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Sark
Sark
(French: Sercq; Sercquiais: Sèr or Cerq) is an island in the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
in the southwestern English Channel, off the coast of Normandy, France. It is a royal fief, which forms part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, with its own set of laws based on Norman law and its own parliament. It has a population of about 500.[1] Sark (including the nearby island of Brecqhou) has an area of 2.10 square miles (5.44 km2).[2] Sark
Sark
is one of the few remaining places in the world where cars are banned from roads and only tractors and horse-drawn vehicles are allowed.[3] In 2011, Sark
Sark
was designated as a Dark Sky Community and the first Dark Sky Island
Dark Sky Island
in the world.

Contents

1 Geography and geology 2 History

2.1 Etymology 2.2 Early history 2.3 Recent history

2.3.1 Invasion attempt 2.3.2 Transition to new system of government 2.3.3 Dark Sky Community status

3 Politics

3.1 Seigneur 3.2 Seneschal 3.3 Tenants 3.4 Chief Pleas 3.5 Officers 3.6 Clameur de Haro 3.7 Periodicals

4 Sercquiais 5 Economy

5.1 Tourism 5.2 Taxation 5.3 Sark
Sark
Company Registry

6 Education 7 Population

7.1 Demography

7.1.1 Population by gender and movements 7.1.2 Population by birthplace and visitors

8 Transport 9 Religion 10 Law enforcement 11 Emergency services 12 Sport 13 Sark
Sark
in media

13.1 Norman literature 13.2 English literature 13.3 French literature 13.4 In music 13.5 Television 13.6 In video games

14 See also 15 References 16 Further reading 17 External links

Geography and geology[edit]

La Coupée

Sark
Sark
consists of two main parts, Greater Sark, located at about 49°25′N 2°22′W / 49.417°N 2.367°W / 49.417; -2.367, and Little Sark
Little Sark
to the south. They are connected by a narrow isthmus called La Coupée which is 300 feet (91 m) long and has a drop of 330 feet (100 m) on each side.[4] Protective railings were erected in 1900; before then, children would crawl across on their hands and knees to avoid being blown over the edge. There is a narrow concrete road covering the entirety of the isthmus that was built in 1945 by German prisoners of war under the direction of the Royal Engineers. Due to its isolation, the inhabitants of Little Sark
Little Sark
had their own distinct form of Sercquiais, the native Norman dialect of the island.[5]

"Le Moulin" windmill, c. 1905

The highest point on Sark
Sark
is 374 feet (114 m) above sea level.[4] A windmill, dated 1571, is found there, the sails of which were removed during World War I. This high point is named Le Moulin, after the windmill. The location is also the highest point in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. Little Sark
Little Sark
had a number of mines accessing a source of galena.[6] At Port Gorey, the ruins of silver mines[7] may be seen. Off the south end of Little Sark
Little Sark
are the Venus Pool and the Adonis Pool, both natural swimming pools whose waters are refreshed at high tide. The whole island is extensively penetrated at sea level by natural cave formations that provide unique habitats for many marine creatures, notably sea anemones, some of which are only safely accessible at low tide. Sark
Sark
is made up mainly of amphibolite and granite gneiss rocks, intruded by igneous magma sheets called quartz diorite. Recent (1990–2000)[8] geological studies and rock age dating by geologists from Oxford Brookes University
Oxford Brookes University
shows that the gneisses probably formed around 620–600 million years ago during the Late Pre-Cambrian Age Cadomian Orogeny. The quartz diorite sheets were intruded during this Cadomian deformation and metamorphic event. All the Sark
Sark
rocks (and those of the nearby Channel Islands
Channel Islands
of Guernsey
Guernsey
and Alderney) formed during geological activity in the continental crust above an ancient subduction zone. This geological setting would have been analogous to the modern-day subduction zone of the Pacific Ocean plate colliding and subducting beneath the North and South American continental plate. Sark
Sark
also exercises jurisdiction over the island of Brecqhou, only a few hundred feet west of Greater Sark. It is a private island, but it has recently been opened to some visitors. Since 1993, Brecqhou
Brecqhou
has been owned by David Barclay, one of the Barclay brothers who are co-owners of The Daily Telegraph. They contest Sark's control over the island. However, the candidates endorsed by their various business interests on the Island failed to win any seats in the elections held in 2008[9] and 2010.[10] History[edit]

