The World’s Smallest Prison Consists of Only Two Tiny Cells

The World’s Smallest Prison Consists of Only Two Tiny Cells

By Spooky on May 28th, 2024 Category: Travel

The Island of Sark, the smallest of the Channel Islands located between France and England, is home to the world’s smallest prison still in use today – a tiny building with only two cells.

There are no cars, no roads and no streetlights on Sark Island, but there is a small prison dating back to the year 1856. Featuring just two tiny cells – one measuring 6 feet by 6 feet and the other 6 feet by 8 feet – separated by a narrow corridor, it holds the Guinness World Record for the ‘world’s smallest prison’. It’s only fitting that an island measuring just under 5 kilometers long and 1.6 kilometers wide, with a population of under 600 people, be home to the world’s smallest prison. The two cells only have small, wood-slatted beds with thin mattresses for inmates to sleep on, and inmates can only be held here for a maximum of two days, after which they have to be transferred to the larger prison facilities on the neighboring Guernsey Island.

According to the Sark Estate website, the Guernsey Courts ordered a new prison to be built in 1832, because the original one was deemed unfit, but due to budget constraints, it took over two decades simply to begin construction of the new holding facility. It was completed in 1856 and has been in operation ever since. Law enforcement on the island doesn’t get crime reports very often, but the prison is technically still operational, and the cells do get occupied by the occasional rowdy tourist or inebriated local.

The most famous inmate at Sark Prison was Andres Gardes, an unemployed French nuclear physicist who believed himself to be the rightful heir and owner of Sark Island. Since no one took his claims seriously, he decided to invade the island as a one-man army. He plastered the island with posters announcing his invasion, so when he finally arrived on Sark with a semiautomatic rifle, he was punched in the face by the Constable on duty and disarmed. He was arrested and his invasion thwarted.


Although the world’s smallest prison has changed very little in terms of structure, it now has electricity and heating, so you could say it is a bit more comfortable than it used to be. It still has no windows, though.

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