Letter 'W'

Walker, Adam - Ingenious inventor, who developed the rotary light mechanism used in the St Agnes Lighthouse.  It was installed under his personal supervision in 1790.

Ward, Mr F. R. - J. P., Coroner of Scilly, Managing Director of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company C.1932.

Watch Houses - Protection enclosures sited on the highest point of the island.  See Mount Todden, St Mary's, Watch Hill, Bryher & the Old Lookout, Tresco.

Water Rocks - North of Water Rocks Down, East of Carn Friars

Water Rocks Down - North of Normandy Gap

Watermill Cove (Northeast St Mary's) {SV 924 124}


Weather Observatory  - This was somewhere close to Tregarthen's Hotel - Description c. 1900.  "On the left you will see a mysterious erection of black poles and cross bars suggesting a guillotine.  This is a huge barometer signal, composed of two masts sixty feet in height, with cross bars marking off equal distances.  Each bar is figured to correspond with the 28th, 29th, 30th and 31st degrees of the barometer.  Smaller bars come between the long ones, marking the five-tenths of each degree.  A square black board runs in a grove between  the masts, and by this the position of the mercury in the barometer is indicated twice a day.  The board is raised or lowered to correspond with the barometer, and a semicircular piece of board attached to one end of it indicates whether the mercury has risen or fallen since the signal was last attended to.  if this piece is turned up, the mercury has risen, and vice versa.  This was an original idea of the late Augustus Smith, Esq., for many years the proprietor of the islands, and it was erected by him for the convenience of pilots  and shipmasters. "[1]  NOTE:  See additional information

Webber Family - For many years residents of Samson.

Well Cross - Area behind The Strand, Hugh Town St Mary's.

Wesleyan Methodist Society - Arrived Scilly c. 1743 following a brief visit from John Wesley.  By c. 1792 there was a significant presence on the Isles of Scilly.

Whales - When the Whales Came, book by Michael Morpurgo.   Article Islander Magazine

Whin - Gorse.

White Island [SV924 171] - Locally 'Whit' Island.  This small island, is uninhabited, and lies off the northern coast of St Martin's.  It has a size of about fifty acres.  Apart from using a small boat, the island can be accessed on foot from St Martin's for about one hour before and one after low tide.  Visiting it on foot, however, calls for caution, since there are strong currents over the rocky causeway which joins it to St Martin's.  Visits must therefore be timed with some precision.  As an important breeding site for birds, the island is managed by the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust and is closed every year from 15 April to 20 August. Entrance grave on the N.W. hill SV 9224, 1762.  At least five cairns on the south slope SV 9240, 1760.

White Sand near Carn LÍh, Old Town.

White Sheets Rock - East of Water Rocks Down, north of Little Britain Rock.

WILD FLOWERS See References.

Wildlife Trust - The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust is a local charity responsible (in 2008) for the management of the wildlife sites which make up 60% of the Isles of Scilly.  This includes all of the uninhabited islands, islets and rocks and most of the unenclosed land on the inhabited islands including the inter-tidal areas.  Their job is to manage all this land, to preserve and protect the wildlife of the Islands and the sea, and conserve or restore the habitats, landscape and archaeological sites for  the benefit and enjoyment of all.  Contact office at Carn Thomas, St Mary's IOS, TR21 0PT.  (01720 422153)

Williams, Lieutenant Charles - Commander of HMS HORNET, buried inside Old Town Church in 1810, Age 37.

Obituary [2]
"At Scilly, on which station he had been upwards of four years, Charles Williams, Esq., commander of his Majesty's ship Hornet, and son-in-law of Jonathon Page, Esq. of Great Smyth Street, Westminster.  He was one of the few survivors who recovered of their wounds in the gallant action by the brave Sir Edward Pellew, in the Nymphe frigate, when she captured the Cleopatra, French frigate, the first ship of war taken after the beginning of the Revolutionary War; since which time he served his King and Country in the Egyptian expedition, twice in the West Indies and coast of Africa."

Royal Cornwall Gazette, June 9:  "The 'Gute Erwating', Riedyk, from Liverpool to Amsterdam with salt, seized by Lieut. Williams of 'H.M.S. Hornet', for smuggling a part of his cargo."

Windmills - There were two mills on the Garrison in the late 16th and early 17th century.  One, currently referred to as the Garrison Windmill Tower, still survives.  They both became derelict when milling was moved away from the Garrison to the Peninnis Mill.  Historical information would suggest that it was proposed that the surviving tower was converted to a gun tower but was not structurally suitable. It was however used by the Coastguards and others as a 'Watch Tower'.  In WW1 it was used as a Naval Signal Station.  It has been maintained, converted and is currently rented to visitors as a somewhat quirky holiday accommodation.  The second mill was demolished; The base cannot be found but was somewhere between the 1900 protected barracks and the Artificer's Shop.  (No details available as yet)  Unfortunately much of this area forms part of the campsite complex.

Wingletang Downs - South, St Agnes.  According to Scilly's Archaeological Heritage, there are forty three surviving cairns on this area of moorland. Circular mounds, some retained by kerbs of granite boulders See schematic map [sah] p26.  BNG: SV 883 075.

Willows, Bay of - Porth Hellick.

Wireless Communication & SOS - See The Scillonian, No.268, pages 157-160. [rl]

Witches & Wizards - See [vyvy p64]

Witches Head - Rock on Peninnis Head, St Mary's.  Photograph.

Wollemi Pine - Tresco Gardens.  A species that is 2 million years old.  [tsm 263/37]

Woodcock Family - For many years residents of Samson.

Woodley, Rev. George. - Missionary to the Isles of Scilly from the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge often just referred to as the S. P. C. K.   Minister for the Churches at St Martin's & St Agnes. Writer of View of the 'Present State of the Scilly Islands' in 1822.

Woolpack Battery - There are two Woolpack batteries, the 'Lower' and 'Upper', a detail that is not always made very clear.  The 'Lower' is a  fort/platform built to stop any enemy ships attempting to enter St Mary's Sound c. 1740 and forms a significant section of the Garrison wall.  English Heritage research found that this battery, c. 1796, was originally supplied with long, nine pounder guns when the perceived military threat to the British Isles came from France.  There is evidence of two small structures having once stood at the rear of the battery, to the left (as you enter the battery) of the impressive archway, to house military supplies and gun powder. During WW2 (1939-1945) a pillbox was built into the apex of the wall.  There are signs that the two gun embrasures either side of the pillbox may have been protected by some form of additional, iron armour.  Seaward of the pillbox is the lower or forward DEL (defence electric light, used as a range-finding searchlight).  The second, of the DELs lies behind the battery a little way up the hill.  These date from 1900.

Later Scilly was in the forefront of a chain of forts designed to defend the Western Approaches.  This second Woolpack battery was built high up, commanding the southern shoulder of the hill to the north of the older battery, in 1900.  It was equipped with 6 inch, quick firing guns and was decommissioned in 1906. For a time it served as a home for a casual labourer and was referred to by locals as 'Dick Henry's Fort. The similar, Steval Battery was constructed at the same time.  The battery was converted into living accommodation for volunteers on the Environmental Trust in 2000.  See Publication by Archaeological & Archival: ISBN 9780955633324.  See also the Woolpack Datum Post

Worrel, Thomas - Master of the Customs Revenue Cutter.  Sub Commissioner for Scilly Pilotage c. 1808.

Worsall - Old Scillonian name.

Wrecks see Shipwrecks -A ship or aircraft that has been wrecked or the remains of such a vessel or cargo or a piece of wreckage, washed ashore from a wrecked or stranded vessel.

W.T.S. - Wireless Telegraph Station.



[1] - Handbook of the Isles of Scilly by J. G. Tonkin & B. P. Row.
[2] - Gentleman's Magazine, July-December 1810, LXXX.