Another book from the Isles of Scilly has hit the shelves. Trinder’s Telegraph by Peter Laverock chronicles the history of the Telegraph Tower and literally rewrites the history books.

The book charts the origins of the tower from 1812, when the Admiralty agreed to its construction, along with the work of Lieutenant John W Trinder who was appointed to run it, having previously operated the signal station on St Martin’s.


According to Wikipedia the tower dates from 1803 but Peter, who lives in the tower, claims everything on Wikipedia regarding the tower is wrong.


“The tower is a forgotten part of Scillonian history. It’s not deliberately made up.


“If some influential person announces something then everyone else believes it’s true and starts passing it around. If it’s repeated often enough, people forget to look at original source material.


Peter researched the book from source material at the Isles of Scilly Museum and the National Archive at Kew.


“The Tower was built as a semaphore station rather than a gun tower as some reports suggest. You would not be shooting from Telegraph at warships because the cannon wouldn’t reach.


“If there were a gun on site then it would have been a carronade, which is a small signal gun and not a defensive gun.


Trinder’s Telegraph costs £3.50 and is available from the Paper Shop, Bordeaux, Gibson & Kyne and the Isles of Scilly Museum.

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