The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Mount Holles

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Sullia; Mout Hughes Battery

In the civil parish of St Marys.
In the historic county of Isles of Scilly.
Modern Authority of Isles of Scilly.
1974 county of Isles of Scilly.
Medieval County of Isles of Scilly.

OS Map Grid Reference: SV90111061
Latitude 49.91478° Longitude -6.31822°

Mount Holles has been described as a probable Timber Castle, and also as a certain Artillery Fort.

There are no visible remains.


The site of possibly the earliest castle on St Mary's is suggested by Borlase, who describes a round hillock called 'Mount Holles' "which seems to have had a keep on top of it". His drawing shows the site as corresponding with the mound-like feature below the Garrison walls, shown on OS 6" 1963. O'Neil agrees that the rocky knoll astride the road from Hugh Town to the Garrison could be a likely site for the first castle in Scilly. A declaration of Ordnance in 1554 includes one culverin and one demi-culverin on the Hugh. These heavy pieces were perhaps mounted in the work known as 'Mount Holles' or 'The Folly'. (This is not one work as implied by Saunders, but two: see SV 81 SE 42) "Upon Mount Holles are the remains of an old fort. Guns were formerly on it, and a watch tower on the south side, the walls of which were stripped to build the lines." (Troutbeck). Borlase's drawing cannot be reconciled with the conventional representation by Cosmo in 1669, and on Lilly's plan of 1715 the fortification is shown as an angular walled battery, about 20.0m long and 12.0m wide overall (Saunders and Miles). Mount Holles is now cut across by a road and though it generally appears as a rise the mound is now a terraced garden encompassed by houses. No evidence of any fortification survives (Field Investigators Comments–F1 NVQ 01-JUN-78) A reference in the October 1661 'survey of the contents of His Majesties Castles and Garrisons' makes reference to 'Mout Hughes Battery'. It details an estimate to lay a new timber floor and repair the slate roof in the guardhouse; also to lay a new timber floor in the Match Room (PRO WO55/1697). (PastScape)

Projection of a hillside, may have carried a motte. (King 1983)

A castle of Scilly (Sullia) is mentioned in 1194 (Rot. Cur. Reg.), may have been here or elsewhere (Gatehouse favours Ennor).
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER            
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:22:45

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact