St. Agnes

St. Agnes

Agenys

Web: www.st-agnes-scilly.org

Tiny wild island

The tranquil and beautiful island of St. Agnes has the most south-westerly community in the British Isles. Flower farming and fishing are the traditional occupations and visitors can enjoy a stress-free holiday with the silence only broken by the natural sounds of sea or bird, since traffic is rarely encountered. St. Agnes still has a lighthouse, the second oldest in the British Isles, but it is now disused as a light and has become a private house. Troy Town Farm on the island is the southernmost settlement in the United Kingdom.

A footpath follows the deeply indented coastline, revealing beautiful sandy coves, rugged granite outcrops, heath, download, meadow, and a freshwater pool. This habitat attracts butterflies and moths and is often the first landfall for American vagrants or migrating birds. There is a profusion of wild flowers and lichens, testament to the unpolluted atmosphere and the brilliance of the night stars can be enjoyed on safe and solitary strolls. The evening activities are simple - a pint at the pub, a boat trip to birdwatch and see the sunset. Pleasures too are simple. Time to stand and stare, swim and dive in the crystal clear sea, search for beads at Beady Pool (relics of a 17th century shipwreck), or just find a quiet niche and settle down to read or paint.

St. Agnes

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 making a total population of 73 people (2001 census). The highest point on the island is called Kittern Hill and is only 105 feet above sea level. 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.

There is a variety of very reasonable accommodation in guest houses, self-catering cottages or on the camp-site with its outstanding views to the Western Isles. Two cafes offer excellent home-made food including cream teas, whilst meals and real ales are available at the Turks Head pub which enjoys a superb view. St. Agnes also has a well stocked post office/general store/off-licence which can satisfy most of your requirements, and an order can be prepared for your arrival. Church services are held regularly, weather permitting. Intricate and detailed model boats are made to order at the Model Boat Workshop. The Bulb Shop offers a postal service for Scillonian flowers and bulbs.

The recently renovated Island Hall can be rented for functions or group activities. Cricket, tennis and fishing can be enjoyed by visitors to St. Agnes. A boat service in the excellent purpose-built catamaran "Spirit of St. Agnes", offers daily trips to St. Mary's and the other islands, it also follows the weekly Gig Race. Longer trips provide an opportunity to view seals and birds at close proximity. There is a lighthouse on the island, but it is now disused. Four miles west is the Bishop Rock Lighthouse.

The Anglican church is dedicated to St. Agnes of Rome. The first church was built in the 16th or 17th century, but it was destroyed in a gale. It was re-built in the 18th century, but was again destroyed. The current building was built by the islanders in the 19th century using the proceeds of the sale of a wreck, and the bell in the church was taken from that wreck. In 1821 a new west gallery and two new pews in the chancel were added.

The Troytown Maze is said to have been laid out by the son of the lighthouse keeper in 1729, but may be much older.

Notable Residents

Periglis Cottage was the home of St. Agnes's resident ornithologist Hilda M. Quick (1895-1978). She was the author of 'Birds of the Scilly Isles' published in 1964.

Cafes

Coastguards Cafe

Covean Cottage Cafe

Pubs

The Turks Head

The Isles of Scilly

St. Mary's       St. Martin's       Bryher       Tresco       The Uninhabited Islands

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