The Isles of Scilly are an archipelago 25 miles (40 kilometres) off the southwestern tip of Cornwall, England. The principal islands are St Mary’s, Tresco, St Martin’s, St Agnes and Bryher. The skerry of Pednathise Head is the most southerly point in the United Kingdom, being 6 5⁄8 miles (10.7 kilometres) further south than the most southerly point of mainland Great Britain at Lizard Point.
The population of all the islands at the 2011 census was 2,203. Scilly forms part of the ceremonial county of Cornwall, and some services are combined with those of Cornwall. However, since 1890, the islands have had a separate local authority. Since the passing of the Isles of Scilly Order 1930, this authority has had the status of a county council and today is known as the Council of the Isles of Scilly.
The adjective “Scillonian” is sometimes used for people or things related to the archipelago. The Duchy of Cornwall owns most of the freehold land on the islands. Tourism is a major part of the local economy, along with agriculture—particularly the production of cut flowers.
The principal islands
St Mary’s (Cornish: Ennor, meaning The Mainland) is the largest and most populous island of the Isles of Scilly, an archipelago off the southwest coast of Cornwall in England.
St Mary’s has an area of 6.58 square kilometres (2.54 sq mi) — 40 percent of the total land area of the Isles of Scilly — this includes four small tidal islands which connect with St Mary’s at low tide: Toll’s Island, Taylor’s Island, Newford Island and the island at Innisidgen.
With a population of 1,723 (out of a total population for Scilly of 2,203) St Mary’s is relatively densely populated, with twice the population density than the Isles of Scilly average. The majority of St Mary’s residents live in the western half of the island, with Hugh Town alone having a population of 1,097.
The main settlement, Hugh Town (Cornish: Tre Huw), was sold to the inhabitants by the Crown in 1949 (it had belonged to the Duchy of Cornwall — which still owns much of the rest of the island). Other settlements on the island are Old Town, Porthloo, Pelistry, Trenoweth, Holy Vale, Maypole, Normandy, Longstone, Rocky Hill and Telegraph.
The island became the home of British Prime Minister Harold Wilson and his final resting place after his death in 1995. His grave is at the cemetery at Old Town Church.
Tresco (Cornish: Enys Skaw, meaning “island of elder-trees”) is the second-biggest island of the Isles of Scilly in Cornwall, England. It is 297 hectares (1.15 sq mi) in size, measuring about 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) by 1.75 kilometres (1.09 mi).
St Martin’s (Cornish: Brechiek, meaning “dappled island”) is the northernmost populated island of the Isles of Scilly, England. It has an area of 237 hectares (0.92 sq mi). There are three main settlements on the island – Higher Town, Middle Town and Lower Town – in addition to a number of scattered farms and cottages, with a total population (2011 census) of 136. There are two quays – at Higher Town (the Higher Town Quay, used at high tide) and at Lower Town (the Hotel Quay, used at low tide). In Higher Town, there is a post office. There is a vineyard on the island. To the north, St Martin’s is joined by a tidal causeway to White Island.
St Agnes is the southernmost populated island of the Isles of Scilly — Troy Town Farm on the island is the southernmost settlement in the United Kingdom.
St Agnes joins the island of Gugh by a tombolo, a kind of sandbar, called the Gugh Bar, which is exposed only at low tide. The Gugh is inhabited, with some three residents. The two islands of St Agnes and Gugh together have a population of 85 residents recorded in the 2011 census (73 were recorded in the 2001 census) and a landmass of 366 acres (148 ha). Without the Gugh included, St Agnes is marginally smaller than Bryher in either population or area; however if Gugh is included with St Agnes, it is Bryher that is marginally smaller in area and population.
In earlier times many men from St Agnes earned a living as pilots, guiding transatlantic liners and other vessels through the English Channel. Now the mainstay of the economy is tourism, together with some bulb farming. Accommodation is limited, and St Agnes is the only populated island in the Isles of Scilly which has no hotel. However, it has a few B&Bs and self-catering cottages, an ice cream shop, a campsite, a small post office and general store and a gift shop. It also has a pub (the Turk’s Head) and a cafe, although these are closed in the winter.
The main population centre is in the north and middle of the island. The southern end of the island is covered by the heather moorland of Wingletang Down.
Bryher (Cornish: Breyer, place of hills) is one of the smaller of the inhabited islands of the Isles of Scilly.
All text thanks to Wikipedia at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isles_of_Scilly