The Paternosters

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The Paternosters


The Paternosters viewed from the north coast on a clear day

The Paternosters are an uninhabited (except by seabirds)
reef off the north coast of Jersey


Centuries ago, Queen Elizabeth I gave Sark to Helier de Carteret, on condition that he would pay her 50 shillings a year, and would keep 40 men there to defend the island against the French.

Helier set sail with several Jersey families, but as they passed the Pierre de Lecq rocks one of the ships hit them, and sank. All on board were drowned, including several children.

After that tragedy, passing fishermen used to say a prayer in their memory - 'Our Father' ('Pater Noster') - which is why these rocks are now known as the Paternosters. Some say that when a storm is brewing, the cries of the drowned children can still be heard.

A painting by C G Blampied showing the Paternosters off the St John coast with Sark in the distance
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