3rd September 1993

Brecqhou was put up for sale

Brecqhou is one of the smallest of the inhabited Channel Islands, and is separated from Sark by just an 80m wide sea passage called the Le Goulliot.

The lease of Brecqhou went on sale for £3.5m at the start of September 1993. It was bought by brothers David and Frederick Barclay for a reputed £2.25m. The Barclay brothers are owners of London’s Ritz and the Telegraph newspaper.

The changing face of Brecqhou

Brecqhou had previously been owned by Jersey resident Leonard Matchan, until his death in 1987, and the list of eligible purchasers was small. It could only be sold to a Briton who would swear alleigance to the Queen. The sale also had to be approved by the Seigneur of Sark.

The 80-acre island was home to a stone manor house when the Barclays took it over. They demolished this to make space for a new home called Fort Brecqhou, which was developed under the name Project 95.

Great secrecy surrounded the construction of the new building: more than 100 contractors worked on it, many living on site, but all had been asked to sign a secrecy agreement before work started. It was built using white granite, shipped from Spain.

Once the gardens were finished, the brothers opened the castle to visitors. However, certain conditions were placed on those who wanted to come across. They would have to be staying in a Barclay-owned hotel on Sark, have passed a security screening and not take any pictures while on the island.

There has been some dispute over who legally rules Brecqhou. The Barclays have claimed that Brecqhou was never part of the fief of Sark. However, a background briefing document from the British Government (PDF) states that “The island of Brecqhou is part of Sark”.


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Other events that occured in September

Channel Television took to the air 1st
A Guernseyman cycled to Herm 2nd
Brecqhou was put up for sale 3rd
Renoir arrived on Guernsey to paint 4th
Ship sinks in St Sampson harbour 5th
The melon king died… long live the melon king 6th
Coronavirus returns to Guernsey 7th
HD Ferries makes its last crossing
6th Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment fought at the Somme 8th
Guernsey number plate sold for £240,000 9th
Guernsey hosted the second Island Games 10th
Major Guernsey employer Tektronix went public 11th
Guernsey was struck by a hurricane 12th
Schoolboys and teacher went missing off Sark 13th
Guernsey holidaymakers head home itching 14th
The title Baron de Saumarez was created 15th
Missing girl, Jetta, was found on Guernsey 16th
Archaeologists found a porpoise grave 17th
An Islander aircraft crashed in Guernsey 18th
Guernsey commando Hubert Nicolle died 19th
Guernsey and Jersey considered merging 20th
Occupation resister Winifred Green was deported 21st
The Devil’s Rock had its opening night 22nd
The Duke of Connaught visited Guernsey 23rd
Former bailiff Daniel de Lisle Brock died 24th
Occupation president Ambrose Sherwill died 25th
Trudy, Guernsey’s biggest ever import, was installed 26th
“Let em starve,” said Churchill 27th
A Guernsey planning dispute headed to Europe 28th
Herm tenant Major Peter Wood died 29th
Spotlight was broadcast for the first time 30th