The island of Jersey and the other Channel Islands represent the last remnants of the medieval Duchy of Normandy that held sway in both France and England. Jersey lies in the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel and is the largest of the Channel Islands and it has enjoyed self-government since the division of the Duchy of Normandy in 1204. Rising sea levels resulted in it has been an island for approximately 6,000 years and at its current extremes it measures 10 miles east to west and six miles north to south. Evidence dating from the Ice Age period of dating from at least 12,000 BC have been found. Evidence also exists of settled communities in the Neolithic period, which is marked by the building of the burial sites known as dolmens. The number, size, and visible locations of these monuments have suggested that social organisation over a wide area. Archaeological evidence also shows that trading links with Brittany and the south coast of England existed during this time, evidence of occupation and wealth has been discovered in the form of hoards. In 1889, during construction of a house in Saint Helier, a Bronze Age hoard consisting of 110 implements, mostly spears and swords, was discovered in Saint Lawrence in 1976 - probably a smiths stock. Hoards of coins were discovered at La Marquanderie, in Saint Brelade, Le Câtel, in Trinity, in June 2012, two metal detectorists announced that they had uncovered what could be Europes largest hoard of Iron Age Celtic coins. 70,000 late Iron Age and Roman coins, the hoard is thought to have belonged to a Curiosolitae tribe fleeing Julius Caesars armies around 50 to 60 BC. In October 2012, another metal detectorist reported an earlier Bronze Age find, although Jersey was part of the Roman world, there is a lack of evidence to give a better understanding of the island during the Gallo-Roman and early Middle Ages. The tradition that the island was called Caesarea by the Romans appears to have no basis in fact, the Roman name for the Channel Islands was I. Lenuri and were occupied by the Britons during their migration to Brittany, various saints such as the Celts Samson of Dol and Branwalator were active in the region. A chapel built around 911, now part of the nave of the Parish Church of St Clement. The island took the name Jersey as a result of Viking activity in the area between the 9th and 10th centuries. According to the Rolls of the Norman Exchequer, in 1180 Jersey was divided for administrative purposes into three ministeria, de Gorroic, de Groceio and de Crapau Doit. This was a time of building or extending churches with most parish churches in the island being built/rebuilt in a Norman style chosen by the abbey or priory to which each church had been granted, St Mary and St Martin being given to Cerisy Abbey. The so-called Constitutions of King John are the foundation of modern self-government, from 1204 onwards, the Channel Islands ceased to be a peaceful backwater and became a potential flashpoint on the international stage between England and France
The Bailiwick of Jersey
La Pouquelaye de Faldouet was constructed on a site on the east coast looking across to the Cotentin Peninsula.
Mont Orgueil dominates the small harbour of Gorey and guards Jersey from attack from the French coast opposite
This map of Jersey, published in 1639, shows interior details such as Le Mont ès Pendus (the gallows hill, now called Westmount). At first sight, the coastline appears wildly inaccurate, but if the image is rotated a little clockwise, the shape becomes much closer to what is known today.