Lundy is the largest island in the Bristol Channel
Bristol Channel
The Bristol Channel is a major inlet in the island of Great Britain, separating South Wales from Devon and Somerset in South West England. It extends from the lower estuary of the River Severn to the North Atlantic Ocean...

, lying 12 miles (19 km) off the coast of Devon
Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

, England, approximately one third of the distance across the channel between England and Wales. It measures about 3 by at its widest. Lundy gives its name to a British sea area and is one of the islands of England.

As of 2007, there was a resident population of 28 people, including volunteers. These include a warden, ranger, island manager, and farmer, as well as bar and house-keeping staff. Most live in and around the village at the south of the island. Most visitors are day-tripper
A day-tripper is a person who visits a tourist destination or visitor attraction from his/her home and returns home on the same day.- Definition :In other words, this excursion does not involve a night away from home such as experienced on a holiday...

s, although there are 23 holiday properties and a camp site for staying visitors, mostly also around the south of the island.

In a 2005 opinion poll of Radio Times
Radio Times
Radio Times is a UK weekly television and radio programme listings magazine, owned by the BBC. It has been published since 1923 by BBC Magazines, which also provides an on-line listings service under the same title...

readers, Lundy was named as Britain's tenth greatest natural wonder. The entire island has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest
Site of Special Scientific Interest
A Site of Special Scientific Interest is a conservation designation denoting a protected area in the United Kingdom. SSSIs are the basic building block of site-based nature conservation legislation and most other legal nature/geological conservation designations in Great Britain are based upon...

 and it was England's first statutory Marine Nature Reserve
Nature reserve
A nature reserve is a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research...

, and the first Marine Conservation Zone, because of its unique flora and fauna. It is managed by the Landmark Trust
Landmark Trust
The Landmark Trust is a British building conservation charity, founded in 1965 by Sir John and Lady Smith, that rescues buildings of historic interest or architectural merit and then gives them a new life by making them available for holiday rental...

 on behalf of the National Trust
National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty
The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, usually known as the National Trust, is a conservation organisation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland...



The name Lundy is believed to come from the old Norse word for "puffin island" (Lundey), lundi being the Norse
Old Norse
Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300....

 word for a puffin
Puffins are any of three small species of auk in the bird genus Fratercula with a brightly coloured beak during the breeding season. These are pelagic seabirds that feed primarily by diving in the water. They breed in large colonies on coastal cliffs or offshore islands, nesting in crevices among...

 and ey, an island, although an alternative explanation has been suggested with Lund referring to a copse, or wooded area. According to genealogist Edward MacLysaght
Edward MacLysaght
Edward MacLysaght was one of the foremost genealogists of twentieth century Ireland. His numerous books on Irish surnames built upon the work of Patrick Woulfe's Irish Names and Surnames and made him well known to all those researching their family past.-Early life:Edward was born in Flax Bourton...

 the surname Lundy is from Norman de la Lounde, a name recorded in medieval documents in counties Tipperary
Tipperary is a town and a civil parish in South Tipperary in Ireland. Its population was 4,415 at the 2006 census. It is also an ecclesiastical parish in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly, and is in the historical barony of Clanwilliam....

 and Kilkenny
Kilkenny is a city and is the county town of the eponymous County Kilkenny in Ireland. It is situated on both banks of the River Nore in the province of Leinster, in the south-east of Ireland...

 in Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...


Lundy has evidence of visitation or occupation from the Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 period onward, with Mesolithic
The Mesolithic is an archaeological concept used to refer to certain groups of archaeological cultures defined as falling between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic....

 flintwork, Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 burial mounds
A tumulus is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves. Tumuli are also known as barrows, burial mounds, Hügelgrab or kurgans, and can be found throughout much of the world. A tumulus composed largely or entirely of stones is usually referred to as a cairn...

, four inscribed gravestones from the early medieval period, and an early medieval monastery (possibly dedicated to St Elen or St Helen).

Beacon Hill Cemetery

Beacon Hill cemetery was excavated by Charles Thomas
Charles Thomas (historian)
Antony Charles Thomas, CBE, FSA is a British historian and archaeologist who was Professor of Cornish Studies at Exeter University, and the first Director of the Institute of Cornish Studies, from 1971 until his retirement in 1991...

 in 1969. The cemetery contains four inscribed stones, dated to the 5th or 6th century AD. The site was originally enclosed by a curvilinear bank and ditch, which is still visible in the south west corner. However, the other walls were moved when the Old Light was constructed in 1819. Early Christian enclosures of this type are known as lann
Llan place name element
Llan or Lan is a common place name element in Brythonic languages such as Welsh, Cornish, Breton, Cumbric, and possibly Pictish. In Wales there are over 630 place names beginning with 'Llan', pronounced...

s in Cornish
Cornish language
Cornish is a Brythonic Celtic language and a recognised minority language of the United Kingdom. Along with Welsh and Breton, it is directly descended from the ancient British language spoken throughout much of Britain before the English language came to dominate...

. There are surviving examples in Luxulyan
Luxulyan , also spelled Luxullian or Luxulian, is a village and civil parish in central Cornwall, United Kingdom. The village lies four miles northeast of St Austell and six miles south of Bodmin...

, in Cornwall; Mathry
Mathry is a village in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Situated some 6 miles west of Fishguard, the village is perched atop a hill.In 2006 in records office in Haverfordwest records were found, which show a Jemima Nicholas being baptised in the parish of Mathry on 2 March 1755.Nearby villages include...

, Mydrim, and Clydey in Wales; and Stowford, Jacobstowe
Jacobstowe is a village and civil parish in the West Devon district of Devon in England. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 118. The village is on the River Okement, about 5 miles north of Okehampton.-Trivia:...

, Lydford
Lydford, sometimes spelled Lidford, is a village, once an important town, in Devon situated north of Tavistock on the western fringe of Dartmoor in the West Devon district.-Description:The village has a population of 458....

, and Instow
Instow is a village in north Devon, England. It is on the estuary where the rivers Taw and Torridge meet, between the villages of Westleigh and Yelland and on the opposite bank of Appledore....

, in Devon.

Thomas proposed a five-stage sequence of site usage:
(1) An area of round huts
Roundhouse (dwelling)
The roundhouse is a type of house with a circular plan, originally built in western Europe before the Roman occupation using walls made either of stone or of wooden posts joined by wattle-and-daub panels and a conical thatched roof. Roundhouses ranged in size from less than 5m in diameter to over 15m...

 and fields. These huts may have fallen into disuse before the construction of the cemetery.
(2) The construction of the focal grave, an 11 ft by 8 ft rectangular stone enclosure containing a single cist
A cist from ) is a small stone-built coffin-like box or ossuary used to hold the bodies of the dead. Examples can be found across Europe and in the Middle East....

 grave. The interior of the enclosure was filled with small granite pieces. Two more cist graves located to the west of the enclosure may also date from this time.
(3) Perhaps 100 years later, the focal grave was opened and the infill removed. The body may have been moved to a church at this time.
(4) & (5) Two further stages of cist grave construction around the focal grave.

23 cist graves were found during this excavation. Considering that the excavation only uncovered a small area of the cemetery, there may be as many as 100 graves.

Inscribed stones

Four Celtic inscribed stone
Celtic inscribed stone
Celtic inscribed stones are stone monuments dating from 400 to 1000 AD. They are inscribed with Celtic or Latin text, which can be written in Ogham or Roman characters. Some stones have both Ogham and Roman inscriptions. The stones are found in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, the Isle of Man,...

s have been found in Beacon Hill cemetery:
  • 1400 OPTIMI, or TIMI; the name Optimus is Latin and male. Discovered in 1962 by D. B. Hague.
  • 1401 RESTEVTAE, or RESGEVT[A], Latin, female i.e. Resteuta or Resgeuta. Discovered in 1962 by D. B. Hague.
  • 1402 POTIT[I], or [PO]TIT, Latin, male. Discovered in 1961 by K. S. Gardener and A. Langham.
  • 1403 --]IGERNI [FIL]I TIGERNI, or—I]GERNI [FILI] [T]I[G]ERNI, Brittonic, male i.e. Tigernus son of Tigernus. Discovered in 1905.

