HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Historic England research records Result
Historic England research recordsPrintable version | About Historic England research records

Historic England Research Records

Star Castle

Hob Uid: 1482605
Location :
Isles of Scilly
St. Mary's
Grid Ref : SV8991801064
Summary : Eight-pointed star fort surrounded by a dry moat, was built in 1593-4. The outer walls, about 5.5m high, have an entrance from a short flight of steps to a small bridge, giving access to a projecting gate-tower. The inner building, of two stories plus basement and attics, fomerly used as a military HQ, prison and at present an hotel, is "the most important building architecturally and historically in the Isles of Scilly." The main fort in a defensive system built under Francis Godolphin to counter the threat posed by the Spanish after the 1588 Armada. With its outer bastions and walls, Star Castle comprises an important and complete example of an Elizabethan fort built to a Renaissance plan. Notable prisoners included Dr.Bastwick (1637) and Sir John Ireton (1662). Star Castle was converted into an hotel in 1933 but served as military HQ again during the Second World War.
More information : A small eight-pointed, star-shaped fort set within similarly shaped outer defences surrounded by a deep, dry ditch, built 1593-4. In form it is an updated version of a Henrician fort with pointed angles instead of rounded bastions. The central building, which is 2 storied with attic and basement, contained the domestic accommodation. Around this is a narrow passage and a series of outbuildings which serve as a base for the rampart; joints in the parapet indicate the locations of 8 gun positions, which are supplemented by musketry loops. The Castle is entered from the N through a square-headed, moulded door with the date 1593 on its lintel; this door gives access to a passage protected by a gun position and a portcullis added about 1600. before the Castle was finished it was realised that it was inadequate alone to defend St Mary's and the first length of the Garrison Walls were added. The ditch around the Castle is about 1.5m deep but no counterscarp can be seen. The Castle was the HQ for the Royalist garrison of the Isles during the Civil Wars of the 17th century and was subsequently HQ for The Garrison throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1933 it became a hotel but it was requisitioned temporarily as military HQ for the Islands 1940-44. (1-2)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : MCBB and AMB 2008-2010
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Defending Scilly
Source details :
Page(s) : 14-16
Figs. : 15-18
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Built 1593
Monument End Date : 1594
Monument Start Date : 1593
Monument Type : Star Fort
Evidence : Extant Building, Structure
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : C17
Monument End Date : 1699
Monument Start Date : 1600
Monument Type : Prison
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Converted 1933
Monument End Date : 1933
Monument Start Date : 1933
Monument Type : Hotel
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 15434
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 111235
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 62524
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 62525
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SV 81 SE 530
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 304019
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, STAR CASTLE
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1948-01-01
End Date : 1948-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST MARY'S GARRISON, ISLES OF SCILLY PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2005-05-04
End Date : 2006-07-24
Associated Activities : Primary, DEFENDING SCILLY PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2008-09-01
End Date : 2010-04-01