Somewhere on a group of rocks nine miles south of Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands, there is a cluster of smaller islands—some would also argue, large rocks—known as the Minquiers. Somewhere on the largest of these islands stands a small shack that has the unique distinction of being the southernmost toilet in the British Isles. When you do your business here, you make history.
The Minquiers are an archipelago teeming with history. They represent a centuries-old dispute between England and France, passing hands between the countries as early as 933 AD. Finally in 1953, the International Court of Justice confirmed British sovereignty over the very large rocks. There are no permanent residents on the Minquiers, as high tide swallows many of the smaller islands.
The toilet is situated on Maîtresse Île, the largest and only vegetated isle. Maîtresse Île is also home to approximately 18 stone cottages, built by fishermen and quarrymen who lived on the island in the summer months in the mid-19th century. The huts were briefly abandoned after World War II and have only recently been developed, starting in the 1970s.
In 1998, some people from France invaded the Minquiers in the name of a king who died more than a century ago, according to BBC News. They claimed to have arrived from the office of King Orelie-Antoine I, an eccentric Frenchman who declared himself the leader of the ephemeral “Kingdom of Patagonia” in Argentina, and raised their blue, white, and green flag.
In 2019, history repeated itself as more people attempted to reclaim the island in the name of the king, once again hoisting the Patagonian flag, according to the Bailiwick Express. But this time, they also reclaimed the toilet, painting the door of the southerly shack blue, white, and green. The invaders also placed a new plaque on the toilet, declaring it the most “northerly” building in the Kingdom of Patagonia.
Know Before You Go
The bathroom is on Maîtresse Île, the largest island in the Minquiers. They can only be reached by boat are surrounded by an enormous reef tipped with shards of granite that are treacherous to greenhorn sailers. If you do not have a boat or ample sailing expertise, there are several companies that offer tours that can be booked in advance.