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La Seigneurie Tower

Our History & Heritage

Sark, as we know it today, was settled in 1565 by Helier DeCarteret from Jersey. Helier was granted a charter by Queen Elizabeth I to colonise the island and defend it against pirates and French invasion. Helier brought forty men to live on Sark and the island was divided into 40 tenements that are still present today. Helier became the island's first Seigneur and feudal ruler. Sark remained the last feudal state in Europe until 2008 when the island became a democracy.

During WWII Sark was occupied, along with the other Channel Islands. The German soldiers arrived in 1940 and stayed until the island was liberated on 10th May, 1945, the day after Guernsey and two days after Europe was liberated. For nearly 5 years the locals and German soldiers lived side by side on this tiny island.

Today, we think of Sark as being a mix of English, Norman French and Channel Island cultures. This fusion is evident in the island's traditional dishes, clothing, pastimes and perhaps most notably in Sark's Patois language, Sercquaise. Almost all of the island's house, street and landmark names are written in Sercquaise, albeit pronounced in an Anglicised accent.


In this way and many others Sark is a juxtaposition of old and new, tradition & modernity, isolation & freedom.

Historical Buildings & Sites

From the Megalithic Dolmen to the modern Sark Henge, discover places of historical interest dating back throughout the centuries.

Creux Harbour Tunnel
La Seigneurie Chapel
Dame Sybil and WW2 Soldiers
Sark WW2 Liberation

Sark & the WW2 Occupation

Sark was occupied for five years during the War, under the seigneurship of Dame Sybil, who insisted that the Germans respect the residents.

Seigneurs & Feudal Rule

Since 1565 Sark was ruled by a Seigneur (French for Lord). The island was the last feudal state in Europe, becoming a democracy in 2008.

Seigneur John Carteret 2nd
Dame Sybil Hathaway
Sark Archaeology
Sark Archaeology

Archaeology on Sark

For several years archaeologists from Oxford University, led by Sir Barry Cunliffe, have been unearthing Sark’s fascinating ancient history.

Monks, Pirates & Folklore

It is said that St. Magloire came to Sark and built a monastery, only for it to be destroyed by Vikings and the island taken over by pirates!

Witches Seats by Martin Remphrey
Saint Magloire
Martin Neudorfl Sercquaise
Venus Pool by William Toplis8610127_7229417724336668672_n.jpg

Art & Language

From Turner to Toplis, Sark has long been a muse for artists and more recently for linguists working to preserve our endangered patois, Sercquaise!


War-Time Exhibition Sark


Sark Heritage Room



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