Heritage & Monuments

Sark Jail

Sark / Europe

Sark Prison is thought to be the smallest jail in the world, still in use today.  It is next to the visitor centre.  Built-in 1856, it is a barrel-roofed jail with but two adjoining cells, one measuring 6 x 6 feet, the other 6 x 8 feet.  There are no windows, but there is a corridor extending the length of the building.  One of its first inmates was a young servant girl who spent three days there for stealing her mistress’s handkerchief.  She was so frightened of the dark that she was allowed to sit on a chair in an open doorway while local ladies sat and talked to her, some knitting until she had served her time.  Crime is rare in Sark.  The most serious incident in recent times, was in 1990 when a French nuclear physicist launched an attack on the island claiming to be the rightful Seigneur.  He was punched in the nose by a constable and arrested.  These days the only occupants are the occasional drunk tourist or seasonal worker who needs to spend a night there to sober up.

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