Sark Datestones


In 1563 the uninhabited Island of Sark was granted to the Seigneur of St Ouen (Jersey), Helier de Carteret, who had offered to take on the defence of the island, which was in danger of becoming occupied by the French. In 1565 Helier, his wife Margaret and a number of their St Ouen tenants, moved to Sark and began a settlement, bringing everything they needed with them. He was obliged to ensure that the Island would never again become depopulated and could be defended by at least forty men (a quarantine). He parcelled out leased land at a low rental, made large enough to support a family, on condition that a house was put up and the tenant provided one man, armed with a musket and ammunition, to defend the island if necessary.

Helier reserved one sixth of Sark for himself and built his house (Le Manoir). To repay a debt to the Gosselin family of Guernsey, he let them have the second largest site on the Island (Beauregard) on condition they provided four men and paid a rent set at 50 shillings. Gosselin brought the Vaudin and Du Val families and subleased some of his land to them. Other parcels went to those who had accompanied Helier - their surnames were Le Cerf, Vibert, Chevalier, Le Brocq, Le Couteur, Rogier and Guille from St Ouen, Poingdestre and Hamon from St Saviour, Le Masurier and Le Gros from Trinity. Later arrivals came from St John (Hotton), the Alexandres came from St Peter and a few English folk with vital skills joined them - Smith, Dare, Brayer, Slowley and Roo.
Dated Stones
As the infrasructure of the Island grew, several vital projects were marked by datestones.
The Mill has L'An 1571 carved over the lintel.
The first tunnel, carved from the rock of Le Creux Harbour, is surrounded by a traditional Jersey arch with the L'An 1588 above.
At Le Manoir is a window lintel dated 1600 and the de Carteret Coat of Arms appears on a corbel on the left hand side of the roof.
St Peter's Church is dated 1820.
Much later, a warehouse at the top of Harbour Hill was built and a stone dated 1893 was erected over the door. The premises is now used by the Sark Electric Company who added a dated extension in 1953. When German Prisoners of War repaired La Coupee (the crossing to Little Sark) they left behind a stone dated 1945.

Initialled Stones:
An architectural feature of a few old Sark houses, sometimes referred to as Marriage Stones. The initials of husband and wife and a date were often carved on a piece of granite and used as a lintel above the front door or a plaque one storey up, when the house was enlarged. However, these stones rarely commemorate a marriage but usually mark the inheritance, construction or alternation of a building.
Beau Regard, Le Grand Beauregard Tenement
RS EDM1730 Robert Slowley and Elizabeth Du Maresq m. (Sark) 16.1.1716/7.
WF MB Rebuilt 1894. William Falle and Marie Ann Bichard.
Clos de Dixcart Tenement, Dixcart Lane
PDM 1741. Philippe Du Maresq fils Philippe Du Maresq, who held the tenement on the 1675 Liste des Tenants. Stocks Hotel - formerly Clos de Dixcart.
TG 1895. Thomas Godfray bought the tenement from Pierre Le Pelley 10.6.1853. Stocks Hotel.
HLM.ELM 1791 Henry Le Masurier & Elizabeth Le Masurier m. (Sark) 8.8.1782.Le Grand Dixcart.
PGW.REW 1941 Percy George Woolford and Rosina Elizabeth Woolford married in London in 1941. This marriage stone was erected over a new door when the dower wing was built in 1999. Le Grand Dixcart.

La Moinerie Tenement
PDC 1728 and de Carteret Coat of Arms. Philippe de Carteret (fils Philippe fils Helier).
Little Sark
PHM (entwined hearts) EHM 1762. Pierre Hamon (Sark) & Elizabeth Hamon (Jersey) m. (Sark) 29.7.1749. Over a window at the rear of La Moiserie, heavily painted over.
La Ville Tenement
PDC MDC 1707. Corbel on right of the roof. Philippe de Carteret (Sark ) & Marie de Carteret (Jersey) m. (St L) 2.3.1698/9. La Ville Farm.
Landless Men
PDN.EG 1782 Philippe Denize & Elizabeth Guille m. (Sark) 10.3.1780. La Rue, La Rue Rade. Rough cut stone on the barn, belonging to an older house on the site demolished in 1968.

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