Herm is the small island, three miles off the east coast of Guernsey. The southern end is flat with sandy beaches while the north end is high rugged cliffs.
To the north is the even smaller island of Lihou. This is linked to Herm by a tidal causeway at spring tides. It is an important conservation area and the house is available for hire.
Herm has been settled since Neolithic times and Robert’s Cross is the remains of a later neolithic burial chamber is on the north side of the Island between between Le Petit Monceau and Le Grand Monceau.
In the C6th, Christian missionaries visited the island, including followers of St Tugual, a Celtic saint. A chapel was established to his memory and still in use today.
From the middle 900s, the Channel Islands came under the jurisdiction of the Duchy of Normandy. Herm was handed over by the Norman dukes into the control of Norman monasteries. Monks lived on the island for several decades, farming and giving religious instruction.
Between 1570 and 1737 Herm Island was used as a ‘playground’ for the Governors of Guernsey. Wealthy gentlemen sailed over from Guernsey to hunt, shoot and fish. The island was stocked with pheasants, partridges, swans and rabbits.
The island was then leased as farmland, and an inn established in 1810.
In C19th, Herm became a centre of the granite industry and four hundred quarrymen moved to the island. Houses, roads, the harbour, shops, blacksmith’s forge, a pub, and even a prison were built. Quarrying had ended by late 1800s although the remains of several of the quarries can still be seen.
In 1889, Prince Blucher von Wahlstatt, a Prussian prince, bought the island lease. Prince Blucher turned the island into his own private kingdom, but was forced to leave at the outbreak of World War One.
Compton Mackenzie was the next resident before moving to the even smaller island of Jehou, off the south west coast of Herm. He sold the lease to Sir Percival Perry, chairman of the Ford Motor Company, who introduced the first motor car to the island.
Herm was not occupied or fortified during the Second world War, although the Germans used it to practice troop landings in preparation for the invasion of Britain. They also made a a propaganda film ‘The Invasion of the Isle of Wight’, which was claimed to be footage of a succcessful German landing.
After the war, it was agreed that Herm Island should be handed over to a series of tenants who would care for the island, preserving its natural beauty and also and allow access for everyone. The lease is now owned by the Starboard Settlement, a trust that provided financial support for developing world charities. It formed Herm Island Ltd to manage the island for its trustees and maintaining it in the condition under which they had acquired it.,
There is a regular ferry service from St Peter Port.
At high tide the boats land at the Harbour.
The Channel Islands have one of the largest tidal ranges in the World and at low tide, boats are stranded in the harbour.
Ferries have to use the Rosiere Steps instead.
There is a permanent population of about 60 people although that is increased with around 100 seasonal workers. No cars or bicycles are allowed on the island, although residents may use quad bikes or a tractor. There is a footpath around the island with tracks leading up to Manor Village at the highest point in the centre of the island.