Tuesday, 16th May
St.Helier is the chief town and the Capital of Jersey, Channel Islands. The town lies along St. Aubin’s Bay opposite a tidal island known as L’Islet (accessible by causeway at low tide), on the south side of Jersey Island. The town is named for St. Helier, a Frankish missionary who was reputedly martyred there in 555. The town originated as a fishing village. Harbour works were begun in 1700 and the modern harbour dates from 1841. About one-third of Jersey’s population lives in St. Helier which is the focus of island transport, commerce, government and cultural activity. The Islands of Guernsey and Jersey are very different in character, ambience and architecture with Jersey being a place of business and tall modern buildings. Both are places of great history but Guernsey has the charm of cobbled streets and stone cottages.
ELIZABETH CASTLE sits on a tidal island within the parish of St. Helier. Access to the Castle is via a causeway from St. Helier at low tide or on a Castle Ferry, namely Charming Nancy, a wading vehicle that can reach the Castle regardless of tide height, weather permitting. A one-way trip when the tide is high takes about 15 minutes and that was our way of access. Construction commenced in the 16th century when the power of cannon meant that the existing stronghold of Mont Orgueil (visited yesterday) was insufficient to defend the Island and the Port of St. Helier was vulnerable to attack by ships armed with cannon. It is named after Elizabeth I who was Queen of England around the time that the Castle was built. Mont Orgueil has a small but beautiful 17th century garden and stunning views over Gorey Bay where we enjoyed lunch at our leisure.
ELIZABETH CASTLE – ST. HELIER, JERSEY