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Star Castle and Garrison Walls

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
The Garrison, The Hugh; Stella Mariae

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: SV899106
Latitude 49.91535° Longitude -6.32102°

Star Castle and Garrison Walls has been described as a certain Artillery Fort.

There are major building remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Artillery fort of 1593, intact and basically unaltered although is now a hotel. Earliest part of complex of defenses dating up to WWII. Garrison Walls is defensive circuit around headland called The Hugh, the earliest part, begun 1593, is contemporary with Star Castle but just cut the headland off from Hugh Town; well preserved although altered in C18. The effect of Garrison Walls is to make the whole headland a fortification of which the artillery forts of Star Castle and The Folly are parts.

This heavily defended headland, originally known as The Hugh, provides visible evidence of the main episodes in Scilly's military history from the late 16th to the mid 20th century. The earliest fortification is Star Castle, built in 1593. Around 1600 a stretch of curtain wall was constructed across the neck of The Hugh. The curtain survives from Well Battery to Lower Benham Battery as an uncoursed rubble wall, but all the batteries visible along its line are later additions or rebuilds, as is the main gateway. There were originally three sally ports; one is still in use, another has been blocked and a third now forms a private access to a garden. During the Civil War (1642-46) Royalists erected breastwork around The Hugh. Much was replaced by the 18th century fortifications but parts are still visible on the cliff edge on the headlands west and north west sides as low turf-covered banks. Between 1715-46, The Hugh attained its formidably defended character and became known as 'The Garrison'. The curtain wall was rebuilt and extended around most of the headland; in 1715-42 to an un-named battery and in 1742-6 from here to Steval Point. This last stretch is constructed of massive ashlar blocks. A stub of wall attached to its northern end represents the remains of a single-storey building used as a guardroom and prison. The sea approaches were covered by batteries in large bastions, principally at Morning Point, Woolpack Point and south of Steval Point. Between these, redans increased flanking fire. Charles' Battery and Newman's Platform covered the north side. The present Garrison Gate is an 18th century modification of the late Elizabethan structure. Also rebuilt at this time was the magazine known as Rocket House. In the 1890s, Scilly was classed as a defended port and an advanced signal station. Three batteries were built to withstand attacks from enemy cruisers and torpedo boats. During both World Wars, The Garrison again became a defended site. (PastScape)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:22:45

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