The Paternosters

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F17PaternostersEtching.jpg
The Paternosters viewed from the north coast in an 1882 publication by Ward Lock. Some artistic licence has been used to show the rocks closer to the shore than they are

Centuries ago, Queen Elizabeth I gave Sark to Helier de Carteret, on condition that he would pay her 50 shillings a year, and would keep 40 men there to defend the island against the French.

Helier set sail with several Jersey families, but as they passed the Pierre de Lecq rocks one of the ships hit them, and sank. All on board were drowned, including several children.

After that tragedy, passing fishermen used to say a prayer in their memory - 'Our Father' ('Pater Noster') - which is why these rocks are now known as the Paternosters. Some say that when a storm is brewing, the cries of the drowned children can still be heard.

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