The (Old) Blockhouse, Tresco, Isles of Scilly
The Old Blockhouse, as it is known, was built between 1548-52. It was a raised gun platform with adjoining living quarters. In 1652, it was referred to as 'Dover Fort' in a Parliamentary Survey of Scilly. The blockhouse is on a low headland at the south east edge of Old Grimsby Harbour, on the east coast of Tresco. It commands a field of fire to the north west, across the harbour and to the north east between Tresco and Tean. It is part of a series of fortifications built on Scilly between 1548-54 in response to threats from the French. In 1651, during the Civil War, the blockhouse was used by Royalists to mount heavy gunfire on Parliamentary forces attacking the adjacent stretch of Tresco's north eastern coastline. It is recorded as still in use in 1750. This site is now in the care of English Heritage (2010). Find out more.