Guernsey is a jurisdiction within the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a Crown dependency. The jurisdiction is not part of the United Kingdom, however and most foreign relations are handled by the British Government. Taken together with the jurisdictions of Alderney and Sark it forms the Bailiwick of Guernsey. The two Bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey together form the geographical grouping known as the Channel Islands, the name Guernsey, as well as that of neighbouring Jersey, is of Old Norse origin. The second element of word, -ey, is the Old Norse for island, while the original root, guern, is of uncertain origin. Around 6000 BC, rising seas created the English Channel and separated the Norman promontories that became the bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey from continental Europe, neolithic farmers settled on its coast and built the dolmens and menhirs found in the islands today. During their migration to Brittany, Britons occupied the Lenur islands including Sarnia or Lisia and Angia, travelling from the Kingdom of Gwent, Saint Sampson, the abbot of Dol in Brittany, is credited with the introduction of Christianity to Guernsey.
In 933 AD, the Cotentin Peninsula including Avranchin which included the islands, were placed by the French King Ranulf under the control of William I, the island of Guernsey and the other Channel Islands represent the last remnants of the medieval Duchy of Normandy. During the Middle Ages, the island was a haven for pirates that would use the technique to ground ships close to her waters. This intensified during the Hundred Years War, starting in 1339, the Guernsey Militia was operational in 1337 and would help defend the island for a further 600 years. In 1372, the island was invaded by Aragonese mercenaries under the command of Owain Lawgoch and his dark-haired mercenaries were absorbed into Guernsey legend as invading fairies from across the sea. In the mid-16th century, the island was influenced by Calvinist reformers from Normandy, during the Marian persecutions, three women, the Guernsey Martyrs, were burned at the stake for their Protestant beliefs. During the English Civil War, Guernsey sided with the Parliamentarians, the allegiance was not total, there were a few Royalist uprisings in the southwest of the island, while Castle Cornet was occupied by the Governor, Sir Peter Osborne, and Royalist troops.
In December 1651, with honours of war, Castle Cornet surrendered. By the beginning of the 18th century, Guernseys residents were starting to settle in North America, the threat of invasion by Napoleon prompted many defensive structures to be built at the end of that century. The 19th century saw an increase in the prosperity of the island, due to its success in the global maritime trade. During the First World War, about 3,000 island men served in the British Expeditionary Force, of these, about 1,000 served in the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry regiment formed from the Royal Guernsey Militia in 1916. For most of the Second World War, the Channel Islands were occupied by German troops, before the occupation, 80% of Guernsey children had been evacuated to England to live with relatives or strangers during the war
Brecqhou is one of the Channel Islands, located just west of Sark. Brecqhou is a British Crown Dependency, and is part of Sark and part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. It has been established in the courts that Brecqhou is a tenement of Sark, the Ministry of Justice, the department of the United Kingdom government with responsibility for the Channel Islands, considers Brecqhou part of Sark. The name Brecqhou derives from the Old Norse brekka and holmr, a mere islet, Brecqhou has a surface area of just 74 acres. The island is separated from Sark by a narrow sound which. However, in reality it is traversed frequently by yachts during each summer and by fishing boats year round, in Sark, the word tenant is used, and often pronounced, as in French in the sense of feudal landholder rather than the common English meaning of lessee. The landholdings of Sark are held by 40 tenants representing the parcels of the 40 families who colonised Sark, the relevance of the Seigneurial privileges and of the obligations that distinguish feudal from civil landowning has decreased, most of the obligations being connected to agriculture and defence.
Originally, La Moinerie de Haut, named after the medieval monastery whose site is close to it, was a parcel of land in the north west of Sark that was, at that time, owned by the Seigneur himself. When Sibyl Hathaway sold the island of Brecqhou to Angelo Clarke in 1929 and this was no great loss for her, as she owned more than one tenement and every member of Chief Pleas was entitled to only one vote. Since 1993 the tenement of Brecqhou has been owned by the Barclay brothers, the brothers bought the island for £2.3 million in September 1993. Under the Reform Law 1951, the tenant is David Barclay, since the purchase the Barclays have been in several legal disputes with the government of Sark, and have expressed a desire to make Brecqhou politically independent from Sark. They drive cars on the island, and have a helicopter, according to the Barclays, this retention is invalid, as Brecqhou was never part of the fief of Sark. They argue that letters patent establishing the fief do not mention the smaller island, while the Seigneur eventually came into the ownership of Brecqhou, the island was not merged into the fief.