A horse-drawn carriage on Sark

Etymology[edit] The etymology of Sark
Sark
is unknown.[11] However, Richard Coates has suggested that in the absence of a Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European
etymology it may be worthwhile looking for a Proto-Semitic
Proto-Semitic
source for the name.[12] This is because the British Isles
British Isles
were likely repopulated from the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
following the last Ice Age. He proposes a comparison between the probable root of Sark, *Sarg-, and Proto-Semitic
Proto-Semitic
*śrq "redden; rise (as of the sun); east", noting Sark's position as the easternmost island of the Guernsey
Guernsey
group.[13] Early history[edit] In ancient times, Sark
Sark
was almost certainly occupied by the Veneti.[dubious – discuss] These people were subdued by the Roman Empire about 56 BC and the island annexed. After the Roman retreat during the fifth century AD, Sark
Sark
was probably an outpost of one or other Breton-speaking[dubious – discuss] kingdoms until 933, when it became part of the Duchy of Normandy. Following the Norman conquest of England in 1066, the island was united with the Crown of England. In the thirteenth century, the French pirate Eustace the Monk, having served King John, used Sark
Sark
as a base of operations. During the Middle Ages, the island was populated by monastic communities. By the 16th century, however, the island was uninhabited and used by pirates as a refuge and base. In 1565, Helier de Carteret, Seigneur of St. Ouen
St. Ouen
in Jersey, received letters patent from Queen Elizabeth I granting him Sark
Sark
as a fief in perpetuity on condition that he kept the island free of pirates and occupied by at least forty men who were of her English subjects or swore allegiance to the Crown.[14] This he duly did, leasing 40 parcels of land (known as "Tenements") at a low rent to forty families, mostly from St. Ouen, on condition that a house was built and maintained on each parcel and that "the Tenant" provided one man, armed with a musket, for the defence of the island. The 40 tenements survive to this day, albeit with minor boundary changes. A subsequent attempt by the families to endow a constitution under a bailiff, as in Jersey, was stopped by the Guernsey
Guernsey
authorities who resented any attempt to wrest Sark
Sark
from their bailiwick.[citation needed] Recent history[edit] Further information: Sark
Sark
during the German occupation of the Channel Islands In 1844, desperate for funds to continue the operation of the silver mine on the island, the incumbent Seigneur, Ernest le Pelley, obtained Crown permission to mortgage Sark's fief to local privateer John Allaire. After the company running the mine went bankrupt, le Pelley was unable to keep up the mortgage payments and, in 1849, his son Pierre Carey le Pelley, the new Seigneur, was forced to sell the fief to Marie Collings
Marie Collings
for a total of £1,383[15] (£6,000 less the sum borrowed and an accumulated interest of £616.13s).[16] During World War II, the island, along with the other Channel Islands, was occupied by German forces between 1940 and 1945. German military rule on Sark
Sark
began on 4 July 1940, the day after the Guernsey Kommandant Major Albrecht Lanz and his interpreter and chief of staff Major Maas visited the island to inform the Dame and Seigneur (Sibyl and Robert Hathaway) of the new regime. British Commandos
British Commandos
raided the island several times, Operation Basalt
Operation Basalt
during the night of 3–4 October 1942, captured a prisoner and Hardtack 7, was a failed British landing in December 1943. Sark
Sark
was finally liberated on 10 May 1945, a full day after Guernsey.

Sark
Sark
Invasion

Date August 1990 (1 day)

Location Sark
Sark
Island

Result Capture and arrest of André Gardes

Territorial changes None

Belligerents

  Sark
Sark
Volunteer Constable
Constable
Forces André Gardes

Strength

1 constable 1 man

Casualties and losses

None 1 captured

Invasion attempt[edit] In August 1990, an unemployed French nuclear physicist named André Gardes armed with a semi-automatic weapon attempted an invasion of Sark. The night Gardes arrived, he put up two posters declaring his intention to take over the island the following day at noon. The following day he started a solo foot patrol in front of the manor in battle-dress with weapon in hand. While Gardes was sitting on a bench waiting for noon to arrive, the island's volunteer connétable approached the Frenchman and complimented him on the quality of his weapon.[17] Gardes then proceeded to change the gun's magazine, at which point he was tackled to the ground, arrested, and given a seven-day sentence which he served in Guernsey.[17][18][19][20] Gardes attempted a comeback the following year, but was intercepted in Guernsey. Transition to new system of government[edit] Main article: Sark
Sark
general election, 2008 Until 2008, Sark's parliament (Chief Pleas) was a single chamber consisting of 54 members, comprising the Seigneur, the Seneschal, 40 owners of the Tenements and 12 elected deputies. A change to the system was advocated largely by the Barclay brothers, who had purchased an island within Sark's territorial waters in 1993[17] along with the hotels on the island.[21] Their premise was that a change was necessary to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights though it was suggested that their objection was more likely at odds with certain property tax requirements and primogeniture laws affecting their holdings.[21][22] The old system was described as feudal and undemocratic because the Tenants were entitled to sit in Chief Pleas
Chief Pleas
as of right.[23] On 16 January 2008 and 21 February 2008, the Chief Pleas
Chief Pleas
approved a law to reform Chief Pleas
Chief Pleas
as a 30-member chamber, with 28 members elected in island-wide elections, one hereditary member (the Seigneur) and one member (the Seneschal) appointed for life.[24][25] The Privy Council of the United Kingdom approved the Sark
Sark
law reforms on 9 April 2008.[26] The first elections under the new law were held in December 2008 and the new chamber first convened in January 2009.[27][28] Some Sark
Sark
residents have complained that the new system is not democratic and have described the powers the new law granted to the Seneschal, an unelected member whose term the new law extended to the duration of his natural life, as imperial or dictatorial. The Court of Appeal has indeed ruled his powers to be in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and his powers are subject to further legal challenges on these grounds.[29] In 2012 the BBC
BBC
Today programme reported on local disquiet about the influence on the island of David and Frederick Barclay, the billionaire brothers who own The Daily Telegraph.[30] The New Yorker magazine further illustrated the ongoing and escalating tensions between the Barclays and some of the longer-term residents.[31] In 2017 Private Eye
Private Eye
also reported on the situation, following the Barclays' decision to close their vineyard and a number of hotels and shops they own on Sark.[32] Dark Sky Community status[edit] In January 2011, the International Dark-Sky Association
International Dark-Sky Association
designated Sark
Sark
as Europe's first Dark Sky Community[33] and the first Dark Sky Island in the world.[34] This designation recognises that Sark
Sark
is sufficiently clear of light pollution to allow naked-eye astronomy. Although Sark
Sark
was aided in its achievement by its location, its historic ban on cars and the fact that there is no public lighting, it was also necessary for local residents to make adjustments, such as re-siting lights, to cut the light pollution. Following an audit in 2010 by the IDA the designation was made in January 2011. The award is significant in that Sark
Sark
is the first island community to have achieved this; other Dark-Sky Places have, up to now, been mainly uninhabited areas, and IDA chairman Martin Morgan-Taylor commended Sark
Sark
residents for their effort.[35] After the designation in 2011, Sark
Sark
Astronomy
Astronomy
Society worked to secure funds for an astronomical observatory on the island. In October 2015 Sark's observatory was officially opened by Dr Marek Kukula, public astronomer from the Royal Observatory Greenwich.[36][37] Politics[edit]

