Letter 'B'

Badplace Hill - North Bryher behind Hell Bay.

Balerium - Latin name for Lands End Cornwall.

Ball, John - Principal Lighthouse Keeper of the Bishop Rock Lighthouse who disappeared whilst on duty on 19th December, 1889.  His body was never found.

Banfield, Francis - Shipping Agent on Scilly.  Francis Banfield & Sons C. 1874.

Bank, The (Hugh Town, St Mary's) - The square in front of Douglas Chemists.  An area once open to the sea used to load and repair ships.

Bant's Carn Entrance Grave - SV 9099, 1230. c.2000 BC.  One of the best examples in Scilly excavated by George Bonsor in 1900, the entrance passage is 14ft long.  The entrance faces N.E. i.e. Midsummer Solstice Alignment and is also aligned with the Long Rock Menhir.  [sah34].  Article Islander Magazine.  For detail on the name Bant, see The Scillonian, No. 271, page 186 & 187. [e stanbrook]

Bar, The - A low ridge of sand that joins St Agnes to Gugh at low water.

Barclay, Rev. C. L. T. - Part founder of the Scillonian Magazine in 1925.

Barilla - Barilla refers to several species of salt-tolerant halophyte plants that, until the 19th Century, were the primary source of soda ash. By the 18th Century, Spain's barilla industry was exporting large quantities of soda ash of exceptional purity; the product was refined from the ashes of barilla plants that were specifically cultivated for this purpose.  This severely affected the production of soda ash from 'Kelp' on Scilly.

Bar Point (North St Mary's) {SV917130}

Barnaby's Lane - St Agnes.

Barrow (Burrow) - Ancient Grave.

Bartholomew Ledge - Reef between St Mary's and St Agnes/Gugh.

Bason (Rock Basins) - Thought by some to be man made hollows in rocks.

Bastwick, John - M. D. of Colchester in Essex.  Became a prisoner in the Star Castle in 1637 for writing seditious and libellous books against the Church and Government.  Having already been fined 1000, stood in the pillory, and had his ears cut off!

Batteries & platforms - Fortified Gun Emplacements.  See also [sah page 43]

Bathinghouse-Porth, Tresco - SV 894, 135. Area of submerged prehistoric/ancient round houses and field systems. [sa65]

Baymark Rock - Off Porth-Minick.

Beacon-Hill Lookout, Tresco - SV 888, 157. Recorded by the Rev. John Troutbeck in 1796.  Currently just a raised platform of stones covered with vegetation.  The Millennium Plaque for 2000 is close by.  The area triangulation point is to the northwest.  [sa66]

Beady-Pool (Wingletang Bay) - A small bay facing east on the southern headland of St Agnes.  Names after the beads which can be found there.  Many of these beads can be seen in the Museum.  Early texts suggest they are Venetian but are now thought likely to be seventeenth century Dutch from a wreck. See tsm 225/p62

Bechiek or Brechiek - Early name for St Martin's.  [tsigg p23]

Beef-Neck - Channel between St Helens and Northwethal.

Bell, Malcolm - First Scilly Island born County Cricketer, 1990.

Bell-Rock-Hotel - Church Road St Mary's.

Beltane - Celtic May Day Festival

Benchmarks - Ordnance Survey.  Height above sea level.

Bergecooth / Bergecooth Carns - Area of rocks, west of Lower Town, St Agnes.

Besant, Sir Walter (1836 to 1901) - Author of the famous book 'Armorel of Lyonesse' first printed in 1890.

Big Pool - Area of water in north-east St Agnes.  Similar to the pool in Bryher.

Bird, Ralph - Boat Builder and Gig Revivalist. [tim] Spring 2010, Page 50.

Bishop-Rock - (Cornish: Men an Eskob)  A significant rock far west of the Western Rocks.  Before the lighthouse the rock was said to resemble the Bishop's mitre. The shape of the rock may have had religious significance.  It is recorded that in 1284 John & Isabel of Alet (near Truro) used a "certain rock" in Scilly to execute felons. The felons were apparently taken to it and given two barley loaves and one pitcher of water a left there to drown!  That this was the Bishop is quite probable because there is another report in 1302 when Muriel and her two daughters Joan and Margery from Trenoweth at the north end of St Mary's, were taken as felons to Maenenescop; Cornish for Bishop Rock.  Recorded as the worlds smallest island 46 by 14 metres, 736 square metres (74/1000 hectares).


