Pebble Island

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Pebble Island

Falkland Islands

Pebble Island - Falkland Islands.jpg
Main settlement: Pebble Island Settlement

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Location: 51°18’11"S, 59°37’46"W
Area: 34 square miles
Highest point: First Mountain, 909 feet

Pebble Island is one of the Falkland Islands, lying to the north of West Falkland.

The island stretches about 19 miles from east to west and is about 4.3 miles at its widest point, with a total area of 34 square miles.

It has three high points: First Mountain (909 feet), Middle Mountain (702 feet) and Marble Mountain (778 feet) in the west of the island. The eastern part of the island has large lakes and wetlands and is considered to be of high conservation value.[1] Pebble Island has been a sheep farm since 1846. The island's inhabitants live in Pebble Island Settlement.

13,500 Corriedale sheep are farmed on the island, along with 240 head of cattle (both beef and dairy).

Geography and wildlife

The island can be divided into a marshy east, known for its waterfowl and wading birds, and a hilly west, known for its penguins. Penguin species found here include rockhopper, macaroni, king and erect-crested penguins. Waterfowl include wild duck, grebe, and black-necked swans, which live on the island's ponds.[2]

The two halves of the island are joined by an isthmus on which the settlement is located. The island is probably named for the peculiarly spherical pebbles found at its western tip. The western half is dominated by "First Mountain" or "First Mount".

Pebble Island Settlement

Main article: Pebble Island Settlement

Pebble Island Settlement lies on the island's isthmus. It is the headquarters of the Pebble Island farm and home to all of the island's inhabitants. It has a shop (open three days a week), a one classroom school, an airstrip, a hotel and a golf course,

Pebble Island has become one of the first settlements in the Falkland Islands to use wind turbines to generate most of its electricity.[2] [3]


The current farm was founded in 1846, by an Englishman called John Markham Dean, who bought Pebble Island and three neighbouring islands. Dean's family concern passed on to Dean Brothers Ltd, but it is currently managed locally by Raymond Evans, who is the great nephew of Johnny Evans, who introduced sheep to the island, and who also slaughtered the first feral cattle.[2]

During the Falklands War, the island was occupied by Argentine forces which create the Estación Aeronaval Calderón (naval air station Calderón) protected by elements of 2nd Naval Infantry Battalion but was assaulted successfully by the British SAS in the "Raid on Pebble Island". 300 Argentines were based here. HMS Coventry was sunk off the coast of Pebble Island. According to the inquiry into its loss, the ship sank "10 miles" north of Pebble Island in May 1982 [4] The co-ordinates of the sinking are 51 03.6S, 59 42.2W [5] and this is about 11.5 nautical miles from the nearest point on Pebble Island. There are memorials on the island to the British destroyer HMS Coventry and to an Argentinian Lear Jet, both destroyed during the conflict.


  • Stonehouse, B (ed.) Encyclopedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans (2002, ISBN 0 471 9866 58)