September 2005 aerial view of Sark. North is to the lower left, Little Sark
Sark
toward the upper right and Brecqhou
Brecqhou
at bottom right.

Sark
Sark
was considered the last feudal state in Europe. Together with the other Channel Islands, it is the last remnant of the former Duchy of Normandy
Normandy
still belonging to the Crown. Sark
Sark
belongs to the Crown in its own right and has an independent relationship with the Crown through the Lieutenant Governor in Guernsey.[38] Formally, the Seigneur holds it as a fief from the Crown, reenfeoffing the landowners on the island with their respective parcels. The political consequences of this construction were abolished in recent years, particularly in the reform of the legislative body, Chief Pleas, which took place in 2008. Although geographically located within the Bailiwick of Guernsey, Sark is fiscally entirely separate from it and has been granted its own UN country code (680) to assist in identifying this fact to the world at large. Together with the islands of Alderney
Alderney
and Guernsey, Sark
Sark
from time to time approves Bailiwick of Guernsey
Bailiwick of Guernsey
legislation, which, subject to the approval of all three legislatures, applies in the entire Bailiwick. Legislation cannot be made which applies on Sark
Sark
without the approval of the Chief Pleas, although recently Chief Pleas
Chief Pleas
has been delegating a number of Ordinance making powers to the States of Guernsey. Such powers are, however, in each case subject to dis-application, or repeal, by the Chief Pleas. By long standing custom, Sark's criminal law has been made by the States of Guernsey, and this custom was put on a statutory basis in Section 4 of the Reform (Sark) Law, 2008, by which Sark
Sark
delegates criminal law making power to the States of Guernsey. Seigneur[edit] Main article: List of Seigneurs of Sark Christopher Beaumont is the current and twenty-third Seigneur of Sark, inheriting the seigneury in 2016. The Seigneur of Sark
Sark
was, before the constitutional reforms of 2008, the head of the feudal government of the Isle of Sark
Sark
(in the case of a woman, the title was Dame). Many of the laws, particularly those related to inheritance and the rule of the Seigneur, had changed little since they were enacted in 1565 under Queen Elizabeth I. The Seigneur retained the sole right on the island to keep pigeons and was until 2008 the only person allowed to keep an unspayed dog. In 2008, the latter privilege was abolished (on the proposal of political opponents of the Barclay brothers) because it did not comply with the European Convention on Human Rights.[18] Seneschal[edit] Until 2013, the Seneschal of Sark
Sark
was the head of the Chief Pleas. Since 1675, he has also been the judge of the island (between 1583 and 1675, judicial functions were exercised by five elected Jurats and a Juge). The Seneschal is appointed by the Seigneur; or, nowadays, formally, by an Appointment Committee, consisting of the Seigneur and two other members appointed by the Seigneur.[25] In 2010, following the decision of the English Court of Appeal, the Chief Pleas
Chief Pleas
decided to split the dual role of the Seneschal.[39] Thus, from 2013, the Chief Pleas
Chief Pleas
elects its own President, who presides in almost all cases. Only when the Chief Pleas
Chief Pleas
elects a President, the Seneschal still acts as its chairman. The complete list of all the Seneschal of Sark
Sark
from 1675 is as follows:[40]

