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Harry's Walls

Historic Site

St Mary's
Isles of Scilly
TR21 0NF

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An unfinished fort in the care of English Heritage. Though named Harry's Walls, it was begun in 1551, during the reign of Edward VI. An early plan shows it was intended to be square with acutely angled bastions at each corner - an Italian design reflecting the increasing use of cannon. Internal buildings are depicted against the curtain wall on all four sides and a brewhouse and mill was to be errected next to a fresh water pool below the hill. Bad siting appears to have been the reason for completion on only the south-west side, visible as only two bastions connected by a curtain wall heavily robbed of its dressed facing stones. A well-built drain passing through this wall shows where ground level would been. A foundation trench indicates the proposed line of the north-western curtain walls. Outside stands a tall slender stone first recorded by Borlase in 1756 as sitting on a mound. Secured in position in recent years, this probably a Bronze Age menhir in its original position, with traces of surrounding cairn.

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