Knights Templar

Lundy was granted to the Knights Templar
Knights Templar
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon , commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple or simply as Templars, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders...

 by Henry II
Henry II of England
Henry II ruled as King of England , Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Count of Nantes, Lord of Ireland and, at various times, controlled parts of Wales, Scotland and western France. Henry, the great-grandson of William the Conqueror, was the...

 in 1160. The Templars were a major international maritime force at this time, with interests in North Devon, and almost certainly an important port at Bideford
Bideford is a small port town on the estuary of the River Torridge in north Devon, south-west England. It is also the main town of the Torridge local government district.-History:...

 or on the River Taw
River Taw
The River Taw rises at Taw Head, a spring on the central northern flanks of Dartmoor. It reaches the Bristol Channel away on the north coast of Devon at a joint estuary mouth which it shares with the River Torridge.-Watercourse:...

 in Barnstaple
Barnstaple is a town and civil parish in the local government district of North Devon in the county of Devon, England, UK. It lies west southwest of Bristol, north of Plymouth and northwest of the county town of Exeter. The old spelling Barnstable is now obsolete.It is the main town of the...

. This was probably because of the increasing threat posed by the Norse
Norsemen is used to refer to the group of people as a whole who spoke what is now called the Old Norse language belonging to the North Germanic branch of Indo-European languages, especially Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, Swedish and Danish in their earlier forms.The meaning of Norseman was "people...

 sea raiders; however, it is unclear whether they ever took possession of the island. Ownership was disputed by the Marisco family who may have already been on the island during King Stephen
Stephen of England
Stephen , often referred to as Stephen of Blois , was a grandson of William the Conqueror. He was King of England from 1135 to his death, and also the Count of Boulogne by right of his wife. Stephen's reign was marked by the Anarchy, a civil war with his cousin and rival, the Empress Matilda...

's reign. The Mariscos were fined, and the island was cut off from necessary supplies. Evidence of the Templars' weak hold on the island came when King John
John of England
John , also known as John Lackland , was King of England from 6 April 1199 until his death...

, on his accession in 1199, confirmed the earlier grant.

Marisco family

In 1235 William de Marisco was implicated in the murder of Henry Clement, a messenger of Henry III
Henry III of England
Henry III was the son and successor of John as King of England, reigning for 56 years from 1216 until his death. His contemporaries knew him as Henry of Winchester. He was the first child king in England since the reign of Æthelred the Unready...

. Three years later, an attempt was made to kill Henry III by a man who later confessed to being an agent of the Marisco family. William de Marisco fled to Lundy where he lived as a virtual king. He built a stronghold in the area now known as Bulls' Paradise with 9 feet (3 m) thick walls. In 1242, Henry III sent troops to the island. They scaled the island's cliff and captured William de Marisco and 16 of his "subjects". Henry III built the castle (sometimes erroneously referred to as the Marisco Castle) in an attempt to establish the rule of law on the island and its surrounding waters.


But the island was hard to govern. Over the next few centuries, trouble followed as both English and foreign pirates and privateer
A privateer is a private person or ship authorized by a government by letters of marque to attack foreign shipping during wartime. Privateering was a way of mobilizing armed ships and sailors without having to spend public money or commit naval officers...

s – including other members of the Marisco family – took control of the island for short periods. Ships were forced to navigate close to Lundy because of the dangerous shingle banks in the fast flowing River Severn
River Severn
The River Severn is the longest river in Great Britain, at about , but the second longest on the British Isles, behind the River Shannon. It rises at an altitude of on Plynlimon, Ceredigion near Llanidloes, Powys, in the Cambrian Mountains of mid Wales...

 and Bristol Channel
Bristol Channel
The Bristol Channel is a major inlet in the island of Great Britain, separating South Wales from Devon and Somerset in South West England. It extends from the lower estuary of the River Severn to the North Atlantic Ocean...

, with its 32 feet (10 m) tide, the second highest in the world. This made the island a profitable location from which to prey on passing Bristol-bound
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

 merchant ships bringing back valuable goods from overseas.

In 1627 Barbary Pirates from the Republic of Salé
Republic of Salé
The Republic of Salé was an independent corsair city-state on the Moroccan coast. It was a major piratical port during its brief existence in the 17th century.-History:-History:...

 occupied Lundy for five years. The North African invaders, under the command of Dutch renegade Jan Janszoon
Jan Janszoon
Jan Janszoon van Haarlem, commonly known as Murat Reis the younger was the first President and Grand Admiral of the Corsair Republic of Salé, Governor of Oualidia, and a Dutch pirate, one of the most notorious of the Barbary pirates from the 17th century; the most famous of the "Salé...

, flew an Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 flag over the island. Some captured Europeans were held on Lundy before being sent to Algiers as slaves. From 1628 to 1634 the island was plagued by pirate ships of French, Basque, English, and Spanish origin. These incursions were eventually ended by Sir John Pennington, but in the 1660s and as late as the 1700s the island still fell prey to French privateers.

Civil war

In the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

, Thomas Bushell
Thomas Bushell (mining engineer)
Thomas Bushell was a servant of Francis Bacon who went on to become a mining engineer and defender of Lundy Island for the Royalist cause during the Civil War....

 held Lundy for King Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

, rebuilding Marisco Castle and garrisoning the island at his own expense. He was a friend of Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Albans, KC was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, author and pioneer of the scientific method. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England...

, a strong supporter of the Royalist
Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I and son Charles II during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration...

 cause and an expert on mining and coining. It was the last Royalist territory held between the first
First English Civil War
The First English Civil War began the series of three wars known as the English Civil War . "The English Civil War" was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations that took place between Parliamentarians and Royalists from 1642 until 1651, and includes the Second English Civil War and...

 and second
Second English Civil War
The Second English Civil War was the second of three wars known as the English Civil War which refers to the series of armed conflicts and political machinations which took place between Parliamentarians and Royalists from 1642 until 1652 and also include the First English Civil War and the...

 civil wars. After receiving permission from Charles I, Bushell surrendered the island on 24 February 1647 to Richard Fiennes, representing General Fairfax. In 1656, the island was acquired by Lord Saye and Sele
William Fiennes, 1st Viscount Saye and Sele
William Fiennes, 1st Viscount Saye and Sele was born at the family home of Broughton Castle near Banbury, in Oxfordshire. He was the only son of Richard Fiennes, seventh Baron Saye and Sele...


18th and 19th centuries

The late 18th and early 19th centuries were years of lawlessness on Lundy, particularly during the ownership of Thomas Benson, a Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 for Barnstaple in 1747 and Sheriff of Devon
High Sheriff of Devon
The High Sheriff of Devon is the Queen's representative for the County of Devon, a territory known as his bailiwick. Selected from three nominated people, he holds his office over the duration of a year. He has judicial, ceremonial and administrative functions and executes High Court...

, who notoriously used the island for housing convicts whom he was supposed to be deporting. Benson leased Lundy from its owner, Lord Gower, at a rent of £60 per annum and contracted with the Government to transport a shipload of convicts to Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, but diverted the ship to Lundy to use the convicts as his personal slaves. Later Benson was involved in an insurance swindle. He purchased and insured the ship Nightingale and loaded it with a valuable cargo of pewter and linen. Having cleared the port on the mainland, the ship put into Lundy, where the cargo was removed and stored in a cave built by the convicts, before setting sail again. Some days afterwards, when a homeward-bound vessel was sighted, the Nightingale was set on fire and scuttled. The crew were taken off the stricken ship by the other ship, which landed them safely at Clovelly.

Sir Aubrey Vere Hunt of Curragh Chase purchased the island from John Cleveland in 1802 for £5,270. Sir Vere Hunt planted in the island a small, self-contained Irish colony with its
own constitution and divorce laws, coinage and stamps. He failed in his attempt to sell the Island to the British Government as a base for troops, and his son Sir Aubrey Thomas De Vere
Aubrey Thomas de Vere
Aubrey Thomas de Vere was an Irish poet and critic.-Life:He was born at Curraghchase_Forest_Park, Kilcornan, County Limerick, the third son of Sir Aubrey de Vere Hunt and younger brother to Stephen De Vere. In 1832 his father dropped the final name by royal licence. Sir Aubrey was himself a poet...

 also had great difficult in securing any profit from the property. The tenants came from Sir Vere Hunt's Irish estate and they experienced agricultural difficulties while on the island. This led Sir Vere Hunt to seek someone who would take the island off his hands. In the 1820s John Benison agreed to purchase the Island for £4,500 but then refused to complete sale as he felt that that Aubrey could not make out a good title in respect of the sale terms, namely that the Island was free from tithes and taxes.