Pierre Gibault (15/7/1675-1680) Thomas de Beauvoir (1680–1683) Phillipe Dumeresq (1683–1702) Jean Payne (1702–1707) Philippe de Carteret (1707–1744) Henri de Carteret (1744–1752) Phillipe le Masurier (1752–1777) Henri le Masurier (1777–1785) Amice le Couteur (1785–1808) Jean le Couteur (1808–1812) Jean Falle (1812–1830) Elie le Masurier (1830–1841) Philippe Guille (1841–1851) Thomas Godfray (1851–1876) William de Carteret (1876–1881) Abraham Baker (1881–1891) Thomas Godfray (1891–1920) Kenneth Campbell (1920–1922) Ashby Taylor (1922–1925) Frederick de Carteret (1925–1937) William Carré (1937–1945) William Baker (1945–1969) Bernard Jones (1969–1979) Hilary Carré (1979–1985) Lawrence Philip de Carteret (1985–2000) Reginald J. Guille (2000–2013) Jeremy la Trobe-Bateman (from 27 February 2013 – )

Tenants[edit]

The Seigneurie (49°26.4′N 2°21.7′W / 49.4400°N 2.3617°W / 49.4400; -2.3617)

Pursuant to the royal letters patent, the Seigneur was to keep the island inhabited by at least 40 armed men.[14] Therefore, from his lands, 39 parcels or tenements, each sufficient for one family, were subdivided and granted to settlers, the Tenants. Later, some of these parcels were dismembered, and parts of the Seigneurial land were sold, creating more parcels. Originally each head of a parcel-holding family had the right to vote in Chief Pleas, but in 1604 this right was restricted to the 39 original tenements required by the Letters Patent, the so-called Quarantaine Tenements (quarantaine: French for a group of forty). The newer parcels mostly did not have the obligation to bear arms. In 1611 the dismemberment of tenements was forbidden, but the order was not immediately followed. In Sark, the word tenant is used (and often pronounced as in French) in the sense of feudal landholder rather than the common English meaning of lessee. Originally, the word referred to any landowner, but today it is mostly used for a holder of one of the Quarantaine Tenements. Chief Pleas[edit]

Meeting place for Chief Pleas
Chief Pleas
and the Court of the Seneschal

Chief Pleas
Chief Pleas
(French: Chefs Plaids; Sercquiais: Cheurs Pliaids) is the parliament of Sark. It consists of 28 members (Conseillers), elected for a period of office of 4 years. In addition, the Seigneur and an elected President are counted as members; but they have no right to vote. The periods of office are shifted, with the period of half the Conseillers starting in the middle of the periods of the other half. Thus, every second year, 14 Conseillers are elected for the coming four years. In the elections, the 14 candidates receiving most votes are elected. The Prévôt, the Greffier, and the Treasurer also attend but are not members; the Treasurer may address Chief Pleas
Chief Pleas
on matters of taxation and finance. However, if there are not more willing candidates than the numbers of positions to fill (including any casual vacancies), then all candidates are declared elected, without any actual election necessary. This happened both in the 2014 and the 2016 elections to the Chief Pleas. Until 2008, the Chief Pleas
Chief Pleas
consisted of the tenants, and 12 deputies of the people as the only representation of the majority, an office introduced in 1922. The Seigneur and the Seneschal (who presided) were also members of Chief Pleas. Since 2000, Chief Pleas
Chief Pleas
was working on its own reform, responding to internal and international pressures. On 8 March 2006 by a vote of 25–15 Chief Pleas
Chief Pleas
voted for a new legislature of the Seigneur, the Seneschal, 14 elected landowners and 14 elected non-landowners.[41][42] But it was made plain by the British Lord Chancellor Jack Straw
Jack Straw
that this option was not on the table. Offered two options for reform involving an elected legislature, one fully elected, one with a number of seats reserved for elected Tenants, 56% of the inhabitants expressed a preference for a totally elected legislature.[43] Following the poll, Chief Pleas
Chief Pleas
voted on 4 October 2006 to replace the 12 Deputies and 40 Tenants in Chief Pleas
Chief Pleas
by 28 Conseillers elected by universal adult suffrage.[44] This decision was suspended in January 2007 when it was pointed out to Chief Pleas
Chief Pleas
that the 56% versus 44% majority achieved in the opinion poll did not achieve the 60% majority required for the constitutional change. The decision was replaced by the proposal that Chief Pleas
Chief Pleas
should consist of 16 Tenants and 12 Conseillers both elected by universal adult suffrage from 2008 to 2012 and that a binding referendum should then decide whether this composition should be kept or replaced by 28 Conseillers.[45] This proposal was rejected by the Privy Council and the 28 Conseiller option was reinstated in February 2008 and accepted by Privy Council in April 2008.[46] In 2003, Chief Pleas
Chief Pleas
voted to vary the long-standing ban on divorce in the island by extending to the Royal Court of Guernsey
Guernsey
power to grant divorces.[47] Bailiwick of Guernsey
Bailiwick of Guernsey
Laws and United Kingdom Acts of Parliament can (the latter as also in the case of all the other Channel Islands) be extended to Sark
Sark
with the consent of Chief Pleas. In practice, Sark does not make its own criminal laws; the responsibility for making criminal law is formally delegated to the States of Guernsey
Guernsey
by Section 4(3) of the Reform (Sark) Law 2008. Officers[edit] The executive officers on the island are:

The Seneschal (Chief Judge, formerly also President of Chief Pleas) and Deputy The Prevôt (Sheriff of the Court and of Chief Pleas) and Deputy The Greffier (Clerk) and Deputy The Treasurer (Finances) and Deputy The Connétable (or Constable) is the senior of two police officers and police administrator and the Vingtenier
Vingtenier
is the junior police officer.

