ISLANDS Interesting People … (No. 60)

Posted by Axel Thorer on 15. April 2013

Brecqhou is open now! If you find it somewhere on the globe

Brecqhou

The geographical location of Brecqhou ...

Brecqhou

... that's how it looks from the air ...

Brecqhou

...the rich Barclay twins ...

Brecqhou

... and their huge pseudo-gothic castle on the island

They are identical twin brothers and very British, even excentric. Their names: Sir Frederick and Sir David Barclay. Born on October 27, 1934 into a poor family. And now owners of the posh Hotel Ritz in London, the influential newspaper Daily Telegraph, the mighty Bank of Scotland and some other enterprises which make them the 26th richest people in Great Britain, with roughly 2,2 billion Pound (= 3,8 billion Euro or 4 billion US$). Since 1993 they own the channel island of Brecqhou which is a curiosity: It measures 80 acres (or 323 748.51 qm) only, does not belong to the United Kingdom (but the British Isles of course), has its own jurisdiction and flag, prints its own stamps and has a castle in pseudo-norman gothic, the largest built in the 20th century in Europe. Brecqhou is a geological offspring of the island of Sark and is governed from an office there, the Sark Estate Tourist Office. But when the Barclay brothers are not at home (it doesn’t happen very often), you can book a boattrip from Sark for 37 Pound (= 45 Euro or 50 US$), which is pretty expensive, and visit this possibly strangest island on earth. How? From the tiny harbour you are allowed to walk up to the castle (the road is steep but paved), see the almost subtropical gardens on a guided tour and visit the island boutique (books, stamps, postcards) but to photograph the castle from a close distance is forbidden (so do it from the boat). Something special? The spectacular views to the neighbouring islands of Guernsey, Herm and Sark and the drainpipes around the castle: They bear the golden monograms of the Barclay brothers …

 

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