Sark, Channel Islands

Description

Sark, Serk, or Sercq, a small group of the Channel Islands, 7 miles E by S of St Peter in Guernsey. It consists chiefly of Great Sark and Little Sark, extending from N to S, and joined together by a high and narrow isthmus; includes Ile des Marchands or Brechou islet on the W, L'Etac de Sark islet on the S, the Buron islets or rocks on the E, and a number of other rocks or skerries; is politically a dependency of Guernsey, but has its own peculiar laws, customs, and government, a complete remnant of the feudal system. Ecclesiastically it is a vicarage in the diocese of Winchester; is inhabited only in the main island; and has a post office under Guernsey. Area of Great Sark, 1035 acres; population, 531; of Little Sark, 239 acres; population, 39. The main island, or Great Sark and Little Sark, was the Sarnia of Antonine; became the site of a monastery founded by St Magloire about 566; was given by Queen Elizabeth to the Carterets; passed to the family of Le Pelley; belongs now to the Collings family, the lords or seigneurs of the manor; measures about 3 1/2 miles in length, and about 1 1/2 mile in extreme breadth; contracts at the isthmus into a mere natural bridge 280 feet long, 270 high, and from 5 to 8 wide at the top ; presents all round the coast, except at a few tiny landing-places, an inaccessible wall of rocks from 200 to 300 feet high, and rising at one point to about 365 feet; has, at Le Creux in the NE, a harbour and tunnel which were improved in 1866-68 at a cost of about £4000; abounds in romantic caves and breaks on the coast cliffs, and in picturesque and curious features in the interior; consists of greenstone and granite rocks, with metalliferous lodes; and contains a manor house in the Tudor style and two hotels, one public house, but no village. The Isle des Marchands is notable for the emission from a cave's mouth of deep-toned muffled sounds, resembling those of distant discharges of artillery, but the other islets and rooks are notable chiefly for their dangerousness to navigators. The living of St Peter's is a vicarage in the diocese of Winchester, net value, £130 with residence. Patron, the Seigneur. The church was-built in 1820, and there are a Wesleyan chapel and two schools.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5
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