The Garrison, St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly Archaeological Evaluation Report Project 4792

Author(s): Dave Fellows

St Mary’s Garrison is located on the outer western part of St Mary’s Island in the Isles of Scilly. A draft English Heritage Conservation Plan on the Garrison walls was written in 2005, and this identified the surviving features of the 17th-century breastwork and gun platforms on the headland, and compared and contrasted the erosion of the cliff edge in 2005 with the 19th-century OS plans. Significant parts of the remains of this monument were shown to be under imminent threat from coastal erosion, and an urgent priority was the need to establish the origin, nature and date of these threatened defensive earthworks. To provide this information an archaeological excavation of part of the surviving elements of the breastwork and gun platforms at St Mary’s Garrison was proposed, and this was undertaken between 9th and 23rd May 2006. Four trenches were excavated, three across the defensive bank and ditch, the other across a gun platform position. The defensive earthworks appeared to be of Civil War origin, with little refashioning or rebuilding since built, and they thus represent a nationally important survival of 17th-century defensive earthworks. Strenuous efforts should be made to preserve and protect the surviving elements of this Scheduled Ancient Monument from destruction by coastal erosion.

Report Number:
69/2007
Series:
Research Department Reports
Pages:
38
Keywords:
Excavation Post Medieval Fortification

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