Pierres de Lecq

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Official nameLes Pierres de Lecq
Designated2 February 2005
Reference no.1457[1]
The Pierres de Lecq (or Paternosters) at high tide seen from Jersey looking towards Sark. The three rocks visible are La Vouêtaîthe, La Grôsse, et L'Êtaîthe
Location map of Les Pierres de Lecq

Les Pierres de Lecq (Jèrriais: Les Pièrres dé Lé) or the Paternosters are a group of uninhabitable rocks or a reef in the Bailiwick of Jersey between Jersey and Sark, 6 km north of Grève de Lecq in Saint Mary, and 22.4 km west of the Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy.

Only three of the rocks remain visible at high tide: L'Êtaîthe (the eastern one), La Grôsse (the big one) and La Vouêtaîthe (the western one). The area has one of the greatest tidal ranges in the world, sometimes being as much as 12 metres.

The name Paternosters is connected with a legend relating to the colonisation of Sark in the 16th century. According to this legend a boatload of women and children was wrecked on the reef and their cries can still be heard from time to time in the wind. Superstitious sailors would say the Lord's Prayer when passing the rocks, hence the name Paternosters.

The rocks are a Ramsar site, and support a variety of small cetaceans including dolphins. It is considered to form a biogeographical boundary.[1]

Names of the rocks[edit]

All of the names are in Jèrriais

  • L'Êtchièrviéthe
  • La Rocque du Nord
  • L'Êtaîse or L'Êtaîthe
  • Lé Bel
  • Lé Longis
  • La P'tite Mathe
  • La Grôsse (Great Rock)
  • La Grand' Mathe
  • La Greune dé Lé, or La Bonnette
  • La Greune du Seur-Vouêt
  • L'Orange
  • La Vouêtaîse, La Vouêtaîthe, or La Vouêt'rêsse
  • La Cappe
  • La Douoche
  • Lé Byi
  • La Rocque Mollet
  • L'Êtché au Nord-Vouêt
  • La Galette
  • La Briarde
  • La Sprague
  • La Niêthole Jean Jean or Lé Gouoillot


  1. ^ a b "Les Pierres de Lecq". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°17′N 2°12′W / 49.283°N 2.200°W / 49.283; -2.200