The Village Commonwealth Walkway

Sark / Europe

Sark is the smallest of the Channel Islands, in the English Channel, not far from Normandy on the French coast.  It is a royal fief, forming part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, and consists of 2.10 square miles.  A feature of the island is that it is one of the few places in the world where cars are banned, the only means of transport being horse-drawn vehicles, though tractors are permitted.  Sark consists of two parts, Greater Sark with Little Sark to the south.  There are many cave foundations at sea level.  The first inhabitants of the island were conquered by Julius Caesar in about 56 BC.   In 933 Sark was included in the Duchy of Normandy.  After the Norman Conquest in 1066, Sark was taken under the jurisdiction of the Crown of England.  During the Middle Ages, Sark was largely occupied by monastic communities.   Sark is the last feudal state in Europe.  Like the other Channel Islands, it was a part of the Duchy of Normandy belonging to the Crown.  Sark is represented by a Lieutenant-Governor residing in Guernsey.  Sark has had a Seigneur since 1560, a hereditary position.  The best known was Dame Sybil Hathaway (1884-1974), known as ‘The Dame of Sark’, who succeeded in 1927 and was an indomitable figure on the island during the German occupation in World War II.  The present Seigneur since 2016 is Christopher Beaumont (born 1957).   The Queen became the first reigning Sovereign to visit in 1957.

4 miles / 6.4 kilometres

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