Foundations for the first lighthouse were laid in 1787 but the lighthouse was not built until Trinity House
Trinity House
The Corporation of Trinity House of Deptford Strond is the official General Lighthouse Authority for England, Wales and other British territorial waters...

 obtained a 999-year lease in 1819. The 97 feet (30 m) tower, on the summit of Chapel Hill, was designed by Daniel Asher Alexander
Daniel Asher Alexander
Daniel Asher Alexander was a British architect and engineer, born in London.-Life:Daniel Asher Alexander was educated at St Paul's School, London, and admitted to the Royal Academy Schools in 1782....

 and built by Joseph Nelson at a cost of £36,000. Because the site is 407 feet (124 m) above sea level, the highest base for a lighthouse in Britain, the fog problem was not solved and the Fog Signal Battery was built about 1861. The lighthouse had two lights, however they revolved so quickly that they gave the impression it was a fixed light with no flashes detectable. These may have contributed to the grounding, at Cefn Sidan
Cefn Sidan
Cefn Sidan, roughly translated from Welsh, means "Silky Back". This long sandy beach and its dunes form the outer edge of the Pembrey Burrows between Burry Port and Kidwelly, looking southwards over Carmarthen Bay in South Wales....

, of the La Jeune Emma, bound from Martinique
Martinique is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of . Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. To the northwest lies Dominica, to the south St Lucia, and to the southeast Barbados...

 to Cherbourg in 1828. 13 of the 19 on board drowned, including Adeline Coquelin, the 12 year-old niece of Napoleon Bonaparte's divorced wife Josephine de Beauharnais. Eventually the lighthouse was abandoned in 1897 when the North and South Lundy lighthouses were built. The Old Light and the associated keeper's houses are kept open by the Landmark Trust
Landmark Trust
The Landmark Trust is a British building conservation charity, founded in 1965 by Sir John and Lady Smith, that rescues buildings of historic interest or architectural merit and then gives them a new life by making them available for holiday rental...


William Hudson Heaven purchased Lundy in 1834, as a summer retreat and for the shooting
Game (food)
Game is any animal hunted for food or not normally domesticated. Game animals are also hunted for sport.The type and range of animals hunted for food varies in different parts of the world. This will be influenced by climate, animal diversity, local taste and locally accepted view about what can or...

, at a cost of 9,400 guineas
Guinea (British coin)
The guinea is a coin that was minted in the Kingdom of England and later in the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom between 1663 and 1813...

 (£9,870). He claimed it to be a "free island", and successfully resisted the jurisdiction of the mainland magistrates. Lundy was in consequence sometimes referred to as "the kingdom of Heaven". It belongs in fact to the county of Devon, and has always been part of the hundred of Braunton
Braunton is situated west of Barnstaple, Devon, England and is claimed to be the largest village in England, with a population in 2001 of 7,510. It is home to the nearby Braunton Great Field and Braunton Burrows, a National Nature and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve....

. Many of the buildings on the island today, including St. Helena's Church and Millcombe House (originally known simply as The Villa), date from the Heaven period. The Georgian-style
Georgian architecture
Georgian architecture is the name given in most English-speaking countries to the set of architectural styles current between 1720 and 1840. It is eponymous for the first four British monarchs of the House of Hanover—George I of Great Britain, George II of Great Britain, George III of the United...

 Villa was built in 1836. However, the expense of building the road from the beach (no financial assistance being provided by Trinity House
Trinity House
The Corporation of Trinity House of Deptford Strond is the official General Lighthouse Authority for England, Wales and other British territorial waters...

, despite their regular use of the road following the construction of the lighthouses), the Villa and the general cost of running the island had a ruinous effect on the family's finances, which had been damaged by reduced profits from their sugar plantations in Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...


In 1957 a message in a bottle from one of the seamen of the HMS Caledonia
HMS Caledonia
Five ships and three shore establishments of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Caledonia after the Latin name for Scotland:Ships was a 3-gun brig launched in 1807. She was captured by the Americans in 1812, and burnt several days later. was a 120-gun first rate ship of the line launched in 1808...

was washed ashore between Babbacombe
"Babbacombe" may also refer to John 'Babbacombe' LeeBabbacombe is a district of Torquay, Devon, England. It is notable for Babbacombe Model Village, and its clifftop green, Babbacombe Downs, from which Oddicombe Beach is accessed via Babbacombe Cliff Railway.There is a miniature village in the area....

 and Peppercombe in Devon
Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

. The letter, dated August 15, 1843 read: "Dear Brother, Please e God i be with y against Michaelmas. Prepare y search Lundy for y Jenny ivories. Adiue William, Odessa". The bottle and letter are on display at the Portledge Hotel at Fairy Cross, in Devon, England. The Jenny was a three-masted schooner
A schooner is a type of sailing vessel characterized by the use of fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts with the forward mast being no taller than the rear masts....

 reputed to be carrying ivory and gold dust that was wrecked on Lundy (at a place thereafter called Jenny's Cove) on February 20, 1797. The ivory was apparently recovered some years later but the leather bags supposed to contain gold dust were never found.


The north and south lighthouses were built in 1897, to take over from the old lighthouse.
The north lighthouse is 17 metres tall—slightly taller than the south one; they are painted white and were automated in 1991 and 1994. The south lighthouse has a focal length
Focal length
The focal length of an optical system is a measure of how strongly the system converges or diverges light. For an optical system in air, it is the distance over which initially collimated rays are brought to a focus...

 of 53 metres (173.9 ft) and a quick white flash every 15 seconds. It can be seen as a small white dot from Hartland Point
Hartland Point
Hartland Point is a high rocky outcrop of land on the northwestern tip of the Devon coast in England. It is three miles north-west of the village of Hartland. The point marks the western limit of the Bristol Channel with the Atlantic Ocean continuing to the west...

, 11 miles to the south east. It was automated and converted to solar power
Solar power
Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for most of the available...

 in 1994. Both lighthouses are run and maintained by Trinity House
Trinity House
The Corporation of Trinity House of Deptford Strond is the official General Lighthouse Authority for England, Wales and other British territorial waters...

. The northern light, which has a focal plane of 48 metres (157.5 ft) and produces a quick white flash every 5 seconds, was originally lit by a 75mm petroleum vapour burner and oil was lifted up from a small quay using a sled and winch, and then transported using a small railway (again winch-powered). The remains of this can be still seen, but it was abandoned in 1971 and the lighthouses use a discharge bulb fed from the island's main supply. In 1985 the northern light was modernised six years later and was converted to solar power.

20th and 21st centuries

William Heaven was succeeded by his son the Reverend Hudson Grosset Heaven who, thanks to a legacy from Sarah Langworthy (née Heaven), was able to fulfill his life's ambition of building a stone church on the island. St Helena's was completed in 1896, and stands today as a lasting memorial to the Heaven period. It has been designated by English Heritage
English Heritage
English Heritage . is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport...

 a Grade II listed building. He is said to have been able to afford either a church or a new harbour. His choice of the church was not however in the best financial interests of the island. The unavailability of the money for re-establishing the family's financial soundness, coupled with disastrous investment and speculation in the early 20th century, caused severe financial hardship.

Hudson Heaven died in 1916, and was succeeded by his nephew, Walter Charles Hudson Heaven. With the outbreak of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, matters deteriorated seriously, and in 1918 the family sold Lundy to Augustus Langham Christie. In 1924, the Christie family sold the island along with the mail contract and the MV
Merchant vessel
A merchant vessel is a ship that transports cargo or passengers. The closely related term commercial vessel is defined by the United States Coast Guard as any vessel engaged in commercial trade or that carries passengers for hire...

 Lerina to Martin Coles Harman, who proclaimed himself a king. Harman issued two coins of Half Puffin and One Puffin denominations in 1929, nominally equivalent to the British halfpenny and penny, resulting in his prosecution under the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

's Coinage Act of 1870
Coinage Act 1870
The Coinage Act 1870 stated the metric weights of British coins. For example, it defined the weight of the sovereign as 7.98805 grams...

