help it carry out its extensive work program. While volunteers are studying, they are most likely to be considered for such fields, such as conservation and land management.

Limited housing availability is a contentious yet critical issue for the Isles of Scilly, especially as it affects the feasibility of residency on the islands. Few properties are privately owned, with many units by the Duchy of Cornwall , the council and a few by housing associations . The management of the later affects the possibility of residency on the islands. [60] The Duchy Tenants Association was formed in 1996 by a number of tenants of the Duchy of Cornwall.

Housing demand outstrips supply; A problematic compounded by restrictions on the further development of the environment. These populations, it is believed, are significantly affected by populations, it has also affected drastically increased. [61] [62]

High housing costs pose significant local, local, and local incomes (in Cornwall) are only 70% of the national average, while still above the national average. This in turn affects the retention of ‘key workers’ and the younger generation, which affects the viability of schools and other essential services. [49] [62]

The limited access to housing provokes strong local politics. It is often considered that tourism is to blame for this. Many buildings are used for local residents. Second homes are also thought to account for a large proportion of the housing stock, leaving many buildings empty for much of the year. [63]



Main articles: Cornish people and English people

According to the 2001 UK census, 97% of the population of the British is white , [1] with nearly 93% of the inhabitants of the country, in mainland Cornwall or elsewhere in England. [64] Since EU enlargement in 2004, number of eastern Europeans -have Moved to the island, joining the Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans Who traditionally made up MOST of the islands’ overseas workers. By 2005, their numbers were approximately 100 out of a total population of just over 2,000. [65] This has been called ‘the land that crime forgot’. [66]


One continuing legacy of the isles racing with the crews of six (or in one case, seven) race between the main islands. Gig racing has-beens Said to drift from the race to collect salvage from shipwrecks on the rocks around Scilly, the race Was Actually goal to deliver a pilot onto incoming vessels, to guide ’em through the hazardous reefs and shallows. (The boats are correctly termed “pilot gigs”). The World Pilot Gig Championshipsare held annually on the May Day bank holiday weekend. The event is one of the few crews from Cornwall, but in the intervening years the number of gigs attending has increased, with crews coming from all over the South-West and further afield. [67]

The Isles of Scilly feature what is reportedly the smallest football league in the world, the Isles of Scilly Football League . [68] The league’s two clubs, Woolpack Wanderers and Garrison Gunners, play for other leagues and compete for the league title. The league was a launching pad for the Adidas “Dream Big” Campaign [69] in which a number of famous professional footballers (including David Beckham ) arrives on the island to coach the local children’s side. The two share a ground, Garrison Field, but not for professional clubs.

In December 2006, Sport England published a survey which revealed that residents of the Isles of Scilly were most active in England in sports and other fitness activities. 32% of the population at least three times at week for 30 minutes or more. [70]

There is a golf club with a nine-hole course (each with two tees) located on the island of St. Mary’s, near Porthloo and Telegraph . The club was founded in 1904 and is open to visitors. [71]


The islands are served by a radio and television transmitter at Telegraph, on St Mary’s, which is a relay transmitter at Redruth (Cornwall) and broadcasts BBC Radio 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 and BBC Radio Cornwall and the range of Freeviewtelevision and BBC radio channels known as ‘Freeview Light’. [72] Radio Scilly , a community radio station, was launched in September 2007.

There is no local newspaper; Scilly Now & Then is a free community magazine Produced eight times a year and is available to Subscribers mainland while The Scillonian is published twice yearly and reports matters of local interest. There is an active news forum on the news and information websites [73] and [74]

Internet access is available from the outside world by means of BT broadband fiber broadband. The islands connected via fiber are St. Mary’s, Tresco and Bryher. St. Martins, St. Agnes and Gug are connected via a new fiber microwave link from St. Mary’s, including Gugh.

Mobile phone coverage is available across the archipelago, with 2G, 3G and 4G services available across all islands. Vodafone and O2 provide strong 4G coverage across all the islands, while EE is beyond Gugh towards St. Agnes. Three provide 3G coverage to all of the islands, and 4G is due shortly.

The Isles of Scilly was featured on the Seven West Wonders program as one of the wonders of South West England. Since 2007 the islands have featured in the BBC series An Island Parish , following various real-life stories and featuring in particular the Chaplain to the Isles of Scilly . A 12-part series was filmed in 2007 and first broadcast on BBC2 in January 2008. [75] After Reverend David Easton left the islands in 2009, the series continued under the same name but focused elsewhere .. [76]


The heroine of Walter Besant’s novel Armorel of Lyonesse came from Samson, and about the action of the novel takes place in the Isles of Scilly.

The events of Nevil Shute’s novel Marazan occur, in part, around these islands.

Five children’s books written by Michael Morpurgo , Why the Whales Came , The Sleeping Sword , The Wreck of the Zanzibar , Arthur, High King of Britain, and The Moon is set around the Isles of Scilly.

The Riddle of Samson , a novel by Andrew Garve (a pen name of Paul Winterton ) is set Mainly around the Isles of Scilly.

In Jacob’s Room , by Virginia Woolf, the hero and a friend of his sail around the islands.

The Cortes Trilogy by John Paul Davis takes place in the Isles of Scilly.

Stone In the Blood [77] by Colin Jordan & David England is set on the islands in 1974 and the Iron Age, when most of Scilly was still one joined landmass.


Scilly is mentioned in the traditional British naval song ” Spanish Ladies “.

Notable people

  • Saint Lide was a bishop [78] who lived on the island of St. Helen’s in the Isles of Scilly.
  • John Godolphin (1617 in Scilly – 1678) [79] was an English jurist and writer, an admiralty judge under the Commonwealth.
  • Augustus John Smith (1804 in London – 1872 in Plymouth) [80] was Lord Proprietor of the Isles of Scilly for over thirty years. In 1834 he acquired the lease on the Isles of Scilly from the Duchy of Cornwall for £ 20,000. He was Liberal MP for Truro from 1857 to 1865.
  • Sir Frederick Hervey-Bathurst, 3rd Baronet (1807 in Scilly – 1881 in Wiltshire) was a famous English cricketer [81]
  • John Edmund Sharrock Moore ARCS (1870 in Rossendale – 1947 in Penzance) was an English biologist, best known for leading two expeditions to Tanganyika. During the 1920s he moved to Tresco.
  • David Hunt (1934 in Devonport – 1985 in India) was an English ornithologist and horticulturalist in Tresco and at the Island where he became a gardener in 1964. He was killed by a tiger in India
  • Stella Turk , MBE (1925 Scilly – 2017 in Cambourne) was a British zoologist, naturalist, and conservationist. It is known that marine mammal biology and preservation, particularly as it applies to marine molluscs and mammals.
  • Sam Llewellyn (born 1948 in Tresco) [82] is a British author of literature for children and adults.
  • Stephen Richard Menheniott (1957 – 1976) was an 18-year-old English man with learning difficulties who was murdered by his father on the Isles of Scilly in 1976
  • Malcolm Bell (born 1969 in Hugh Town) is a trainer English cricketer. Bell was a right-handed batsman who bowled right-arm medium pace.

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