The Seneschal, Prevôt, and Greffier are chosen by the Seigneur, while the Treasurer, Constable
Constable
and Vingtenier
Vingtenier
are elected by Chief Pleas.[48][25] The list of current Officers of the Island of Sark:

Seneschal – Jeremy la Trobe-Bateman[49]

Deputy Seneschal – Ewan de Carteret[49]

Prevôt – Kevin Adams[50]

Deputy Prevôt –

Greffier – Trevor John Hamon

Deputy Greffier – John Hamon (father of Trevor John Hamon)

Treasurer – Wendy Kiernan Constable
Constable
– Paul Burgess Vingtenier
Vingtenier
– Mike Fawson President of Chief Pleas
Chief Pleas
– Arthur Rolfe[50]

Clameur de Haro[edit] Among the old laws of the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
is the old Norman custom of the Clameur de haro. Using this legal device, a person can obtain immediate cessation of any action he considers to be an infringement of his rights. At the scene, he must, in front of witnesses, recite the Lord's Prayer
Lord's Prayer
in French and cry out "Haro, Haro, Haro! À mon aide mon Prince, on me fait tort!" ("Haro, Haro, Haro! To my aid, my Prince! I am being wronged!"). It should then be registered with the Greffe Office within 24 hours. All actions against the person must then cease until the matter is heard by the Court. The last Clameur recorded on Sark
Sark
was raised in June 1970 to prevent the construction of a garden wall.[18] Periodicals[edit] Since 2009 a resident of Sark
Sark
has operated a weekly online newspaper called The Sark
Sark
Newspaper (earlier: The Sark
Sark
Newsletter).[51] The publisher is a former longtime employee of the wealthy Barclay brothers, who own the small neighbouring island of Brecqhou.[52] The publication has compared the local government of Sark
Sark
"to fascist Germany in the 1930s". In 2014 over 50 residents of Sark
Sark
filed complaints with the police about accusations made by the paper.[53] Since 2011 a quarterly magazine called Sark
Sark
Life, which promotes a positive view of the island and welcomes contributions, is published by the Sark-based publishing company Small Island Publishing.[54] Sercquiais[edit] Main article: Sercquiais Sercquiais (Sarkese, or sometimes called Sark-French) is a dialect of the Norman language
Norman language
still spoken in 1998 by a few older inhabitants of the island.[5] Its decline has been linked with the arrival of English-speaking miners in 1835, and increased tourism in more recent years.[55] Economy[edit] Tourism[edit] Sark's economy depends primarily on tourism and financial services. Sark
Sark
has no company registry and relies on Guernsey's financial services commission.[56] Taxation[edit] Sark
Sark
is fiscally autonomous from Guernsey, and consequently has control over how it raises taxes. There are no taxes on income, capital gains or inheritances. There is also no VAT
VAT
charged on goods and services, but import duties (Impôts) are charged on some goods brought onto the island at around 70–75% of Guernsey
Guernsey
rates. However, the island does levy a Personal Capital Tax, a Property Tax, a Poll Tax ("Landing Tax") on visitors coming to the island, and a Property Transfer Tax (PTT) on residential properties when they are sold. The island has its own tax assessor (in 2016, this remained Simon de Carteret),[57] who collects the Property Tax, PTT, and the Personal Capital Tax (direct tax).[58] Currently, the Personal Capital Tax ranges from a minimum of £300, to a maximum of £6,400 or 0.3% per annum (whichever is the lower). [59] In 2014, there were 5 taxpayers who paid the maximum amount of £6,400 (PCT and Property Tax combined), and 6 who paid zero tax. Residents over the age of 69 do not pay the PCT. If a resident chooses not to declare the value of their personal assets, they can elect to pay a flat-rate under the Forfait method. In 2006, Property Transfer Tax replaced the feudal Treizième.[60] This used to be calculated by dividing the purchase price of any of the 30 tenements or 40 freehold properties on Sark
Sark
by 13. The proceeds from doing this were then paid directly to the Seigneur. When the Treizième was abolished, the Chief Pleas
Chief Pleas
introduced an indexed-linked pension of £28,000 per year, payable to the Seigneur. An individual is considered to be a resident for tax purposes if they have remained on the island for at least 90 days in any tax year.[61] Sark
Sark
Company Registry[edit] Sark
Sark
has no company registry, and no company law. In January 2017, a private organisation called the " Sark
Sark
Company Registry" was set up. However the initiative was opposed by the Guernsey
Guernsey
Financial Services Commission. [62] Education[edit] Sark
Sark
generally follows the education system of England though this is not strictly adhered to. Sark
Sark
has one school, the Sark
Sark
School, which takes residents from the ages of 4 to 15. School is divided into 4 classes. Class 1 takes children from the ages of 4 to 7 (reception to year 2), class 2 caters for 7- to 9-year-olds (year 3 to year 4), class 3 has 9- to 14-year-olds (year 5 to year 9) and the older children attend class 4 (years 10 and 11).[63] Pupils wishing to obtain a GCSE or A-level qualification often finish their education in Guernsey
Guernsey
or in England. Since 2006, however, a limited number of GCSEs have been offered to pupils at Sark
Sark
School.[64] Population[edit]