. The House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 found him guilty in 1931, and he was fined £5 with fifteen guineas expenses. The coins were withdrawn and became collectors' items. In 1965 a "fantasy" restrike four-coin set, a few in gold, was issued to commemorate 40 years since Harman purchased the island. Harman's son, John Pennington Harman
John Pennington Harman
John Pennington Harman VC was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.-Details:...

 was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

 in Kohima
Kohima is the hilly capital of India's north eastern border state of Nagaland which shares its borders with Burma. It lies in Kohima District and is also one of the three Nagaland towns with Municipal council status along with Dimapur and Mokokchung....

, India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 in 1944. There is a memorial to him at the VC Quarry on Lundy. Martin Coles Harman died in 1954.

Residents did not pay taxes to the United Kingdom and had to pass through customs when they travelled to and from Lundy Island. Although the island was ruled as a virtual fiefdom
A fee was the central element of feudalism and consisted of heritable lands granted under one of several varieties of feudal tenure by an overlord to a vassal who held it in fealty in return for a form of feudal allegiance and service, usually given by the...

, its owner never claimed to be independent of the United Kingdom, in contrast to later territorial "micronation
Micronations, sometimes also referred to as model countries and new country projects, are entities that claim to be independent nations or states but which are not recognized by world governments or major international organizations...


Following the death of Harman's son Albion in 1968, Lundy was put up for sale in 1969. Jack Hayward
Jack Hayward
Sir Jack Arnold Hayward, OBE is an English businessman, property developer, philanthropist and president of Premier League football club Wolverhampton Wanderers.-Biography:...

, a British millionaire, purchased the island for £150,000 and gave it to the National Trust
National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty
The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, usually known as the National Trust, is a conservation organisation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

, who leased it to the Landmark Trust
Landmark Trust
The Landmark Trust is a British building conservation charity, founded in 1965 by Sir John and Lady Smith, that rescues buildings of historic interest or architectural merit and then gives them a new life by making them available for holiday rental...

. The Landmark Trust has managed the island since then, deriving its income from arranging day trips, letting out holiday cottages and from donations.

The island is visited by over 20,000 day-trippers a year, but during September 2007 had to be closed for several weeks owing to an outbreak of Norovirus.

Wreck of Battleship Montagu

A naval footnote in the history of Lundy was the wreck of the Royal Navy battleship HMS Montagu
HMS Montagu (1901)
HMS Montagu was a Pre-dreadnought battleship of the British Royal Navy.In May 1906 in thick fog, she was wrecked on Lundy Island, fortunately without loss of life....

. Steaming in heavy fog, she ran hard aground near Shutter Rock on the island's southwest corner at about 2:00 a.m. on May 30, 1906. Thinking they were aground at Hartland Point
Hartland Point
Hartland Point is a high rocky outcrop of land on the northwestern tip of the Devon coast in England. It is three miles north-west of the village of Hartland. The point marks the western limit of the Bristol Channel with the Atlantic Ocean continuing to the west...

 on the English mainland, a landing party went ashore for help, only finding out where they were after encountering the lighthouse
A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire, and used as an aid to navigation for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways....

 keeper at the island's north light.

Strenuous efforts by the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 to salvage the badly damaged battleship during the summer of 1906 failed, and in 1907 it was decided to give up and sell her for scrap. Montagu was scrapped at the scene over the next fifteen years. Diving clubs still visit the site, where armour plate and live 12-inch (305-millimetre) shells remain on the seabed.

Remains of a German Heinkel 111H bomber

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 two German Heinkel He 111
Heinkel He 111
The Heinkel He 111 was a German aircraft designed by Siegfried and Walter Günter in the early 1930s in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Often described as a "Wolf in sheep's clothing", it masqueraded as a transport aircraft, but its purpose was to provide the Luftwaffe with a fast medium...

 bombers crash landed on the island in 1941. The first was on 3 March, when all the crew survived and were taken prisoner. The second was on 1 April when the pilot was killed and the other crew members were taken prisoner. The plane had bombed a British ship and one engine damaged by anti aircraft
Anti-aircraft warfare
NATO defines air defence as "all measures designed to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of hostile air action." They include ground and air based weapon systems, associated sensor systems, command and control arrangements and passive measures. It may be to protect naval, ground and air forces...

 fire, forcing it to crash land. A few remains can be found on the crash site. Reportedly to avoid reprisals the crew concocted a story that they were on a reconnaissance mission.


Lundy is located at 51°10′37.8876"N 4°39′57.96"W (51.177191, 4.6661). It is 3 miles (5 km) long from north to south by about 0.75 miles (1.2 km) wide, with an area of 445 hectares (1.72 sq mi). The highest point on Lundy is at 142 metres (465.9 ft). A few metres off the northeastern coast is Seal's Rock which is so called after the seals
Pinnipeds or fin-footed mammals are a widely distributed and diverse group of semiaquatic marine mammals comprising the families Odobenidae , Otariidae , and Phocidae .-Overview: Pinnipeds are typically sleek-bodied and barrel-shaped...

 which rest on and inhabit the islet
An islet is a very small island.- Types :As suggested by its origin as islette, an Old French diminutive of "isle", use of the term implies small size, but little attention is given to drawing an upper limit on its applicability....

. It is less than 50 metre wide.


The island is primarily composed of granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

 of 50±3 to 54±2 million years (from the Eocene
The Eocene Epoch, lasting from about 56 to 34 million years ago , is a major division of the geologic timescale and the second epoch of the Paleogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. The Eocene spans the time from the end of the Palaeocene Epoch to the beginning of the Oligocene Epoch. The start of the...

 period), with slate
Slate is a fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low-grade regional metamorphism. The result is a foliated rock in which the foliation may not correspond to the original sedimentary layering...

 at the southern end; the plateau soil is mainly loam
Loam is soil composed of sand, silt, and clay in relatively even concentration . Loam soils generally contain more nutrients and humus than sandy soils, have better infiltration and drainage than silty soils, and are easier to till than clay soils...

, with some peat
Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation matter or histosol. Peat forms in wetland bogs, moors, muskegs, pocosins, mires, and peat swamp forests. Peat is harvested as an important source of fuel in certain parts of the world...

. Among the igneous dykes
Dike (geology)
A dike or dyke in geology is a type of sheet intrusion referring to any geologic body that cuts discordantly across* planar wall rock structures, such as bedding or foliation...

 cutting the granite are a small number composed of a unique orthophyre
Trachyte is an igneous volcanic rock with an aphanitic to porphyritic texture. The mineral assemblage consists of essential alkali feldspar; relatively minor plagioclase and quartz or a feldspathoid such as nepheline may also be present....

. This was given the name Lundyite in 1914, although the term – never precisely defined – has since fallen into disuse.


Lundy Island lies on the borderline where the North Atlantic Ocean and the Bristol Channel meet, so it has quite a mild climate. Lundy has cool, wet winters and mild, wet summers. It is often windy on the coast.


There is one endemic plant species, the Lundy Cabbage
Lundy cabbage
Lundy cabbage is a species of primitive brassicoid, endemic to the island of Lundy off the southwestern coast of Great Britain, where it is sufficiently isolated to have formed its own species, with its endemic insect pollinators. The Lundy cabbage Coincya wrightii grows only on the eastern cliffs...

 (Coincya wrightii), a species of primitive brassica
Brassica is a genus of plants in the mustard family . The members of the genus may be collectively known either as cabbages, or as mustards...


By the 1980s the eastern side of the island had become overgrown by rhododendron
Rhododendron is a genus of over 1 000 species of woody plants in the heath family, most with showy flowers...

s (Rhododendron ponticum) which had spread from a few specimens planted in the garden of Millcombe House in Victorian times, but eradication of this non-native plant has been undertaken by volunteers over the past fifteen years in an operation known on the island as "rhody-bashing", which it is hoped will be completed by 2012. The vegetation on the plateau is mainly dry heath, with an area of waved Calluna
Calluna vulgaris is the sole species in the genus Calluna in the family Ericaceae. It is a low-growing perennial shrub growing to tall, or rarely to and taller, and is found widely in Europe and Asia Minor on acidic soils in open sunny situations and in moderate shade...

 heath towards the northern end of the island, which is also rich in lichens, such as Teloschistes flavicans and several species of Cladonia
Cladonia is a genus of moss-like lichens in the family Cladoniaceae. They are the primary food source for reindeer and caribou. Cladonia species are of economic importance to reindeer-herders, such as the Sami in Scandinavia or the Nenets in Russia. Antibiotic compounds are extracted from some...

 and Parmelia
Parmelia (lichen)
Parmelia is a large genus of lichenized fungus with a global distribution, extending from the Arctic to the Antarctic continent but concentrated in temperate regions. 125 species have been recorded on the Indian sub-continent...

