Scilly’s Oldest Castle Revealed For First Time In Living Memory

ennor castle 1Scilly’s only medieval castle is now easier to view. And Ennor Castle in Old Town should be better protected in the future, following the first phase of overgrowth clearance by archaeologists and Western Maintenance.

Natural England, English Heritage and the site’s owners have worked together on the project.

100 year-old photos in the Gibson archive reveal a clear site. But in the last century the scheduled monument has become partially obscured by pittosporum, ivy and hottentot fig.

Cornwall’s Senior Archaeologist, Charlie Johns, says the site of the shell keep on the rocky outcrop is worth preserving.

He says it was probably built in the late 12th or early 13th century and was the administrative centre for St Mary’s and St Agnes.

Little is known about the castle and uncovering recorded information, especially a plan or picture, would represent a ‘Holy Grail’ says Charlie.

There’s a chart from 1584, showing a tower on a hill but no drawings of the castle made from the period of its occupation have been found.

From Radio Scilly

Hear more about the work to uncover Ennor Castle.

Charlie says that’s because the old castle was abandoned in the late 16th Century when the Star Castle was built and Hugh Town developed.

Anthea Roberts lives next door to the site and has been fascinated by the history being uncovered on her doorstep.

Anthea says it’s clear to see why the site was chosen, with good views over the nearby bays.

And she says finding the remaining medieval wall has been very exciting because nobody knew it was there.

It now provides a strong link to the castle that everyone assumed had disappeared, she says.

The site is privately owned and as is best viewed from a distance.

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