Year 1274 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1939 1951 1961 1971 2008 2014

Sark >400 488 543 785 580 583 546 571 570 504 579 611 571 430 555 550 584 >474 >492

Brechou

0 0 5 0 0 5 7 2 2 0 3 6 0 10 11 6

Map of settlements in Sark

Notes:

1274 data from census taken before black death[65] 1821–1971 data from 1971 Bailwick of Guernsey
Guernsey
report.[66] 2008 data represents only eligible voters[67] 2012 data represents only those who signed for electoral roll. Total is estimated.[68]

Demography[edit] Population by gender and movements[edit] Resident population on Sark
Sark
by gender and residence at one and five-yearly intervals.

Residents (1971) Residence One Year Prior Residence Five Years Prior

Same Different Same Different

M F M F M F M F M F

245 248 230 230 15 18 189 187 56 61

Data from the 1971 Bailwick of Guernsey
Guernsey
report.[66] Population by birthplace and visitors[edit]

Birthplace Guernsey Alderney Sark

Persons Males Females Persons Males Females Persons Males Females

Resident in Bailiwick

Total 49399 23749 25650 1579 752 827 493 245 248

United Kingdom 47648 22923 24725 1429 689 740 463 233 230

Channel Islands 35820 17401 18419 642 323 319 264 139 125

Bailiwick 35250 17151 18099 607 309 298 247 131 116

Jersey 570 250 320 35 14 21 17 8 9

England 10346 4827 5519 680 320 360 183 87 96

Scotland 734 324 410 70 32 38 7 2 5

Wales 414 194 220 26 10 16 6 3 3

Northern Ireland 334 177 157 11 4 7 3 2 1

Other Country 1751 826 925 150 63 87 30 12 18

Visitors

Total 2059 1043 1016 107 45 62 97 44 53

United Kingdom 1669 838 831 96 39 57 83 37 46

Channel Islands 134 60 74 4 1 3 1 0 1

Bailiwick 98 46 52 4 1 3 1 0 1

Jersey 36 14 22 0 0 0 0 0 0

England 1205 610 595 87 36 51 75 34 41

Scotland 116 55 61 4 2 2 3 2 1

Wales 71 29 42 0 0 0 3 0 3

Northern Ireland 143 84 59 1 0 1 1 1 0

Other Country 390 205 185 11 6 5 14 7 7

Data from the 1971 Bailwick of Guernsey
Guernsey
report.[66] Transport[edit]

The high-speed ferry service from Jersey
Jersey
arriving at Sark

The Isle of Sark
Sark
Shipping Company operates small ferries from Sark
Sark
to St Peter Port, Guernsey. The service takes 55 minutes for the 9 miles (14 km) crossing.[69] A high-speed passenger ferry is operated in summer by the French company Manche Iles Express to Jersey.[70] A 12-passenger boat, the Lady Maris II, operates regular services to Alderney.[71] The island is a car-free zone[72] where the only vehicles allowed are horse-drawn vehicles, bicycles, tractors, and battery-powered buggies or motorised bicycles for elderly or disabled people. Passengers and goods arriving by ferry from Guernsey
Guernsey
are transported from the wharf by tractor-pulled vehicles. There is no airport on Sark, and flight over Sark
Sark
below 2400 ft is prohibited by the Air Navigation (Restriction of Flying) (Guernsey) Regulations 1985 ( Guernsey
Guernsey
1985/21). The closest airports are Guernsey Airport and Jersey
Jersey
Airport. Sark
Sark
lies directly in line of approach to the runway of Guernsey
Guernsey
airport, however, and low-flying[citation needed] aircraft regularly fly over the island. Religion[edit]

St. Peter's Church (Anglican)

In common with the other Channel Islands, Sark
Sark
is attached to the Anglican
Anglican
diocese of Winchester. Sark
Sark
has an Anglican
Anglican
church (St. Peter's, built 1820) and a Methodist[73] church. John Wesley
John Wesley
first proposed a mission to Sark
Sark
in 1787. Jean de Quetteville of Jersey
Jersey
subsequently began preaching there, initially in a cottage at Le Clos à Geon and then at various houses around Sark. Preachers from Guernsey
Guernsey
visited regularly, and in 1796, land was donated by Jean Vaudin, leader of the Methodist community in Sark, for the construction of a chapel, which Jean de Quetteville dedicated in 1797.[74] In the mid-1800s there was a small Plymouth Brethren
Plymouth Brethren
assembly. Its most notable member was the classicist William Kelly (1821–1906). Kelly was then the tutor to the Seigneur's children. Supported by the evidence of the names of the tenements of La Moinerie and La Moinerie de Haut, it is believed[75] that the Seigneurie was constructed on the site of the monastery of Saint Magloire. Magloire had been Samson of Dol's successor as bishop of Dol, but retired and founded a monastery in Sark
Sark
where he died in the late sixth century. According to the vita of Magloire, the monastery housed 62 monks and a school for the instruction of the sons of noble families from the Cotentin. Magloire's relics were venerated at the monastery until the mid-ninth century when Viking
Viking
raids rendered Sark
Sark
unsafe, and the monks departed for Jersey, taking the relics with them. Law enforcement[edit] Despite having its own legislative assembly, Sark
Sark
voluntarily submits to Guernsey
Guernsey
in matters of criminal law. For matters of routine law enforcement and policing the island relies upon the States of Guernsey Police Service. Sark
Sark
has a small police station and jail, with two (rarely used) cells available.[18] The island has no full-time police officers permanently stationed on it, but has access to police services in three principal ways: firstly through the activity of a volunteer special constable on the island (there has been a resident volunteer constable since before the formal policing agreement with Guernsey
Guernsey
first began); secondly through the designation of a member of the Guernsey
Guernsey
Neighbourhood Policing Team as a dedicated point of contact for Sark
Sark
authorities;[76] thirdly by means of regular visits and patrols by Guernsey-based officers who cross to Sark
Sark
on the passenger ferry service. Emergency services[edit]

