St Martin's, Isles of Scilly

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St Martin's
St Martin's bay from Scilly point - - 215314.jpg
The north coast
St Martin's is located in Isles of Scilly
St Martin's
St Martin's
St Martin's shown within Isles of Scilly
Population 136 (2011)
OS grid reference SV924341
Civil parish
  • St Martin's
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district TR25
Dialling code 01720
Police Devon and Cornwall
Fire Isles of Scilly
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament
List of places
49°57′50″N 6°17′20″W / 49.964°N 6.289°W / 49.964; -6.289Coordinates: 49°57′50″N 6°17′20″W / 49.964°N 6.289°W / 49.964; -6.289

St Martin's (Cornish: Brechiek, meaning "dappled island") is the northernmost populated island of the Isles of Scilly, England. It has an area of 237 hectares (0.92 sq mi).


Aerial photo of St Martin's — the daymark is to the right.
The daymark on St Martin's

There are three main settlements on the island - Higher Town, Middle Town and Lower Town - in addition to a number of scattered farms and cottages, with a total population (2011 census) of 136.

There are two quays - at Higher Town (the Higher Town Quay, used at high tide) and at Lower Town (the Hotel Quay, used at low tide). In Higher Town there is a post office.

There is a vineyard on the island.[1]

To the north, St Martin's is joined by a tidal causeway to White Island.


At the northeast corner of the island is a large red-and-white daymark. It was erected in 1683 by Thomas Ekins, first steward of the Godophin Family to live on the islands.

It is a rendered granite circular tower 4.8 metres (16 ft) in diameter and 6.4 metres (21 ft) high, set back to conical termination making it 11 metres (36 ft) high. The blocked arched entrance door contains an incorrect date of 1637. It was painted white until 1822 but by 1833 had been painted red, and is now painted in bands of red and white.

Despite its modernity, the daymark, alongside some prehistoric cairns, is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.[2]

The daymark is built on the highest point of St Martin's — and the second-highest point in the Isles of Scilly — and the islands' only Ordnance Survey triangulation station is situated by the daymark; the position and relative height mean that the Cornish mainland is visible (when the weather allows) and the daymark is identifiable from the mainland too.


There are two churches on St Martin's: the Anglican parish church of St Martin's and a Methodist chapel, both located in the Higher Town area. The Methodist chapel dates from about 1845 and is part of the Isles of Scilly Methodist Circuit.[3]

Civil parish and ward[edit]

The isles of Scilly comprising the civil parish and ward of St Martin's shown in red.

St Martin's is one of the five civil parishes of the Isles of Scilly, which are also wards. The civil parish and ward include several uninhabited islands and rocks, including the Eastern Isles, Great Ganilly, English Island and White Island.[4] St Martin's returns 2 councillors to the Council of the Isles of Scilly, the same as the other "off-island" wards. The civil parish is not functional however, and there is no council or meeting.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ St Martin's Vineyard
  2. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1016508)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2014-08-03. 
  3. ^ Scilly Methodists St Martin's
  4. ^ Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 map
  5. ^ UK Household Census Statistics, Blue Books, HMSO

External links[edit]