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A photograph from the 1880s by Jersey photographer Philip Godfray showing La Coupée

Sark is the fourth largest of the Channel Islands, situated six miles east of Guernsey and about 24 miles west of the French coast


Sark is three miles in length and 1½ mile in breadth. It consists of two parts connected by a narrow neck; the north part is the largest, and 2 miles in length, the southern, or Little Sark, is less than one mile in length, and narrow; the connecting isthmus is called the Coupée. The area of Sark is about five square miles. As the harbour for landing passengers is on the farther side of the island, it is about 9 miles to sail from Guernsey.


In 1564, Elizabeth I granted a lease to Helier De Carteret, Seigneur of St Ouen in Jersey, to be held by him and his heirs in perpetuity. He divided it up into 40 tenements and sub-let these to 40 tenants. The lease passed to the Le Pelley family of Guernsey in the 18th Century, and into the Collings family in the 19th century, from whom the current Seigneur descends. (See also List of Seigneurs of Sark).

During World War II, the island was occupied by German forces, in common with the rest of the Channel Islands.

The feudal landholding system, and associated government of the island, continued until the early 21st Century by which time it became the longest surviving feudal government in Europe. In 2008 the island's Chief Pleas approved a law enabling the feudal government to be dismantled, and in December 2008 the first elections were held.

Old Family Houses

  • La Seigneurie

Family tree


Joybell in the harbourmouth and Courier waiting offshore. In the 19th and early 20th centuries vessels were not built specially for routes serving Sark and many were too large to enter the harbour, so they moored with just their bow inside the harbourmouth and embarked and disembarked passengers from the end of the pier
Creux Harbour under construction
Sark Henge, a monument erected in 2015. The stone circle marks 450 years since Elizabeth I granted the Fief of Sark to Helier De Carteret, Seigneur of St Ouen, Jersey, the original feudal lord of the island. It is located near Point Derrible. The 'one-eyed giant' granite stones represent Sark's nine medieval territories, each one aligned with an island landmark. The stones are Jersey granite originally used by Helier's tenants to enclose their fields. Set horizontally in walls, the slabs formed gate hinges or hangers (henges)
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