Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Brecqhou

Here are some links to photos etc concerning the Barclay brothers, who live on the island of Brecqhou, which is adjacent to Sark. Everything below is already publicly available on the internet - much of it has been there for years - all this is doing is providing links to it, not publishing it (or even republishing it in the case of the photos).

One of the few good photographs of their castle on Brecqhou that exists on the web is here on rib.net, which is a forum for RIB enthusiasts (that's Rigid Inflatable Boat). There's another photo here and one here on Google Maps which shows some of the external buildings more clearly. Those photographs were taken by one of the enthusiasts in a passing RIB. The gap between Brecqhou and Sark is a bit of a mecca for RIBsters. One comments:

The Gouliot passage between Sark and Brecqhou is only 80-100 feet wide as I remember, tide touches 7 knots on a big spring! Beats Alton Towers any day!

There is another photo here which shows some of the out buildings and the vast wall around the castle. And there are excellent photos here and here. There is a photo of the landing here. There is a beautiful picture of the island of Brecqhou here.

The castle, Fort Brecqhou, is described in awesome detail on the nuismatic (Coin collecting) web site, Taedivm:

The brothers guard their privacy to such an extent that they even erected a grand Gothic-style castle, complete with 100-foot-high granite walls, spires, towers, gilded turrets, battlements, a moat and a helipad. No expense was spared. According to a builder on the project, the banqueting room is 80 meters long and has a gold-leaf ceiling; the library ceiling is hand-painted, inspired by the Sistine Chapel. The honey-colored, cliff-top fortress (Fort Brecqhou) was finished in 1996 after some 90,000 tons of materials were carried to Brecqhou by boat. At a cost of between £30-60 million, it is the largest one built in the 20th century.

The Barclay Brothers use a boat called the Brecqhou Warrior (pictured here on This is Guernsey) to run supplies to and from their island. This vessel has itself been the subject of great controversy with the Sark authorities. You can see movements of the Brecqhou Warrior on a maritime movement website. Here is a record of the boat near Portsmouth in March 2008.

There are also smaller boats called Brecqhou Lass and Brechou Chief pictured here and here.


They also own a very large (197 foot long) yacht harboured in Monaco called the "Lady Beatrice" - pictured leaving Monaco here and also here, here, here, here and here.

The Brothers also have two helicopters which transport them all over Europe (again this is publicly available information from rib.net). You can see one of them registered here (it says "based in Brecqhou" against it) and a photograph of it here . This aviation website confirms that the helicopter is "owned by Sir David Barclay" and provides three more photographs of it here, here and here. There are full Civil Aviation Authority registration details of the aircraft here and a discussion of its movements on a air website here.

One fascinating curiosity is that Sir David Barclay married Zoe Newton, who was a model. In the 1950s she was the face of the Milk Council's hugely famous "Drinka Pinta Milka Day" campaign. You can see a photograph of Zoe Newton from the 1950s here (on the right I assume) which she featured on the front of Picturegoar magazine.

2 comments:

Guardian said...

I am amazed that two upstart recluses with no sense of taste can create havoc in a unique and precious society without a mandate and yet while claiming to be advancing democracy. The only thing they are advancing is there self interest.

Stephen Skelton said...

Am trying to find out some more info about the vineyard on Brecqheu - do you have any details or contacts?