Tractor-drawn emergency ambulance on Sark

A resident doctor provides healthcare on Sark, and is available to attend accidents and emergencies. The Sark
Sark
Ambulance Service operates two tractor-drawn ambulances,[77] and is able to treat casualties and transport them to the harbour for transfer onto the Guernsey
Guernsey
marine ambulance launch, Flying Christine III, operated by Guernsey
Guernsey
Ambulance and Rescue Service. A small ambulance station houses the two ambulances. Fire and rescue services are provided by an independent and volunteer service established in 1958. Originally named ' Sark
Sark
Fire Brigade', it is now known as the Sark
Sark
Fire and Rescue Service.[78] The services operates two pump tenders and an all-purpose trailer; all three appliances are drawn by tractors owing to the ban on other motor vehicles on Sark. The original fire station was a large garage. Today the service operates from a large purpose-built fire station on La Chasse Marette. Lifeboat services are provided by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution from the Guernsey
Guernsey
lifeboat station, supported by the RNLI stations on Jersey
Jersey
and Alderney. Sport[edit] See also: Rugby union in the Bailiwick of Guernsey
Bailiwick of Guernsey
and Sark
Sark
football team Participation in sport tends towards individual sports rather than team sports, but the population supports a cricket team, a rugby union team and a football team.[79] Sark
Sark
competes in the biennial Island Games in which the Sark football team
Sark football team
has participated. The annual Sark
Sark
to Jersey
Jersey
Rowing Race is contested by teams from both bailiwicks.[80] Carl Hester, who was born in Sark, won a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics
2012 Summer Olympics
in the Individual and Team Dressage events.[81] A Sark
Sark
post box was painted gold to celebrate the event. Sark
Sark
in media[edit] There are many examples of media taking Sark
Sark
as an inspiration or setting. Norman literature[edit] Although there is no record of literature about Sark
Sark
in Sercquiais, Guernésiais
Guernésiais
and Jèrriais literature
Jèrriais literature
has included writing about Sark; for example by such authors as Edwin John Luce,[82] Thomas Grut,[83] George F. Le Feuvre,[84] and Denys Corbet.[85] English literature[edit]

Algernon Swinburne wrote a poem, In Sark, which appears in the collection A Century of Roundels. Arthur Conan Doyle's Sir Nigel
Sir Nigel
(1906) includes a sub-plot where Black Simon of Norwich, a man at arms travelling with Sir Nigel
Sir Nigel
Loring to war, obtains permission from Sir Robert Knolles to go ashore to Sark under cover of darkness. He takes his friend the archer Samkin Alward with him and beheads the (so-called) King of Sark
Sark
in payment of a wager. John Oxenham wrote Carette of Sark
Sark
(1907) and his 1910 novel A Maid of the Silver Sea uses the mines of Little Sark
Little Sark
as its setting. The novel Mr Pye
Mr Pye
by Mervyn Peake, best known for the Gormenghast series, is set on Sark. The book has been adapted for radio and television. The TV series, filmed on Sark, starred Derek Jacobi
Derek Jacobi
and Judy Parfitt, and featured a number of islanders. Sark
Sark
may also have been a crucial inspiration for Peake while writing Gormenghast (he lived on the island at some point in his life). Dame of Sark, the memoirs of the 21st Seigneur Sibyl Mary Hathaway, who was present during the German occupation, were made into a play and television drama of the same name.[86] Dame Sibyl also wrote Maid of Sark, an historical romance published in 1939; set in the sixteenth Century, it incorporates events related to the defence of the island against the Bretons. The novel Appointment with Venus
Appointment with Venus
by Jerrard Tickell is set on the fictional island of Armorel, which is presumed to be based on Sark. The 1951 film of the book used Sark
Sark
as a principal location. Sarah Caudwell's The Sirens Sang of Murder (1989) is partly set in Sark. The 2016 novel Iron Chamber of Memory by John C. Wright is set on Sark.

