Herm


Herm

Infobox Country
native_name = Haerme
conventional_long_name =Herm
common_name = Herm







national_motto = none
national_anthem = "Sarnia Cherie" (Guernsey)
official_languages = English, French
capital =
latd=49 |latm=28 |latNS=N |longd=2 |longm=27 |longEW=W
largest_city =
government_type = Dependency of Guernsey
leader_title1 = Chief of state
leader_name1 = Elizabeth II, Duke of Normandy
leader_title2 = Lieutenant Governor
leader_name2 = Sir Fabian Malbon
leader_title3 = Tenants
leader_name3 = Adrian and Pennie Wood Heyworth
sovereignty_type =
sovereignty_note = British crown dependency
established_event1 =
established_date1 =
established_event2 =
established_date2 =
area_rank =
area_magnitude = 1 E8
area_km2 = 2
area_sq_mi = 0.77
percent_water = negligible
population_estimate =
population_estimate_rank =
population_estimate_year =
population_census = 60
population_census_year = 2002
population_density_km2 = 30
population_density_sq_mi = 77.7
population_density_rank =
GDP_PPP =
GDP_PPP_rank =
GDP_PPP_year =
GDP_PPP_per_capita =
GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank =
HDI = n/a
HDI_rank = n/a
HDI_year = n/a
HDI_category = n/a
currency = Pound sterling1
currency_code = GBP
country_code =
time_zone = GMT
utc_offset = +0
time_zone_DST = WEST
utc_offset_DST = +1
cctld = .gg (Guernsey)
calling_code =
footnote1 = The States of Guernsey, of which Herm is a dependency, issue their own sterling coins and banknotes (see "Guernsey pound").

Herm (Guernésiais: "Haerme") is the smallest of the Channel Islands that is open to the public. Cars are banned from the small island just like its Channel Island neighbour, Sark. Unlike Sark, bicycles are banned too. However, Herm does allow quad bikes and tractors for the locals. The sandy white beaches make Herm a walker's paradise.

Herm won the 2002 Britain in Bloom competition in the 'Small Coastal Resort' category, despite not being part of the UK (it is in the Bailiwick of Guernsey).

History

Ancient history

Herm was occupied in prehistoric times; the remains of Neolithic chamber tombs have been found on the island.

Middle Ages

The first records of Herm's inhabitants in historic times are from the sixth century, when the island became a centre of monastic activity; the name 'Herm' supposedly derives from hermits who settled there (although an alternative interpretation derives "Herm" from Norse "erm" referring to an arm-like appearance of the island). However, the monks suffered from the inclement Atlantic; in 709, a storm washed away the strip of land which connected the island with the small uninhabited island of Jethou.

The most important moment in Herm's political history was 933, when the Channel Islands were annexed to the Duchy of Normandy (they remain a British Crown dependency since the division of Normandy in 1204). After the annexation, Herm gradually lost its monastic inhabitants, and between 1570 and 1737 it was used as a hunting ground by the governors of Guernsey.

19th century to 1940

In the nineteenth century, industry arrived in Herm with the establishment of granite quarries to serve the large scale military fortifications undertaken in the islands. The island was let to tenants by the Crown and was generally off-limits to visitors. When Prince Blücher was tenant before the First World War, he introduced a colony of wallabies to the island. None now survive.

Between 1920 and 1923, the noted Scottish writer and founder of the Scottish National Party Compton Mackenzie was tenant of the island; among his best known works are "The Monarch of the Glen" and "Whisky Galore".

World War II

On 25 July 1940, a few weeks after the arrival of German troops in Guernsey and Jersey, nine German soldiers landed on the island in a commandeered motor boat to shoot a propaganda film. They went back to Guernsey the same day. Herm's sandy beaches were soon used for practising landings from barges, in preparation for the invasion of England, but otherwise the island saw little of the Germans beyond officers making trips to shoot rabbits. In a British nighttime raid on the island in February 1943, commandos wandered around the island without finding any signs of life at all, let alone enemy troops. Herm was spared the huge concrete blockhouses, anti-tank walls and observation towers that were to disfigure the larger islands.