. Other areas are either a dry heath/acidic grassland mosaic, characterised by heaths and Western Gorse (Ulex gallii), or semi-improved acidic grassland in which Yorkshire Fog
Yorkshire Fog
Yorkshire Fog or Velvet Grass, Holcus lanatus, is a perennial grass in the Poaceae Family. 'Lanatus' is latin for 'wooly' which describes the plant's hairy texture....

 (Holcus lanatus) is abundant. Tussocky (Thrift) (Holcus/Armeria) communities occur mainly on the western side, and some patches of Bracken
Bracken are several species of large, coarse ferns of the genus Pteridium. Ferns are vascular plants that have alternating generations, large plants that produce spores and small plants that produce sex cells . Brackens are in the family Dennstaedtiaceae, which are noted for their large, highly...

 (Pteridium aquilinum) on the eastern side.


Until 2006 the Lundy Cabbage was thought to support two endemic species of beetle
Coleoptera is an order of insects commonly called beetles. The word "coleoptera" is from the Greek , koleos, "sheath"; and , pteron, "wing", thus "sheathed wing". Coleoptera contains more species than any other order, constituting almost 25% of all known life-forms...

. The beetles are now known not to be unique to Lundy, but an endemic weevil
A weevil is any beetle from the Curculionoidea superfamily. They are usually small, less than , and herbivorous. There are over 60,000 species in several families, mostly in the family Curculionidae...

, the Lundy cabbage flea beetle, (Psylliodes luridipennis) has been discovered. The island is also home to the purseweb spider (Atypus affinis), the only British member of the bird-eating spider family.


The number of puffins
Atlantic Puffin
The Atlantic Puffin is a seabird species in the auk family. It is a pelagic bird that feeds primarily by diving for fish, but also eats other sea creatures, such as squid and crustaceans. Its most obvious characteristic during the breeding season is its brightly coloured bill...

 (Fratercula arctica), which may have given the island its name, declined in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, with the 2005 breeding population estimated to be only two or three pairs, as a consequence of depredations by brown and black rats
Black Rat
The black rat is a common long-tailed rodent of the genus Rattus in the subfamily Murinae . The species originated in tropical Asia and spread through the Near East in Roman times before reaching Europe by the 1st century and spreading with Europeans across the world.-Taxonomy:The black rat was...

 (Rattus rattus) (which have now been eliminated) and possibly also as a result of commercial fishing for sand eel
Sand Eel
Sand eel or sandeel is the common name used for a considerable number of species of fish. Most of them are sea fish of the genera Hyperoplus , Gymnammodytes or Ammodytes...

s, the puffins' principal prey. Since 2005, the breeding numbers have been slowly increasing. Adults were seen taking fish into four burrows in 2007, and six burrows in 2008.

As an isolated island on major migration routes, Lundy has a rich bird life and is a popular site for birding. Large numbers of Black-legged Kittiwake
Black-legged Kittiwake
The Black-legged Kittiwake is a seabird species in the gull family Laridae.This species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 as Larus tridactylus....

 (Rissa tridactyla) nest on the cliffs, as do Razorbill
The Razorbill is colonial seabird that will only come to land in order to breed. It is the largest living member of the Auk family. This agile bird will choose only one partner for life and females will lay one egg per year. Razorbills will nest along coastal cliffs in enclosed or slightly exposed...

 (Alca torda), Guillemot
Common Guillemot
The Common Murre or Common Guillemot is a large auk. It is also known as the Thin-billed Murre in North America. It has a circumpolar distribution, occurring in low-Arctic and boreal waters in the North-Atlantic and North Pacific...

 (Uria aalge), Herring Gull (Larus argentatus), Lesser Black-backed Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
The Lesser Black-backed Gull is a large gull that breeds on the Atlantic coasts of Europe. It is migratory, wintering from the British Isles south to West Africa...

 (Larus fuscus), Fulmar
Fulmars are seabirds of the family Procellariidae. The family consists of two extant species and two that are extinct.-Taxonomy:As members of Procellaridae and then the order Procellariiformes, they share certain traits. First, they have nasal passages that attach to the upper bill called...

 (Fulmarus glacialis), Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus), Skylark
The Skylark is a small passerine bird species. This lark breeds across most of Europe and Asia and in the mountains of north Africa. It is mainly resident in the west of its range, but eastern populations are more migratory, moving further south in winter. Even in the milder west of its range,...

 (Alauda arvensis), Meadow pipit
Meadow Pipit
The Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis, is a small passerine bird which breeds in much of the northern half of Europe and also northwestern Asia, from southeastern Greenland and Iceland east to just east of the Ural Mountains in Russia, and south to central France and Romania; there is also an isolated...

 (Anthus pratensis), Common Blackbird (Turdus merula), Robin
European Robin
The European Robin , most commonly known in Anglophone Europe simply as the Robin, is a small insectivorous passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the thrush family , but is now considered to be an Old World flycatcher...

 (Erithacus rubecula) and Linnet
The Linnet is a small passerine bird in the finch family Fringillidae.The Linnet derives its scientific name from its fondness for hemp and its English name from its liking for seeds of flax, from which linen is made.- Description :...

 (Carduelis cannabina). There are also smaller populations of Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon
The Peregrine Falcon , also known as the Peregrine, and historically as the Duck Hawk in North America, is a widespread bird of prey in the family Falconidae. A large, crow-sized falcon, it has a blue-gray back, barred white underparts, and a black head and "moustache"...

 (Falco peregrinus) and Raven
Raven is the common name given to several larger-bodied members of the genus Corvus—but in Europe and North America the Common Raven is normally implied...

 (Corvus corax).

Lundy has attracted many vagrant birds, in particular species from North America. The island's bird list totals 317 species. This has included the following species, each of which represents the sole British record: Ancient Murrelet
Ancient Murrelet
The Ancient Murrelet, Synthliboramphus antiquus, is a bird in the auk family. It breeds from the Yellow Sea , through the Russian Pacific coast and the Aleutian Islands to the Haida Gwaii archipelago of British Columbia, where about half of the world population breeds.These birds breed in colonies,...

, Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Phoebe
The Eastern Phoebe is a small passerine bird. This tyrant flycatcher breeds in eastern North America, although its normal range does not include the southeastern coastal USA....

 and Eastern Towhee
Eastern Towhee
The Eastern Towhee, Pipilo erythrophthalmus, is a large New World sparrow. The taxonomy of the towhees has been under debate in recent decades, and formerly this bird and the Spotted Towhee were considered a single species, the Rufous-sided Towhee....

. Records of Bimaculated Lark
Bimaculated Lark
The Bimaculated Lark, Melanocorypha bimaculata, breeds in warm temperate countries eastwards from Turkey into Central Asia. It is the eastern counterpart of its relative, the Calandra Lark....

, American Robin
American Robin
The American Robin or North American Robin is a migratory songbird of the thrush family. It is named after the European Robin because of its reddish-orange breast, though the two species are not closely related, with the European robin belonging to the flycatcher family...

 and Common Yellowthroat
Common Yellowthroat
The Common Yellowthroat is a New World warbler. They are abundant breeders in North America, ranging from southern Canada to central Mexico....

 were also firsts for Britain (American Robin has also occurred two further times on Lundy). Veery
The Veery, Catharus fuscescens, is a small thrush species. It is occasionally called Willow Thrush or Wilson's Thrush. It is a member of a close-knit group of migrant Catharus species, which also includes the cryptotaxa Grey-cheeked Thrush and Bicknell's Thrush The Veery, Catharus fuscescens, is a...

s in 1987 and 1997 were Britain's second and fourth records, a Rüppell's Warbler
Rüppell's Warbler
The Rüppell's Warbler is a typical warbler of the genus Sylvia. It breeds in Greece, Turkey and neighbouring islands. It is migratory, wintering in north east Africa. This is a rare vagrant to western Europe. The name is occasionally cited as "Rueppell's Warbler".It is a typical "sylvia" warbler,...

 in 1979 was Britain's second, an Eastern Bonelli's Warbler
Eastern Bonelli's Warbler
Eastern Bonelli's Warbler is a "warbler" in the leaf warbler genus Phylloscopus. It was formerly regarded as the eastern subspecies of a wider "Bonelli's Warbler" species, but as a result of modern taxonomic developments, this species is now usually considered to be two species :* Western Bonelli's...

 in 2004 was Britain's fourth, and a Black-faced Bunting
Black-faced Bunting
The Black-faced Bunting, Emberiza spodocephala , is a passerine bird in the bunting family Emberizidae, a group now separated by most modern authors from the finches, Fringillidae....

 in 2001 Britain's third.

