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Sark Prison-The World’s Smallest Prison.


Situated on Sark Island in Guernsey, a very petit island between England and France, Sark Prison is the world’s smallest prison. This unusual prison was made of stone, and nowadays it represents a very popular tourist attraction. One of the interesting facts is that this ‘’jail’’ is still in use. The local authorities use it to hold and sober up one, maximum two seasonal workers.

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Yeah, you read it right. Maximum two prisoners can be hold in Sark Prison. Two tall guys, if they make enough place for it.

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This 18th century style mansionette was originally built as a Girls School in 1841. Now, I’m wondering about the female population in that period. Were there no girls who wanted to study or were there no girls at all? However, I prefer the other part of the story. The one that says the decision to build a prison was part of the strategy to strengthen Sark’s deference against the ever-present threat of invasion. After the defeat of the Spanish Armada and involved building batteries at L’Eperquerie and Creux harbor, it was really necessary to have some small, but safe place to keep the enemy away. And to keep them locked for good, without an opportunity to escape.

The holding cell of Sark prison is extremely dark inside, because there are no windows. Surrounded by sea, its ventilation isn’t its first name neither. The whole island atmosphere is still stunning considering the water, unlimited sky and even the location of this quaint 1856-era jail. The punishment for prisoners wasn’t the prison itself.   They used devices, named Stocks,  as a form of physical punishment involving public humiliation.  The offender suffer all the hurts and disappointments of public disapproval from early morning until early evening.

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Prince Louis Lucien Bonaparte, nephew of Napoleon I, who had settled there in 1862 in order to learn a local dialect had visited the Sark Prison. Even Victor Hugo visited the Sark prison  in 1859.

The jail survived the German occupation during the Second World War.

Maybe this would be a great story for another Prison Break season, but in that case Michael Scofield needs to find a free place for his new tattoo.

via: sark, paraxeno



2 Comments Write a comment

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  • dunnasead.co August 25, 2017

    We have spent a lot of time on Sark and the other islands, and never found this. Will look for it next time. thank you.

    • Peter October 11, 2018

      The jail is located next to the museum

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