French literature[edit] Maurice Leblanc's novel L'Île aux Trente Cercueils (translated in English as The Secret of Sarek) features an island called Sarek, off the coast of Brittany, and bears obvious similarities to Sark. In the story, gentleman-thief Arsène Lupin
Arsène Lupin
rescues Véronique d'Hergemont from a local superstition requiring the death of thirty women to appease vengeful spirits. In music[edit] Irish musician, composer and singer Enya's 2015 album Dark Sky Island was inspired by Sark's designation as the first 'dark sky island'. Certain songs on the album, the title track especially, explore the stars, skies and nature. Television[edit] The 1986 television adaptation of Mr Pye
Mr Pye
by Mervyn Peake
Mervyn Peake
and starring Derek Jacobi
Derek Jacobi
was filmed on the island. The original novel is also set on Sark. Sark
Sark
featured in the 6th episode of the fourth series of The New Statesman, The Irresistible Rise of Alan B'Stard and also in the Jersey-based television detective series Bergerac. Part of the seventh episode of the second series of World War II television drama Enemy at the Door takes place in Sark. La Coupée features in a number of scenes. Sark, and in particular the Gouliot Caves, features in episode 8 of series 3 of the BBC
BBC
television series Coast. Sark
Sark
was featured in Episode 3 of the 2009 ITV television series Islands of Britain, presented by Martin Clunes; islanders involved in the programme included Alan Blythe (Constable) and Rossford de Carteret. Sark
Sark
was featured on the ITV2
ITV2
programme Holiday Showdown where one family chose Sark
Sark
as their holiday destination. In episode 2 of the 2009 ITV mini-series Collision, Guy Pearson (played by Nicholas Farrell) says, "I'm moving to the Channel Islands: Sark. No cars on Sark, it'll be heaven." In John Shuttleworth's Southern Softies (2009), John and his crew cannot find anywhere to stay on the island. Series 7 and 8 of the BBC
BBC
television series An Island Parish follows the Anglican
Anglican
priest and Methodist
Methodist
minister on Sark. In episode 2 of series 7 of the YouTube series by The Technical Difficulties, Citation Needed, Tom Scott chooses and asks questions surrounding the topic of the Sark
Sark
Football Team. [87] In video games[edit] Recently, Sark
Sark
was added to the milsim Arma 3
Arma 3
in an update to a World War Two modification, Iron Front. The island is made to scale and is fully explorable. See also[edit]

List of Seigneurs of Sark Archaeology of the Channel Islands

References[edit]

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Sark
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Further reading[edit]

Lee, Eric (2016). Operation Basalt: The British Raid on Sark
Sark
and Hitler's Commando Order. The History Press. ISBN 978-0750964364.  Kursner, Geoffroy (2015). L'île de Sercq: Histoire du dernier état féodal d'Europe. Éditions du Menhir. ISBN 978-2-919403-27-1.  Johnson, Henry (2015). The Sark/ Brecqhou
Brecqhou
Dyad: Jurisdictional Geographies and Contested Histories] (PDF). Shima 9 (1): 89–108.  Johnson, Henry (2014). Sark
Sark
and Brecqhou: Space, Politics and Power] (PDF). Shima 8 (1): 9–33.  Rivett, Peter J. (1999). Sark: A Feudal
Feudal
Fraud?. Devon: Planetesimal Publishing. ISBN 0-9534947-2-1.  Hawkes, Ken (1995). Sark. Guernsey: Guernsey
Guernsey
Press. ISBN 0-902550-46-2.  Karbe, Lars Cassio (1984). Das politische System der Insel Sark. Modelle europäischer Zwergstaaten – die normannische Seigneurie Sark
Sark
(Sercq). Frankfurt am Main. ISBN 3-8204-7483-8.  Coysh, Victor (1982). Sark: The Last Stronghold of Feudalism. Guernsey: Toucan Press.  Barnett, A.J. (1977). The Constitution
Constitution
of Sark.  Ewen, A. H.; de Carteret, Allan R. (1969). The Fief
Fief
of Sark. Guernsey: Guernsey
Guernsey
Press.  Sack, John (1959). Report from Practically Nowhere. New York: Curtis Publishing Company. pp. 26–42.  Toyne, S.M. (1959). Sark: A Feudal
Feudal
Survival. Eton, Windsor: The Shakespeare Head Press.  de Carteret, A.R. (1956). The Story of Sark. London: Peter Owen Limited.  Cachemaille, Rev J.L.V. (1928). The Island of Sark. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sark.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Sark.

Government of Sark
Sark
webpage BBC
BBC
Feudal
Feudal
island brings in democracy St Peter's Sark  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Sark". Encyclopædia Britannica. 24 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 220. 

Coordinates: 49°25′59″N 2°21′39″W / 49.43306°N 2.36083°W / 49.43306; -2.36083

v t e

The Channel Islands

Bailiwick of Guernsey

Guernsey

Herm Lihou Jethou Les Hanois Les Houmets Crevichon Bréhon

Alderney

Ortac Burhou Les Casquets

Sark

Brecqhou

Bailiwick of Jersey

Jersey Les Écréhous La Motte Les Minquiers Pierres de Lecq Les Dirouilles

See also: Chausey

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 124436405 LCCN: n88040

.

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