Other British Birds rarities
British Birds Rarities Committee
The British Birds Rarities Committee , established in 1959, is the national bird rarities committee for Britain. It assesses claimed sightings of bird species that are rarely seen in Britain, based on descriptions, photographs and video recordings submitted by observers...

 that have been sighted (single records unless otherwise indicated) are: Little Bittern
Little Bittern
The Little Bittern is a wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae, native to the Old World, breeding in Africa, central and southern Europe, western and southern Asia, and Madagascar. Birds from temperate regions in Europe and western Asia are migratory, wintering in Africa and further south in...

, Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis
The Glossy Ibis is a wading bird in the ibis family Threskiornithidae.This is the most widespread ibis species, breeding in scattered sites in warm regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Atlantic and Caribbean region of the Americas...

, Gyrfalcon
The Gyrfalcon — Falco rusticolus — is the largest of the falcon species. The Gyrfalcon breeds on Arctic coasts and the islands of North America, Europe, and Asia. It is mainly resident there also, but some Gyrfalcons disperse more widely after the breeding season, or in winter.Individual vagrancy...

 (3 records), Little
Little Crake
The Little Crake is a very small waterbird of the family Rallidae.Their breeding habitat is reed beds in Europe, mainly in the east, and just into western Asia. They nest in a dry location in reed vegetation, laying 4-7 eggs...

 and Baillon's
Baillon's Crake
The Baillon's Crake is a very small waterbird of the family Rallidae.-Distribution:Their breeding habitat is sedge beds in Europe, mainly in the east, and across Asia. They used to breed in Great Britain up to the mid-19th century, but the western European population declined through drainage....

 crakes, Collared Pratincole
Collared Pratincole
The Collared Pratincole or Common Pratincole, Glareola pratincola, is a wader in the pratincole family, Glareolidae.Pratincoles are unusual among waders in that they typically hunt their insect prey on the wing like swallows, although they can also feed on the ground.The Collared Pratincole is a...

, Semipalmated
Semipalmated Sandpiper
The Semipalmated Sandpiper, Calidris pusilla, is a very small shorebird. It is sometimes separated with other "stints" in Erolia but although these apparently form a monophyletic group, the present species' old genus Ereunetes had been proposed before Erolia.Adults have black legs and a short stout...

 (5 records), Least
Least Sandpiper
The Least Sandpiper is the smallest shorebird.This species has greenish legs and a short thin dark bill. Breeding adults are brown with dark brown streaks on top and white underneath. They have a light line above the eye and a dark crown. In winter, Least Sandpipers are grey above...

 (2 records), White-rumped
White-rumped Sandpiper
The White-rumped Sandpiper is a small shorebird.Adults have black legs and a small thin dark bill. The body is dark brown on top and mainly white underneath, with brown streaks on the breast and a white rump. They have a white stripe over their eyes. This bird shows long wings in flight. In winter...

 and Baird's
Baird's Sandpiper
The Baird's Sandpiper is a small shorebird. It is among those calidrids sometimes separated in Erolia.Adults have black legs and a short thin dark bill. They are dark brown on top and mainly white underneath with a black patch on the rump. The head and breast are light brown with dark streaks. In...

 (2 records) sandpipers, Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson's Phalarope
The Wilson's Phalarope, Phalaropus tricolor, is a small wader. This bird, the largest of the phalaropes, breeds in the prairies of North America in western Canada and the western United States. It is migratory, wintering around the central Andes in South America. They are passage migrants through...

, Laughing Gull
Laughing Gull
The Laughing Gull, Leucophaeus atricilla, is a medium-sized gull of North and South America. It breeds on the Atlantic coast of North America, the Caribbean, and northern South America. Northernmost populations migrate further south in winter, and this species occurs as a rare vagrant to western...

, Bridled Tern
Bridled Tern
The Bridled Tern is a seabird of the tern family Sternidae. It is a bird of the tropical oceans.-Description:...

, Pallas's Sandgrouse
Pallas's Sandgrouse
The Pallas's Sandgrouse is a medium large bird in the sandgrouse family named after the German zoologist Peter Simon Pallas....

, Great Spotted
Great Spotted Cuckoo
The Great Spotted Cuckoo is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes, which also includes the roadrunners, the anis and the coucals....

, Black-billed
Black-billed Cuckoo
The Black-billed Cuckoo, Coccyzus erythropthalmus, is a cuckoo.Adults have a long brown tail and a black bill. The head and upper parts are brown and the underparts are white. There is a red ring around the eye. Juveniles are drabber, and the eye ring is greenish.Their breeding habitat is edges of...

 and Yellow-billed
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
The Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus, is a cuckoo. Common folk-names for this bird in the southern United States are Rain Crow and Storm Crow...

 (3 records) cuckoos, European Roller
European Roller
The European Roller, Coracias garrulus, is the only member of the roller family of birds to breed in Europe. Its overall range extends into the Middle East and Central Asia and Morocco....

, Olive-backed Pipit
Olive-backed Pipit
The Olive-backed Pipit, Anthus hodgsoni, is a small passerine bird of the pipit genus, which breeds across South, north Central and East Asia, as well as in the northeast of European Russia. It is a long-distance migrant moving in winter to southern Asia and Indonesia...

, Citrine Wagtail
Citrine Wagtail
The Citrine Wagtail or Yellow-headed Wagtail is a small songbird in the family Motacillidae. The term citrine refers to its yellowish colouration. Its systematics, phylogeny and taxonomy are subject of considerable debate in the early 21st century. This is because this bird forms a cryptic...

, Alpine Accentor
Alpine Accentor
The Alpine Accentor, Prunella collaris, is a small passerine bird found throughout the mountains of southern temperate Europe and Asia at heights above 2000 m. It is mainly resident, wintering more widely at lower latitudes, but some birds wander as rare vagrants as far as Great Britain.It is...

, Thrush Nightingale
Thrush Nightingale
The Thrush Nightingale, Luscinia luscinia , is a small passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the thrush family Turdidae, but is now more generally considered to be an Old World flycatcher, Muscicapidae...

, Red-flanked Bluetail
Red-flanked Bluetail
The Red-flanked Bluetail , also known as the Orange-flanked Bush-robin, is a small passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the thrush family Turdidae, but is now more generally considered to be an Old World flycatcher, Muscicapidae...

, Black-eared
Black-eared Wheatear
The Black-eared Wheatear is a wheatear, a small migratory passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the Thrush family Turdidae, but is now more generally considered to be an Old World flycatcher, Muscicapidae....

 (2 records) and Desert
Desert Wheatear
The Desert Wheatear is a wheatear, a small passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the Thrush family Turdidae, but is now more generally considered to be an Old World flycatcher, Muscicapidae....

 wheatears, White's
White's Thrush
The White's Thrush or Scaly Thrush is a member of the thrush family Turdidae. It was named after the English naturalist Gilbert White.-Distribution and habitat:...

, Swainson's
Swainson's Thrush
Swainson's Thrush , also called Olive-backed Thrush, is a medium-sized thrush. This species is 16–18 cm in length, and has the white-dark-white underwing pattern characteristic of Catharus thrushes...

 (3 records), and Grey-cheeked (2 records) thrushes, Sardinian
Sardinian Warbler
The Sardinian Warbler, Sylvia melanocephala, is a common and widespread typical warbler from the Mediterranean region.-Description:...