Bishop-Rock Lighthouse - SV 807 065   There were three phases of construction.  (1) In 1847, it was decided to erect a screw-pile lighthouse at a cost of 12,000. The first task was to sink cast iron legs into the solid granite, braced and stayed with wrought iron rods. The designer maintained that the waves would be able to roll freely among the piles instead of being obstructed by the solid mass of masonry tower. When work was suspended at the end of 1849 the building was complete all but the installation of the lighting apparatus. Before it could be completed the following season, a heavy gale swept away the whole structure on the evening of 5th February 1850.

Left:  Sketch of the first attempt, from the Illustrated London News in 1847.

(2) First use of Granite (Carnsew & Lamorna) using a Smeeton type structure 1851 to 1858. 

(3) Re-clad due to damage in 1881 and raised.    [snt20p4]  Book 1 & Book 2

Definitive information, see Bishop Rock Lighthouse by Elisabeth Stanbrook, Twelveheads Press 2008. ISBN 9-780906-294697.  See also Sketches

Bishop & Wolf - Public House which was originally a private house built c. 1700 for Thomas Ekins the first steward of the Godolphin family.  See Thomas Ekins.

Bishop, The - A well photographed and painted rock on St Martin's looking like a Bishop in his mitre.

Black Rock Wreck - Probably one of the most important wreck sites on Scilly.  It lies close to Pednathise Head, Western Rocks.  It was discovered by local divers, in the late 1980s, who unfortunately for Scilly's maritime heritage did not declare the site or the artefacts found, to the Receiver of Wreck.  The wreck site is on a steep slope a few meters from the surface extending to depths in excess of 45 metres.  There are at least 14 iron guns still present on the site.  At least 200 gold coins (certainly lots of Spanish, four escudos) were recovered, and information suggests, that others, emanated from many different European countries.  They were removed from Scilly to the mainland and auctioned, unfortunately it is not possible to identify which coins in the auction catalogue came from the Black Rock site.  Perhaps one of the most significant losses, although in poor condition, was an astrolabe, dated to the mid sixteenth century.  Rumour suggests that this was sold for about 700 and may have initially gone to Australia.  Had this stayed in Scilly it would certainly have been one of the Scilly Museums star attractions due to its significance as a navigational aid and its obvious link to the loss of Sir Cloudesley Shovell's fleet here in Scilly.  It is also reported that other artefact material was found, including sounding leads.

Note:  After a period of nearly 25 years, the astrolabe has been located and may be returned to the IOS Museum, thanks in part to Scillypedia.

Blake, Admiral - Parliamentarian Admiral who with Sir George Ayscue brought 2500 infantry to remove the Royalists from Scilly.

Blanchminster, Ralph (Ranulph) - First of this family to hold the Captaincy of Scilly c. 1300.  G. Forrester Matthews records his obligations extended to the preservation of the peace by twelve armed men and payment of an annual rent of three hundred puffins, or half a mark.  Administration probably took place from Ennor at what is now Old Town.  Records suggest that the family were very much out for what they could get out of these islands, unlike Augustus Smith much later on.

Blockhouse, Tresco - SV 89737, 15471. Built at the start of the Military occupation of Scilly in c. 1554?  Used by the Royalists in their unsuccessful defence of Tresco.  [sa67]

Blockhouse (Northeast St Mary's) - Remains of an old Blockhouse.  Also Block House Bay & Block House Point.

Blomefield, Sir Thomas - (Born 1744)  Inspector of Artillery from 1780 until his death in 1822.  He was responsible for a significant improvement in cannon design, they were better cast and much stronger.  His improved guns can be seen on the Garrison and are identified by a loop between the cascabel and the breech.  The loop was used to restrain the gun by a strong rope.  BACK

Bluetts Hotel - Now the Atlantic Hotel, St Mary's.

Bluetts, Drapers Grocers and Providers of Shipping Stores - Formally housed in the Chirwin's Shop;  See [tsm 253/80].

Blue Thunda - Story of.

Boat Carn - Bryher Cliff Castle?

Bolitho, John - Commissioner of Customs (Scilly) to the Lords of Treasury c. 1688.

Bonnet - St Mary's Gig, built 1830.

Bonsor, George - Archaeologist who worked in Scilly

Borlase, Rev. William - 1695 - 1772 Cornish writer, antiquarian who wrote 'Observations on Scilly' in 1756.  Also entered as: Borlase, Dr William - Author of several historically important books on the Isles of Scilly.  Rector of Ludgvan.  Described as in Edition 1 as AM. FRS & Edition 2 as LL.D. FRS.

Bourdeaux, John - A potter of national and international repute.  His pottery can be found at The Barn, Old Town.

Bowl-Rock (North Old Town Bay) - 1888 Map.