Therefore, in respect of Brecqhou, the Barclays claim that the Seigneurs never held the privileges valid in the fief of Sark, the conflict caused a lawsuit and the founding of a Brecqhou relationship sub-committee of Sarks Chief Pleas. Tenants 1966–1987, Leonard Joseph Matchan From 1993, Sir David Barclay The former tenant, although frequently considered the island flag, this was only a personal flag, and is not in use any more. Leonard Joseph Matchan had issued stamps in 1969, Matchan occupied Brecqhou until his death on October 6,1987. The current tenants have issued postage stamps annually since 1999, in 2012, it was reported that the island is open to the public, by prior arrangement. Le Dicotentin, Cherbourg 2001, ISBN 2-913920-06-3 BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names BBC TODAY PROGRAM People of Sark fear take over by Barclay
Crevichon is an islet off Herm, immediately to the north of Jethou, in the Channel Islands According to Dr S. K. Kellett-Smith, it means isle of crabs, crayfish or cranes. Like other names in the region it is Norman in origin, a thousand years ago, the water level was ten feet lower, making these creatures far more abundant there. The island measures about 212 by 168 metres, which yields an area of less than three hectares, the distance to Jethou is about 215 metres. A 16th-century drawing, now in the British Museum, shows Crevichon as apparently a wooded islet, john Le Patourel, in The Building of Castle Cornet, mentions that in 1566 iron and hammers were taken to Creavissham, and the island quarried for the castle. The quarry has been used intermittently since then, making the less visible, to make up for that. Crevichon may have provided the granite for the steps of St. Pauls Cathedral in London and it is said that, in earlier times, pirates were hanged with chains both on Crevichon and on nearby Jethou.
Compton Mackenzie, former owner of Herm, called Crevichon Merg in his book Fairy Gold, in 1953, Victor Coysh says that he saw the remains of a German bomber, from the time of the occupation. Other wrecks include the Courier, a Guernsey steamer, that grounded in 1905 with 80 passengers, George Channel Islands at War, A German Perspective. ISBN 978-0711030718 Channel Islets - Victor Coysh
Burhou is a small island about 1.4 miles northwest of Alderney that is part of the Channel Islands. It has no permanent residents, and is a bird sanctuary, the islands wildlife includes a colony of puffins and many rabbits. It has no landing stage as such, but visitors use a small inlet, in rough weather it may be impossible to land. The Guernsey botanist E. D. Marquand called it, the most desolate and he once had to spend the night there, as his return journey was delayed by fog. The 1906 book, The Channel Pilot states – Between Ortac, Verte Tête and Burhou Island, are scattered many dangerous rocks, the States of Alderney member, John Beaman has political responsibility for the island. Despite being isolated, and inhabited briefly and infrequently, Burhou has a long history, like the rest of the English Channel, it would have been linked to both modern-day England and France by dry land many thousands of years ago. Burhou, like many other Channel Islands, has the Norman suffix -hou, meaning a small island, according to Dr. S. K.
Kellet-Smith, bur refers to a storehouse – Burhou is just the place where a fisherman would place a depository for his gear. However, signs of human occupation/visitation are much older, flint flakes have been found on the island, and one is currently in the Alderney Museum. In 1847, F. C. Lukis found two standing stones, but these have since been lost, according to the archaeologist David Johnston, according to the Assize Roll of the 14th century, Burhou was a rabbit warren, and a refuge for fishermen. As Victor Coysh deduces, this would have meant that there would have some kind of shelter there. A hut was built on the island in 1820 as a shelter for fishermen and sailors at the instigation of General Le Mesurier, the hut was replaced in 1953, with basic accommodation which is rented out to visitors by Alderney Harbour Office. Attempts have been made to raise sheep there. In 1900, a French couple lived there for a year, the soil is thin, and spray frequently goes right over the island, ensuring high soil salinity.
