History of Herm
Whilst clearly Neolithic man occupied Herm, records of Herm are a
little sketchy. It is thought that it became separated from what is now known as Jethou in AD709 during huge
storms. Some historians believe that Stone Age man from France buried their aristocracy in Herm.
The Romans referred to Herm as Erimus, (open and fruitless) . A
6th century chapel originally on the site of the present church, was built by St Tugual.
Two hundred years ago, granite quarrying was big business and 400
people lived there at that time and regrettably during this period, much of the evidence of early man was
destroyed. The stone was used amongst other projects to build St Peter Port harbour.
Modern times and the German
During more recent times, the Germans occupied the island during World
War II and many a famous person has stayed at the 15th
century Manor House including Prince Blucher von Wahlstatt, the great-grandson of the man who helped Wellington
defeat Napoleon. The best selling author Sir Compton Mankenzie stayed in 1920, and Sir Percival Perry, a past
Chairman of the Ford Motor Company lived thee for 16 years between 1923 and 1939.
Post War Redevelopment
The British Post Office opened a sub-post office in the 1920s and it was in 1949 that Herm issued its first
postage stamp under the tenancy of Mr Jeffries. Major Wood continued with the tradition until the Guernsey Post
Office came into being in 1949 and banned local labels on its mail.
The island was purchased by the States of Guernsey in 1946 for £15,000
and leased out to the late Major Peter Wood. He and wife Jenny were captivated by the tranquility of the island
although at that time it was an overgrown wilderness. They set about restoring and indeed building the
infrastructure of Herm after considerable damage during the Occupation and general neglect. Thanks to their
tremendous efforts, the island was subsequently opened to tourism. The third generation of the family are now
growing up in Herm.