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Scilly Islands(sĭl`ē), officially Isles of Scilly, archipelago and unitary authority (2001 pop. 2,153), encompassing more than 150 isles and rocky islets, off Cornwall, SW England, 28 mi (45 km) from Land's End. The archipelago has been politically separate from CornwallCornwall,
county (1991 pop. 469,300), SW England, administratively (since 2009) a unitary authority. Bodmin was the county seat, but the local government is now based in Truro.
..... Click the link for more information. since 1890. On the rocky coasts, marked by lighthouses and lightships, scores of ships were wrecked, notably Sir Clowdisley ShovellShovell, Sir Clowdisley,
or Sir Cloudesley Shovel
, 1650–1707, English admiral. In the War of the Grand Alliance he burned enemy ships at the battle of La Hogue in 1692 and was joint commander of the English fleet in 1693.
..... Click the link for more information. 's fleet in 1707. The mild climate and heavy rainfall provide a flourishing environment for subtropical plants. Market flower growing is one of the leading occupations. Vegetable production and tourism are also economically important. Five of the isles are inhabited—St. Mary's, Tresco, St. Martin's, St. Agnes, and Bryher. On the largest, St. Mary's, is the capital, Hugh Town, built around the late 16th-century Star Castle. Originally constructed by order of Elizabeth I as a defense against the Spanish and pirates, the castle is where Prince Charles (later Charles II) stopped in 1645 on his flight to JerseyJersey
, island (2005 est. pop. 90,800), 45 sq mi (117 sq km), in the English Channel, largest of the Channel Islands, which are dependencies of the British crown. It is 15 mi (24 km) from the Normandy coast of France and SE of Guernsey. Saint Helier, the capital, is on St.
..... Click the link for more information. ; it is now a hotel. Hugh Town is also the site of a museum that displays many of the archaeological remains discovered on the islands. On Tresco are Oliver CromwellCromwell, Oliver
, 1599–1658, lord protector of England. Parliamentary General
The son of a gentry family, he entered Cambridge in 1616 but probably left the next year.
..... Click the link for more information. 's Tower, ruins of a 10th-century abbey, King Charles's Castle (1554), the 19th-century Abbey Garden with exotic plants that flourish in the mild climate, and the residence of the lord proprietor of the islands. The isle of Samson has ancient stone monuments.