Cromwell's Castle, Tresco, Isles of Scilly

Cromwell's Castle is an artillery tower that was built in 1651-1652. It is situated on a small, low, rocky shelf projecting from the western coast of Castle Down on Tresco. The tower replaced an earlier blockhouse built in 1548-1554. The artillery tower was built after Parliamentarian forces recaptured Tresco during the Civil War. They sought to defend it from the potential threat of the Dutch fleet, which had arrived off the Scillies in March 1651. It was strategically positioned to command the channel between Bryher and Tresco. In around 1740, partly in response to threats from Spain, the defences were altered and refurbished by Abraham Tovey, Master Gunner. In 1752, the monument was recorded by the antiquarian William Borlase who noted that the 'principal battery' was armed with nine-pounder guns and the tower platform had small four-pounder cannon. He also recorded that the structure had no garrison and that the timber was 'already much decayed'. This site is now in the care of English Heritage (2010). Find out more.


Isles of Scilly Tresco


Stuart (1603 - 1713)


castle tower gun fort attack defence war sea coast stuart (1603 - 1713) english heritage