1945 to the present day

After the war, the States of Guernsey decided to buy Herm from the Crown in order that its pleasant atmosphere could be enjoyed by Guernsey residents. The States now rent the island to a tenant, who is expected to maintain the island for the benefit of its visitors.

The most influential tenant has been Major Peter Wood, who looked after the island from 1949 to 1980 when the current tenants, Adrian and Pennie Wood Heyworth, took over. Major Peter Wood died in 1998.

It was reported by BBC News and ITV Channel Television on 17 May 2008 that the tenants had put the remaining 40 years of their lease up for sale, with an asking price of £15,000,000. In September 2008 it was announced that Starboard Settlement, a trust, had acquitred the remainder of the lease for considerably less than the asking price. [http://www.thisisguernsey.com/2008/09/23/new-herm-tenants-vow-to-keep-it-open-to-all/] The trust formed a Guernsey company, Herm Island Ltd, to manage the island for the trustees.

In July 2008, US film production company Cupsogue Pictures took a film crew to Herm to shoot major parts of the movie "Monkeyshine". The entire treasure island scenes were filmed exclusively on Shell Beach, on the northwest corner of the island.

Language

Like the rest of the Channel Islands, Herm was formerly officially administered solely in the French language. It is presumed that, as in neighbouring islands, the population would have spoken a variety of Norman language, but no documentary evidence exists as to any distinctive dialectal features particular to the vernacular of Herm. The Norman language is extinct in Herm now. It was eroded mainly by neglect, and also settlers from England. However, a number of French/Norman placenames remain.

Placenames

The "Herm Island" map, published by the tenant of Herm says -

:"The origins of many of the place names in the island are obscure, as indeed is the name 'Herm' itself"

Over the years, there has been a steady anglicisation of the island's nomenclature, and this erosion still occurs to a minor extent, in the replacement of authentic names, with new ones e.g. the northern tip of the island is properly called "La Pointe du gentilhomme" but is often referred to as "Alderney Point".

Fieldnames are generally in English, with the following exceptions - "Monku", "Belvoir", and "Bon Jour".

Remnants of Old Norse are scanty, but examples would be the second element of "Pointe Sauzebourge" on the south west tip of the island, while the rock of "Le Plat Houmet" contains the "Houmet" ("holmr") with a Norman diminutive.

"Hermetier", a tidal islet just offshore, may be a corruption of the Norman for "Land of Herm".

Politics

Herm is a dependency of Guernsey, and is in fact owned by the States of Guernsey, being rented out to various tenants (see List of tenants of Herm).

Geography and geology

Herm is only 1½ miles long and less than half a mile wide. It is oriented so that its greatest length runs north-south. The northern half of the coastline is surrounded by sandy beaches, the southern half is rocky.

Shell Beach and Belvoir Bay are two of the major tourist attractions.

The isle of Jethou is just to the south. It is said that in 709 a storm washed away the strip of land which connected the island with Herm. [ [http://www.islandlife.org/Herm.htm Herm Home Page ] ]

To the west is the channel Little Roussel (Petit Ruau) between it and Guernsey, and the Big Roussel (Grand Ruau) to the east, between it and Sark.

Much of Herm's bedrock is granite.

Economy and buildings

Tourism is Herm's main source of income, with the majority of tourists arriving on one of the Trident catamaran ferries ("Herm Trident V" and "Herm Trident VI") operated by the Trident Charter Company. On some busy days, the Herm Clipper is also called into service.

Money is also made from vegetable growing, livestock and occasionally issuing its own stamps, and the island's status as a tax haven.

See also

* List of car-free places

References

External links

* [http://www.herm-island.com/home.aspx Official website of Herm]
* [http://www.islandlife.org/Herm.htm Herm, Channel Island website]
* [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19981012/ai_n14193449 Major Peter Wood] - The Independent 'obit'

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