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Map of the Isles of Scilly

Map of the Isles of Scilly

Regular price $52.00
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Original/print/digital

My hand painted map of the Isles of Scilly illustrates some of the features, settlements, history, geography and nature to be found in this beautiful archipelago, lying 28 miles off the south west coast of Cornwall, UK.

I've illustrated just a few of the many activities in which you can take part: sailing, kayaking, riding, swimming (with grey seals!), birding, fishing, neolithic archaeology, pub lunches, cream teas, or simply walking around the islands.

  • An original painting in watercolour, size 730mm x 520mm on 600gsm cotton rag paper
  • A2 size signed poster prints
  • Digital file for you to make a single print at a format and size of your choice
It will make an eye-popping splash of colour on your wall and remind you of all the places you love on Scilly.

I also have tea towels and jigsaw puzzles of this painting.

Why paint a map of the Isles of Scilly?

I first went to the Isles of Scilly in 1976 with my family. My parents had discovered Scilly in the late 1950s and they wanted to return with me and my brother. I'm so glad they did! I've been back a few times since. Some people become addicted to it and return year after year. And I can understand why - it's like stepping into another world! Things are on a human scale, and there's no rushing about. Geography dictates everything. I have actually had "make a map of the Isles of Scilly" on my To Do List of paintings since I last visited in 2016. But it's not until autumn 2023, that I finally got around to it.

What's in my hand-painted map of the Isles of Scilly?

The islands

I have shown the five inhabited islands - St Mary's, St Martin's, Tresco, Bryher, St Agnes - plus the Eastern Isles and other larger uninhabited isles. But I couldn't comfortably fit the Western Rocks in on a sheet of A1 paper. The Western Rocks are down to the south west, beyond Annet, and that's where you find the Bishop Rock lighthouse, which I have illustrated.

Transport

Transport is such an important and visible part of daily Scilly life. The Scillonian makes the 28 mile journey from Penzance daily. She is the island's lifeline and workhorse, ferrying passengers and goods one way in 3 hours. For those with little luggage and prone to seasickness in the north Atlantic swell (like me), then the skybus from Land's End airport takes only 20 short but spectacular minutes.

Boats are everywhere in Scilly! I have illustrated a number of craft that regular visitors will know and love: Seahorse, Golden Spray, Sea King, Spirit of St Agnes, and Firethorn. I've also included a fishing boat, and the heroic RNLI lifeboat. Two rowing boats represent the long and important tradition of pilot gig racing.

Flora

The Isles of Scilly enjoys a climate like no other part of the UK. It rarely freezes, but is the first to bear the brunt of Atlantic storms. It has a humid subtropical climate and its average annual temperature is 12.0 °C (53.6 °F). It's the warmest place in the British Isles. This means all kinds of interesting flora thrives. Wildflowers abound! It's such a colourful place.

Narcissus cultivation for the cut flower market is a major industry. Daffodils are grown in long rows in small fields lined with tall hedges to take the worst of the wind.

Tresco's famous Abbey Gardens is home to numerous exotic plants from across the globe which flourish in an English garden setting - a ruined Benedictine abbey!

In the top right hand corner of my painting I have illustrated the agapanthus and aeoniums which can be found in abundance on the islands.

Fauna

Scilly's terrestrial mammals include red squirrels (introduced to Tresco), and the 'Scilly shrew' - the lesser white-toothed shrew. If you adore marine mammals, as I do, keep your eyes peeled for common dolphin, and even the occasional humpback whale. Grey seals are common, and it's possible to go snorkelling with them. Highly recommended!

Other sea creatures I've illustrated include lobster, sunfish, loggerhead turtle, the giant goby, sea bass, and mackerel.

And then there's the birds!

Birds, bird, birds! On my map I've illustrated just a very few. Sea birds: puffin, manx shearwater, gannet, and common tern. Waders: curlew, dunlin, redshank and oystercatcher. Plus, there's a peregrine lurking on the Eastern Isles. Little tweety birds: stonechat, sparrow and song thrush.

The islands' geography makes it an excellent landing place or stop off for numerous migrating birds. Plus rare vagrants get blown in from Africa and the south, and even the Americas! In 2023, a red-footed booby arrived and caused birders to descend on Scilly in their hundreds to catch a glimpse of this equatorial species. At the time of writing, it's still roosting on Bishop's Rock lighthouse! I've illustrated a hoopoe on Tresco to represent all the rarities and vagrant species that turn up.

History

Dangerous waters means Scilly has long and tragic history of shipwrecks. They are represented by the wreck of HMS Association which was lost with 3 other ships and up to 2,000 sailors in the naval disaster of 1707 . I've illustrated it near the place where Commander-in-Chief of the British Fleets, Sir Cloudesley Shovell's body was washed up. The Valhalla Museum on Tresco houses some amazing figureheads from ships lost in these waters. It's pure folk art.

You can find traces of our Neolithic and Bronze Age ancestors all over Scilly in the form of numerous beautifully preserved burial chambers. I've included: Bant's Carn, Innisidgen, Buzza and Porth Hellick, and the Old Man of Gugh. Other landmarks I've illustrated include: Cromwell's Castle, churches, Telegraph Tower, the star-shaped castle on the Garrison, and Viking Troy Town maze on St Agnes.

Pubs!

Three of Scilly's pubs have superb folk art pub signs. The Mermaid is conveniently situated next to the harbour in Hugh Town. At the Seven Stones Inn on St Martin's you can sit and have a beer in the garden and enjoy what is possibly the finest view from any pub garden! The Turk's Head on St Agnes is the most South Westerly pub in the British Isles. Cheers!

Finally

As ever, with my hand-painted schematic maps, nothing is to scale. If you want scale and topographical accuracy, reach for this Ordnance Survey map.

I hope you can see that my hand-painted map of the Isles of Scilly is painted with love. If you think I've made a good job of painting it and you'd like a copy for your walls, you can buy a signed print (size A2) on this page.

Shipping and delivery

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Posting your order

Typically, orders for physical products placed after 12pm on Friday, and on Saturday or Sunday will not be posted until Monday at the earliest. I use Royal Mail to dispatch your order.

If you have ordered multiple items, I will try to post everything together. Occasionally, this is not possible, in which case they will be dispatched in separate packages.

Digital files will typically be transferred to customers within 24 hours via email using WeTransfer, the file transfer website.

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