A small island in the United Kingdom has its own King and is home to just 10 residents in total. Located just off the coast of the Furness peninsula in Cumbria, Piel Island hosts an array of wildlife but people can only reach the island for six months of the year. It is reachable on a ferry which runs from April to September or on a guided walk across the sands. According to the BBC, the island is also home to the ruins of the 14th Century Piel Castle as well as one pub, which has been in the region for more than 200 years.
For years, Piel Island has attracted interest from across the globe because of its uniqueness. Even though a handful of families currently live on the island, it is believed that people have lived there for more than 3,000 years. For some the magic is the Island’s history, for others, it’s the pub.
One of the island’s main attractions is Piel Castle, which was built in the 14th century. According to The Guardian, it was built by the monks of Furness Abbey in order to deter Scottish raiders. Set on the southeast tip of Piel Island, the castle is visible from Morecambe Bay. Experts have noted that the island and its castle bore silent witness to significant episodes in English history.
In addition to the old castle, Piel Island is also home to a pub called Ship Inn. Interestingly, each time the pub gets a new landlord, they’re crowned “King” of the island. According to the BBC, this tradition relates back to an event in the 15th century when Lambert Simney attempted to usurp the English throne.
In 1947, an army hoping to overthrow Henry VII landed on the island with a 10-year-old boy named Lambert Simnel who was promoted as the rightful heir to the English throne but was, in reality, of humble origin. The men camped overnight on the island before setting off for London. However, the rebellion was crushed at the Battle of Stoke Field, near Newark in Nottinghamshire. It was in the 1800s, that the patrons of the Ship Inn drew on the story and decided Piel Island should have its own monarch.
Notably, last year, 33-year-old Aaron Sanderson became the owner of the Ship Inn and the “King of Piel”. He was anointed with beer as part of his coronation on 50-acre Piel Island.
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