The strategic importance of the channel between Tresco and Bryher in theIsles of Scilly in the defence of the British Isles has been recognised across the centuries. In 1550, during the reign of Edward VI a small artillery fortress was built on the high ground of Tresco. Its purpose was to defend the harbour of New Grimsby. At the beginning of the Civil War it was garrisoned by Royalist troops. It later became known as King Charles’s Castle.
However, the site of the fortress was considered unsuitable and when the Parliamentarians gained power a new artillery tower was built on the rocky shore in 1651. Its purpose was to defend against all threats – notably, at that time, from the Dutch.
(See also: https://lagill6.wordpress.com/2018/11/01/room-with-a-view/)
During our recent holiday on Tresco, one of the Isles of Scilly, we were fortunate to have accommodation that looked out across the channel separating Tresco from Bryher. The crossing of the channel at the times of the Spring tides was shown in an earlier post. (See https://lagill6.wordpress.com/2018/10/23/spring-tide-adventurers/)
The first photo shows the view from the lounge The second and third were taken from the patio and show the views to the left and right. In the second photo it is just possible to see the top of the steps leading from the patio to the beach/
‘Staithe’ is an Old English word for wharf – a quay used for the loading and unloading of cargo. Initially Brancaster was a busy fishing harbour specialising in shellfish, but in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries it became noted particularly for in the shipping of coal, grain and malt (it was reputed to have the largest malthouse in Europe). With the demise of sailing vessels and the development of other forms of transport, Brancaster fell into decline. There is now only a small fishing fraternity and the harbour is devoted primarily to a large number of pleasure craft