Isles of Scilly

Isles of Scilly, often referred to simply as Scilly, is an archipelago located in the Celtic Sea, southwest of the mainland of Cornwall, England.

These may have formed part of the legendary land of Lyonesse. Three of the islands are today called Great Arthur, Middle Arthur and Little Arthur. These three once formed a single island and there may have been a tradition that Arthur was buried there.

Lyonesse, the land of Tristan, was said to have spanned the distance between Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, but it sank into the sea.

Isles of Scilly | 0 to 700 AD

The history of the Isles of Scilly is part of the broader historical context of Britain during the early medieval period. The Isles of Scilly have evidence of human habitation dating back to the prehistoric period, with the presence of megalithic structures, such as chambered tombs and standing stones. Celtic tribes inhabited the islands during the early Iron Age, engaging in agriculture, fishing, and trade.

The Roman Empire had a presence in Britain during the first to fourth centuries, and while the Isles of Scilly are located offshore, there is evidence of Roman trade and contact with the islands. Roman artifacts and coins have been found on the islands, suggesting some level of interaction.

With the withdrawal of Roman forces in Britain in the early fifth century, the British Isles entered a period of transition. The Isles of Scilly, like other parts of Britain, likely continued to be inhabited by Celtic peoples. However, specific historical records from this period are limited.

By the late eighth century and into the ninth century, Viking raids and incursions began to affect coastal areas of Britain, including the Isles of Scilly. The Vikings, known for their seafaring abilities, targeted coastal regions in search of resources and opportunities for settlement. The Viking influence on the Isles of Scilly led to the establishment of Norse settlements and rule.

The islands became part off the Norse Kingdom of the Isles, which included other islands in the Irish Sea and the western coast of Scotland. The Norse influence on the Isles of Scilly left a lasting mark on the culture, place names, and traditions of the islands.