Boy's Rock - Rocky outcrop in Wingletang Bay where it is said a body of a young boy was trapped following the wreck of a merchant ship which may have carried the glass beads which gave the bay its new name of Beady Pool.

Boys School, Carn Thomas - Built by Augustus Smith in 1854.  Now used as a community building.

Branch-Pilot - A group of Pilots who set themselves up as a monopoly.  Modern day 'close shop'.

Bread and Cheese Cove (St Martins)

Breastwork - A defence structure consisting of a stone reinforced mound behind which is a ditch.  At intervals there are generally protruding batteries.  In Scilly there are examples surviving from the Civil War c. 1646 to 1648.  These structures were fairly quick to construct and were eventually replaced by the much more robust 'curtain' walls of the Garrison.

Bridge Inn - Public House, known as 'Lunnon Bridge', once at Lunnon, St Mary's.

Bridgewater Tiles - Double Roman red clay pantiles imported from the mainland in the mid-19th century and used throughout the islands.

Brefar - Bryher (Bre- Cornish for 'hill')

Bronze Age - 2500 to 700BC.

Brow Breeze - Group of rocks in Porthcressa.

Bryher - Cornish meaning 'place of hills'.  There are a number of hills on the island, including Watch Hill, a viewpoint, and Samson Hill at the southern end of the island.  The Hell Bay Hotel Bryher is located at Stinkingporth Bay (probably so called because of the smell of seaweed).  It is currently owned by the Tresco Estate.  Area approximately 327 acres.

Bryher Town - A line of small houses on the 'main' road from the quay to Fraggle Rock, Bryher.

Bulldog's - Generic name once given to the men of St Mary's.

Buller, Antony -  (1613 to 1679) Active and brave soldier of the Parliamentary forces during the Civil War. When Colonel he was given the governorship of Scilly in after Sir Francis Godolphin surrendered the islands to Parliament in 1646.  After two years however, while at church, he was taken prisoner when the island forces revolted to become Royalist.  He was treated with special kindness because the troops felt he was a gallant soldier.  Isles of Scilly Governor 1646 to 1648.

Burnt-Hill, St Martin's - Promontory (Cliff Castle?) west of Bread and Cheese Cove with two prehistoric round houses.  SV 9366, 1601.  Due to the location there may have been defences here.

Bush Cricket - The Great Green Bush Cricket is found on Tresco its 6 cm long.  It is not a grass hopper. A very impressive insect.

Butt, Tom (Tom Butt's Bed) - A cave, just north of the Giant's Castle, named after a boy who hid in the cave to avoid a cruel master.  He was discovered by some boys, who kept him supplied with food, and was finally able to get on board a ship and away to safety.

Button, Aunt -  Member of the Dorrien-Smith family see [vyvy pp70-71]

Buzza-Hill, St Mary's - Site of an old mill which was built in 1821; it was built on the site of an ancient burial chamber.  It provided flour for the garrison soldiers and was powered by four canvas sails. The mill fell out of use when flour could be reliably supplied from the mainland and in 1902 was converted into a memorial to a visit by King Edward.  Most people today seem to refer wrongly to the tower as Buzza Tower.  Buzza Hill is the site of several ancient  burial sites. 

Buzza-Tower - [SV 90651, 10383]  Started life as a replacement windmill for Peninnis Mill in c.1834.  It is thought to stand on the site of one, if not two, other entrance grave(s) which was/were excavated by William Borlase (Woodley c.1822?) during the mid 18th century.  Also called King Edwards Tower after being modified as a memorial to the King's visit in 1911/12.  Photograph.  [sa35]  See Scilly Now & Then, No. 57 page 33 by Geoffrey Clark.

ALSO:  Buzza tower seems to have been built as a windmill in 1834, to replace the then defunct Mill owned by the Maybee family out on Peninnis from 1798. The Buzza mill was 'maintained' as a memorial since 1912 to King Edward's visit. It was then named as King Edward's Tower, but has always been commonly known as the Buzza Tower- probably due to its more distant past. Apparently it was built in the style of the small Spanish type windmill and is mentioned as such in a book by H J Whitfield in 1852. He states that it was named after a Spanish family called Bosow and that the Hill it stands on is called Bosow Hill. It is also mention in Tonkins book of 1887 as being a Spanish windmill. As for how the Bosow family came to be here at Scilly, it is said locally that they came on a ship that was wrecked here and liked it so much that they later returned here to live. Apparently they owned the whole hill and built some of the houses around it. This is possible as a ship coming from Bilbao was indeed wrecked on the seven stones in 1827, and her people were saved and landed on St Mary's. [ts]

Page Update 30/04/12