 (2 records), Arctic
Arctic Warbler
The Arctic Warbler, Phylloscopus borealis, is a widespread leaf warbler in birch or mixed birch forest near water throughout its breeding range in Fennoscandia and northern Asia. It has established a foothold in North America, breeding in Alaska. This warbler is strongly migratory; the entire...

 (3 records), Radde's
Radde's Warbler
Radde's Warbler, Phylloscopus schwarzi, is a leaf warbler which breeds in Siberia. This warbler is strongly migratory and winters in southeast Asia....

 and Western Bonelli's
Western Bonelli's Warbler
Western Bonelli's Warbler is a "warbler" in the leaf warbler genus Phylloscopus. It was formerly regarded as the western subspecies of a wider "Bonelli's Warbler" species, but as a result of modern taxonomic developments, this species is now usually considered to be two species :* Western Bonelli's...

 warblers, Isabelline
Isabelline Shrike
The Isabelline Shrike is a member of the shrike family . It is the eastern equivalent of the Red-backed Shrike with which it used to be considered conspecific....

 and Lesser Grey
Lesser Grey Shrike
The Lesser Grey Shrike is a member of the shrike family Laniidae.It is similar in appearance to the Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor and the Southern Grey Shrike L. meridionalis...

 shrikes, Red-eyed Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
The Red-eyed Vireo, Vireo olivaceus, is a small American songbird, 13–14 cm in length. It is somewhat warbler-like but not closely related to the New World warblers...

 (7 records), Two-barred Crossbill
Two-barred Crossbill
The Two-barred Crossbill , known as the White-winged Crossbill in North America, is a small passerine bird in the finch family Fringillidae...

, Yellow-rumped
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Four closely related North American bird forms—the eastern Myrtle Warbler , its western counterpart, Audubon's Warbler , the northwest Mexican Black-fronted Warbler , and the Guatemalan Goldman's Warbler —are periodically lumped as the Yellow-rumped Warbler .-Classification:Since...

 and Blackpoll
Blackpoll Warbler
The Blackpoll Warbler, Dendroica striata , is a New World warbler. Breeding males are mostly black and white. They have a prominent black cap, white cheeks and white wing bars. The Blackpoll breeds in northern North America, from Alaska, through most of Canada, and into the Great Lakes region and...

 warblers, Yellow-breasted
Yellow-breasted Bunting
The Yellow-breasted Bunting, Emberiza aureola, is an Eurasian passerine bird in the bunting family .This bird is similar in size to a Reed Bunting, but longer-billed...

 (2 records) and Black-headed
Black-headed Bunting
The Black-headed Bunting, Emberiza melanocephala, is a passerine bird in the bunting family Emberizidae, a group now separated by most modern authors from the finches, Fringillidae....

 (3 records) buntings, Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Pheucticus ludovicianus, is a large seed-eating songbird in the cardinal family . It breeds in cool-temperate North America, migrating to tropical America in winter.-Description:...

 (2 records), Bobolink
The Bobolink is a small New World blackbird and the only member of genus Dolichonyx.-Description:Adults are 16–18 cm long with short finch-like bills. They weigh about . Adult males are mostly black, although they do display creamy napes, and white scapulars, lower backs and rumps...

 and Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
The Baltimore Oriole is a small icterid blackbird that averages 18 cm long and weighs 34 g. This bird received its name from the fact that the male's colors resemble those on the coat-of-arms of Lord Baltimore...

 (2 records).


Lundy is home to an unusual range of mammals, almost all introduced, including a distinct breed of wild pony, the Lundy Pony
Lundy Pony
The Lundy Pony is a breed of pony first developed on Lundy Island in England. The breed originated in 1928, when the owner of the island, Martin Coles Harman, introduced 34 New Forest pony mares, eight foals and a Welsh Mountain B strawberry roan stallion. Diana Keast, his daughter, explained why...

. Until recently, Lundy and the Shiant Isles
Shiant Isles
The Shiant Isles are a privately owned island group in the Minch, east of Harris in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. They are five miles south east of Lewis.-Etymology:...

 in the Hebrides were the only two places in the UK where the Black Rat
Black Rat
The black rat is a common long-tailed rodent of the genus Rattus in the subfamily Murinae . The species originated in tropical Asia and spread through the Near East in Roman times before reaching Europe by the 1st century and spreading with Europeans across the world.-Taxonomy:The black rat was...

 (Rattus rattus) could be found. It has since been eradicated on the island, in order to protect the nesting seabirds. Other species which have made the island their home include the Grey Seal
Grey Seal
The grey seal is found on both shores of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is a large seal of the family Phocidae or "true seals". It is the only species classified in the genus Halichoerus...

 (Halichoerus grypus), Sika Deer
Sika Deer
The Sika Deer, Cervus nippon, also known as the Spotted Deer or the Japanese Deer, is a species of deer native to much of East Asia and introduced to various other parts of the world...

 (Cervus nippon), Pygmy Shrew
Eurasian pygmy shrew
The Eurasian Pygmy Shrew , often known simply as the Pygmy Shrew, is a widespread shrew of northern Eurasia. It is the only shrew native to Ireland....

 (Sorex minutus) and feral goat
The domestic goat is a subspecies of goat domesticated from the wild goat of southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the Bovidae family and is closely related to the sheep as both are in the goat-antelope subfamily Caprinae. There are over three hundred distinct breeds of...

s (Capra aegagrus hircus). Unusually, 20% of the rabbits (Leporidae) on the island are melanistic
Melanism is an undue development of dark-colored pigment in the skin or its appendages, and the opposite of albinism. It is also the medical term for black jaundice.The word is deduced from the , meaning black pigment....

 compared with 4% which is typical in the UK. In mid-2006 the rabbit population was devastated by myxomatosis
Myxomatosis is a disease that affects rabbits and is caused by the Myxoma virus. It was first observed in Uruguay in laboratory rabbits in the late 19th century. It was introduced into Australia in 1950 in an attempt to control the rabbit population...

, leaving only 60 pairs from the previous 15–20,000 individuals. Soay Sheep
Soay sheep
The Soay sheep is a primitive breed of domestic sheep descended from a population of feral sheep on the island of Soay in the St. Kilda Archipelago, about from the Western Isles of Scotland...

 (Ovis aries) on the island have been shown to vary their behaviours according to nutritional requirements, the distribution of food and the risk of predation.

Marine habitat

In 1971 a proposal was made by the Lundy Field Society to establish a marine reserve. Provision for the establishment of statutory Marine Nature Reserves was included in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 is an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom and was implemented to comply with the Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds...

, and on 21 November 1986 the Secretary of State for the Environment
Secretary of State for the Environment
The Secretary of State for the Environment was a UK cabinet position, responsible for the Department of the Environment . This was created by Edward Heath as a combination of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Public Building and Works on 15...

 announced the designation of a statutory reserve at Lundy.

There is an outstanding variety of marine habitats and wildlife, and a large number of rare and unusual species in the waters around Lundy, including some species of seaweed
Seaweed is a loose, colloquial term encompassing macroscopic, multicellular, benthic marine algae. The term includes some members of the red, brown and green algae...

, branching sponges, sea fan
Sea fan
A gorgonian, also known as sea whip or sea fan, is an order of sessile colonial cnidarian found throughout the oceans of the world, especially in the tropics and subtropics. Gorgonians are similar to the sea pen, another soft coral. Individual tiny polyps form colonies that are normally erect,...

s and cup corals
Corals are marine animals in class Anthozoa of phylum Cnidaria typically living in compact colonies of many identical individual "polyps". The group includes the important reef builders that inhabit tropical oceans and secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton.A coral "head" is a colony of...


In 2003 the first statutory No Take Zone (NTZ) for marine nature conservation in the UK was set up in the waters to the east of Lundy island. In 2008 this was declared as having been successful in several ways including the increasing size and number of lobsters within the reserve, and potential benefits for other marine wildlife. However, the no take zone has received a mixed reaction from local fishermen.

On 12 January 2010 the island became Britain's first Marine Conservation Zone
Marine Protected Area
Marine Protected Areas, like any protected area, are regions in which human activity has been placed under some restrictions in the interest of conserving the natural environment, it's surrounding waters and the occupant ecosystems, and any cultural or historical resources that may require...

 designated under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009
Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009
The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It creates "a new system of marine management".-Sections 1 to 3 - The Marine Management Organisation:Section 1 creates the Marine Management Organisation....

, designed to help to preserve important habitats and species.


