Buzza Tower To Become Camera Obscura

A redundant, listed building on St Mary’s will be turned into a Victorian–style tourist attraction by the middle of next season.

Buzza Tower, which the Council recently put up for lease, is to become a camera obscura, a device that will project a real–time, 360-degree image of the view from the roof onto a concave table inside the darkened interior.

The successful applicant, Andrew Combes, says most camera obscura are in redundant windmill towers, like Buzza, and he says they usually put a smile on people’s faces.

And he thinks the tourist attraction will be very appropriate for Scilly.

Andrew says there are popular camera obscura elsewhere, the most famous being in Edinburgh and Bristol, and he hopes the one in Scilly will become just as popular.

He says entry to the attraction will be affordable, at around the “cost of a pint.”

It’s hard to say what the captured view will be as you can’t get up the tower at the moment because the floor has collapsed.

The stone structure is thought to be sound but new floors and a new roof are needed.

It’s likely that the council will offer the lease at a low rate for 20 years with the caveat that Andrew looks after the Tower’s upkeep and it’s hoped the attraction should be open in time for the 100th anniversary of the tower’s refurbishment.

It will be operated in the holiday season during afternoons and early evenings to catch the off-island trippers when they return.

Andrew has been coming here for 10 years and owns a holiday home in Sallyport.

He’s hoping to relocate here at the end of March.