La Seigneurie – Sark’s history told in bricks and mortar
This unique building dates back to 1565 and was built in the style of a Jersey farmhouse. It was originally called La Perronerie and was one of the island’s forty tenement houses, the homes of Sark’s Elizabethan landowners. It was built on the site of a 5th century monastery, one wall of which can still be seen today. In 1730 Susanne Le Pelley owned the house when she became the first Dame of Sark (a lady Seigneur is called a Dame). The island’s Seigneurs had originally lived in a property at the top of Dixcart valley, now called Le Manoir, but Susanne Le Pelley preferred to stay where she was so her house became La Seigneurie, the home of the Seigneur.
By 1852 the Le Pelley family was bankrupt after investing in the ill-fated silver mining venture on Little Sark and the Fiefdom of Sark was sold to the Collings family whose ancestors have lived in the Seigneurie ever since.
Over the centuries the house has evolved with each successive Seigneur adding extensions and ornamentations to create the enchanting building we see today, complete with a tower, a dovecote and seventeen flights of stairs.
In 2016 Major Christopher Beaumont became Sark’s 23rd Seigneur and decided to open the house to the public for the first time. He personally leads most of the tours which allow a chance to explore this intriguing house and discover its fascinating artefacts. It’s a story of Sark’s history and Seigneurs.
Tours of La Seigneurie take place every day at 11.30am and 2pm and include much of the house including the Dame’s bedroom, the observation deck of the tower and the Prince of Wales Room. In the Victorian drawing room you will see where Sibyl Hathaway, the Dame of Sark, received the German officers on the first day of the Occupation. Their signatures are in the visitors’ book along with those of the liberating forces and the many royal visitors who have visited the house. In the library there are fascinating documents and artefacts relating to the island’s history including Letters Patent from King George II and Queen Victoria. Throughout the house there are family portraits and heirlooms which connect the current Seigneur to those who went before him.
The price of the tour also includes entrance to the Seigneurie Gardens with their ponds, woodlands, maze and one of the finest walled gardens in Europe. There is also an exhibition with more information about the history of the Seigneurie and Sark’s Seigneurs.
Open during selected dates from Easter to end of October, please contact us on the email below or the Visitors Centre on 01481 832345 to check tour dates.
For the house tour there is a £10.00 supplement in addition to the charge for entry in to the Seigneurie Gardens.
Email for enquiries and group bookings firstname.lastname@example.org