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Isles of Scilly

Isles of Scilly
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St. Helen's

OS grid reference :- SV 900 170

The island of St. Helen's is is the third largest of the uninhabited islands on the Isles of Scilly archipeligo. Situated on in the Eastern Isles between Tresco and St Martin's, St. Helen's covers an area of 47 acres. Some of the nearby islands, Foreman's Island, Men-a-vaur, Northwethel, Round Island and Tešn form part of the St Helen's group.

The cairn field on the island, which dates from the Bronze Age, consists of four ring cairns on the north west facing slope. The first cairn measures 4 metres in diameter with a ring of earth with protruding spaced stones. The second cairn is oval measuring 4 metres by 3 metres with a ringincorporating two slabs embedded on edge. The third cairn is 6 metres in diameter with a ring with spaced stones. The fourth cairn measures 4 metres in diameter.

St. Helens, Isles of ScillyOne of the earliest Christian sites in the Scilly Isles lies on the southern side of the island, an early medieval religious complex, which is believed to be the remains of St Elidius Hermitage, an eighth century chapel once occupied by Saint Lide or Elidus and reputed to be his burial place. The remains consisted of a burial ground, a round cell and a chapel which was enlarged in the Norman era.

There are also the remains of an isolation hospital, also known as the Pest House which was built in 1764 and used to quarantine sailors with plague from visiting ships calling at Old Grimsby and St Helen's Pool.

The island forms part of the St Helen's (with Northwethel and Men-a-vaur) Site of Special Scientific Interest and is designated for its rare flora and breeding seabirds. The Island of Men-a-vaur (grid reference SV893175) lies to the north-west of St Helen's and is home to 8 breeding species of seabirds. The Razorbill (Alca torda) population is of national importance and together with Fulmar (Fulmaris glacialis) and Guillemot (Uria aalge) are the largest in the Isles of Scilly; the other species are Kittiwake, Great Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) and Puffin. Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) and Raven (Corvus corax) breed on the island some years.

Access to the island is through chartered or private boat, although season trips are available throughout the summer.

Bryher Island Eastern Islands Gugh Island Nornour Island
St. Agnes St. Helen's St. Martins St. Mary's

The Landscape of Cornwall