British island seeking new pub manager and monarch

Piel Island is a 50-acre plot of land about a half mile off the northwest coast of England; you can get there by ferry, or, if the tides are right, by a sandwalk. The small island is home to the Shipp Inn, a castle from the 1300s, as well as seasonal camping grounds.

And now, The Guardian reports, the island is looking for a new person to manage the pub and take on the ceremonial title and rusty saber of king.

A council has begun one of the UK's most unusual local government recruitment processes while seeking someone to run the Ship Inn on Piel Island, off the coast near Barrow-in-Furness. The downside might be the uncertain weather, or the isolation, or the long hours. On the upside, you can watch seals and birds, enjoy stunning sunsets and, if you have self-esteem issues, know you really will be a king or queen. It would sort of be official.


Whoever is in charge of the pub is crowned "King of Piel" in a ceremony involving a rusty sabre which concludes with buckets of beer being poured over their head. Any punter who unwittingly sits on the throne has to buy drinks for everyone.

Wikipedia offers a little more detail on the kingship part:

The landlord is known as 'The King of Piel', a title originating from the time of Lambert Simnel and his attempt to usurp the English throne. A tradition associated with the pub is known as the 'Knighthood of Piel'. Local fishermen have handed this down over the centuries. In a room of the inn is a large oak chair and anyone who sits in it is made a 'Knight of Piel'. The ceremonial knighting is carried out by the King of Piel or a fellow knight. The present-day cost of becoming a knight is to buy a round of drinks for all those present. However, the privilege afforded to knights is that they may demand food and lodging off the innkeeper should they be shipwrecked on Piel.

This could be your chance!

Pub landlord, caretaker and monarch sought for isolated Piel Island [Mark Brown / The Guardian]