Two ways exist for getting to Lundy, depending upon the season of travel. During the summer months (April to October) visitors are carried on the Landmark Trust
Landmark Trust
The Landmark Trust is a British building conservation charity, founded in 1965 by Sir John and Lady Smith, that rescues buildings of historic interest or architectural merit and then gives them a new life by making them available for holiday rental...

's own vessel, MS Oldenburg
MS Oldenburg
MS Oldenburg is a British passenger ferry serving the island of Lundy in the Bristol Channel.The Oldenburg was named after the former grand duchy of Oldenburg, Germany, and launched on the 29 March 1958 in Bremen...

, which sails from both Bideford and Ilfracombe. Sailings are usually three days a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with additional sailings on Wednesdays during July and August. The voyage takes on average two hours, depending on ports, tides and weather. The Oldenburg was first registered in Bremen
The City Municipality of Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany. A commercial and industrial city with a major port on the river Weser, Bremen is part of the Bremen-Oldenburg metropolitan area . Bremen is the second most populous city in North Germany and tenth in Germany.Bremen is...

, Germany in 1958 and has been sailing to Lundy since the replacement of her engine in 1985.

During the winter months (November to March), the Oldenburg comes out of service, and the island is served by a scheduled helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

 service from Hartland Point
Hartland Point
Hartland Point is a high rocky outcrop of land on the northwestern tip of the Devon coast in England. It is three miles north-west of the village of Hartland. The point marks the western limit of the Bristol Channel with the Atlantic Ocean continuing to the west...

. The helicopter operates on Mondays and Fridays, with flights between 12 noon and 2 pm. The heliport
A heliport is a small airport suitable only for use by helicopters. Heliports typically contain one or more helipads and may have limited facilities such as fuel, lighting, a windsock, or even hangars...

 is a field at the top of Hartland Point, not far from the Beacon.

A grass runway of 400 metres (1,312 ft) by 28 metres (92 ft) is available, allowing access to small STOL aircraft skilfully piloted.

Entrance to Lundy is free for anyone arriving by scheduled transport. Visitors arriving by non-scheduled transport are charged a small entrance fee, currently (July 2007) £5.00, with an additional charge payable by those using light aircraft. Anyone arriving on Lundy by non-scheduled transport is also subject to an additional fee for transporting luggage to the top of the island.

In 2007, Derek Green, Lundy's general manager, launched an appeal to raise £250,000 to save the mile-long Beach Road, which had been damaged by heavy rain and high seas. The road was built in the first half of the 19th century to provide people and goods with safe access to the top of the island, 120 metres (394 ft) above the only jetty. The fund-raising was completed on the 10th March 2009.

Kayaking to Lundy

Properly equipped and experienced canoeists can kayak to the island from Hartland Point or Lee Bay. This takes 4 to 6 hours depending on wind and tides.

Electricity supply

There is a small power station comprising three Cummins
Cummins Inc. is a Fortune 500 corporation that designs, manufactures, distributes and services engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission control and electrical power generation systems...

 B and C series diesel engines, offering an approx 150 kVa 3 phase supply to most of the island buildings. Waste heat from the engine jackets is used for a district heating pipe. (cf. cogeneration
Cogeneration is the use of a heat engine or a power station to simultaneously generate both electricity and useful heat....

.) There are also plans to collect the waste heat from the engine exhaust heat gases to feed into the district heat network to improve the efficiency further.

Staying on the island

Lundy has 23 holiday properties to choose from, sleeping between one and 14 people. These include a lighthouse, a castle and a Victorian mansion. Many of the buildings are constructed from the island's granite. All have heating and many also have wood-burning stoves with a bath or shower depending on size. Kitchens are fully equipped for those who prefer self-catering.

The island also has a campsite, at the south of the island in the field next to the shop. It has hot and cold running water, with showers and toilets in an adjacent building.


The island is an unparished area
Unparished area
In England, an unparished area is an area that is not covered by a civil parish. Most urbanised districts of England are either entirely or partly unparished. Many towns and some cities in otherwise rural districts are also unparished areas and therefore no longer have a town council or city...

 of Torridge
Torridge is a local government district in Devon, England. Its council is based in Bideford. Other towns and villages in the district include Holsworthy, Great Torrington, Hartland and Westward Ho!. The Island of Lundy is administratively part of the District...

 district of the English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain modern nations. Historically in mainland Europe, the original French term, comté, and its equivalents in other languages denoted a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain...

 of Devon
Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

. It belongs to the ward
Wards of the United Kingdom
A ward in the United Kingdom is an electoral district at sub-national level represented by one or more councillors. It is the primary unit of British administrative and electoral geography .-England:...

 of Clovelly Bay
Clovelly is a village in the Torridge district of Devon, England. It is a major tourist attraction, famous for its history and beauty, its extremely steep car-free cobbled main street, donkeys, and its location looking out over the Bristol Channel. Thick woods shelter it and render the climate so...

. It is part of the constituency electing the Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 for Torridge and West Devon and the South West England constituency for the European Parliament
South West England (European Parliament constituency)
South West England is a constituency of the European Parliament. For 2009 it elects 6 MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation, reduced from 7 in 2004.-Boundaries:...



Owing to a decline in population and lack of interest in the mail contract, the GPO ended its presence at the end of 1927. For the next couple of years "King" Harman handled the mail to and from the island without charge. On 1 November 1929 he decided to offset the expense by issuing a series of private postage stamps, with a value expressed in "Puffins". The printing of Puffin stamps continues to this day. They have to be put on the bottom left hand corner of the envelope, so that the mainland sorting offices can process them: their cost includes the standard Royal Mail charges for onward delivery. Puffins are a type of stamp known to philatelists
Stamp collecting
Stamp collecting is the collecting of postage stamps and related objects. It is one of the world's most popular hobbies, with the number of collectors in the United States alone estimated to be over 20 million.- Collecting :...

 as a "local carriage label". Issues of increasing value were made over the years, including air mail, featuring a variety of people. Many are now highly sought-after by collectors.

Lundy Island continues to issue stamps with the latest issues being in 2008 (50th birthday of MS Oldenburg) and 2010 (Island wildlife). The value of the early issues has risen substantially over the years. The stamps of Lundy Island serve to cover the postage of letters and cards from the island to the nearest GPO post box on the mainland for the many thousands of annual visitors, and have become part of the collection of the many British Local Posts collectors. These stamps appeared in 1970s in the Rosen Catalogue of British Local Stamps, and in the Phillips Modern British Locals CD Catalogue, published since 2003. There is a comprehensive collection of these stamps in the Chinchen Collection, donated by Barry Chinchen to the British Library Philatelic Collections
British Library Philatelic Collections
The British Library Philatelic Collections is the national philatelic collection of the United Kingdom with over 8 million items from around the world. It was established in 1891 as part of the British Museum Library, later to become the British Library, with the collection of Thomas Tapling...

 in 1977 and located at the British Library
British Library
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom, and is the world's largest library in terms of total number of items. The library is a major research library, holding over 150 million items from every country in the world, in virtually all known languages and in many formats,...

. This also the home of the Landmark Trust Lundy Island Philatelic Archive which includes artwork, texts and essays as well as postmarking devices and issued stamps.

Labbe's Specialized Guide to Lundy Island Stamps serves as a definitive guide to the issues of Lundy Island including varieties, rarities and special philatelic items.

See also

  • Barbara Whitaker
    David Snow
    David William Snow was a celebrated English ornithologist born in Windermere, Westmorland.-Career and personal life:He won a scholarship to Eton and started there in 1938 just before his 14th birthday...

    , former warden.
  • Chinchen Collection
    Chinchen Collection
    The Chinchen Collection is a collection of stamps, proofs, artwork and covers from Lundy Island donated by Barry Chinchen to the British Library Philatelic Collections in 1977 and is located at the British Library....

  • Puffin Island
    Puffin Island
    Puffin Island is the name of several islands in a number of countries. In most cases the island has been so named because it has - or used to have - a colony of puffins.Puffin Islands include:Canada...

Further reading

  • Davis, Tim & Jones, Tim (2007) The Birds of Lundy; illustrated by Mike Langman. Berrynarbor: Devon Bird Watching & Preservation Society and Lundy Field Society, ISBN 0-954-0088-7-1

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.