The island has no water supply for much of the year. The islands animals are mainly of the variety, although rabbits are long established here. The island has many puffins and some storm petrels, although the latter have declined, they used to nest in the cottages storm loft. Roderick Dobson in Birds of the Channel Islands said that puffins had been plentiful for over a century, the Birds of Guernsey by Cecil Smith states likewise. The puffins have had to compete with gulls, and in 1949, the rabbit holes on the island make good nesting for them
Alderney is the northernmost of the inhabited Channel Islands. It is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a British Crown dependency and it is 3 miles long and 1 1⁄2 miles wide. The area is 3 square miles, making it the third-largest island of the Channel Islands, and the second largest in the Bailiwick. It is around 10 miles from the west of La Hague on the Cotentin Peninsula, Normandy and it is the closest of the Channel Islands to both France and the United Kingdom. It is separated from Cap de la Hague by the dangerous Alderney Race, as of April 2013, the island had a population of 1,903, natives are traditionally nicknamed vaques after the cows, or else lapins after the many rabbits seen in the island. Formally, they are known as Ridunians, from the Latin Riduna, the only parish of Alderney is the parish of St Anne, which covers the whole island. The main town, St Anne, historically known as La Ville, is referred to as St Annes by visitors and incomers. The towns High St, which formerly had a handful of shops, is now almost entirely residential, crossing Victoria St at its highest point.
The town area features a church and an unevenly cobbled main street. There are a school, a secondary school, a post office. Other settlements include Braye, Longis, Mannez, La Banquage, Alderney shares its prehistory with the other islands in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, becoming an island in the Neolithic period as the waters of the Channel rose. A cist survives near Fort Tourgis, and Longis Common has remains of an Iron Age site, there are traces of Roman occupation including a fort, built in the late 300s, at 49°43′09″N 2°10′36″W above the islands only natural harbour. The etymology of the name is obscure. It is known in Latin as Riduna but as with the names of all the Channel Islands in the Roman period there is a degree of confusion, Riduna may be the original name of Tatihou, while Alderney is conjectured to be identified with Sarnia. Alderney/Aurigny is variously supposed to be a Germanic or Celtic name and it may be a corruption of Adreni or Alrene, which is probably derived from an Old Norse word meaning island near the coast.
Alternatively it may derive from three Norse elements, renna and öy or -ey, Alderney may be mentioned in Paul the Deacons Historia Langobardorum as Evodia in which he discussed a certain dangerous whirlpool. The name Evodia may in turn originate from the seven Haemodae of uncertain identification in Plinys Natural History, puffins on Burhou and gannets on Les Étacs just off Alderney are a favourite of many visitors to the island. About a quarter of Alderney hedgehogs are of the white or blonde variety and these are not albinos, but descent of rarely met blonde European hedgehogs, with a blonde pair released on the island in the 1960s
Les Casquets or Casquets, is a group of rocks 13 km northwest of Alderney and are part of an underwater sandstone ridge. Other parts which emerge above the water are the islets of Burhou, a map dated from around 1640 gives a Latin name Casus Rupes, which would seem to confirm the third theory above, but which may be a folk etymology. There have been numerous wrecks on the islets, fierce tides reaching 6–7 knots on springs, the most famous include SS Stella, wrecked in 1899. The largest wreck was the 8000 tonne water tanker Constantia S lost in 1967, when the wreck of that ship was found in 2008, it was over 60 nautical miles from the Casquets. In the raid the entire garrison of seven was captured and returned to England as prisoners, swinburnes poem Les Casquets is based on the Houguez family who actually lived on the island for 18 years. The Houguez were originally from Alderney, and the poem describes their life on Les Casquets, the daughter falls in love with a carpenter from Alderney, but moving to his island, finds life there too busy.
She finds the small streets of serene St Anne and the sight of the works of men too much. On a straight frontage, such of that of the Ortac, if the wave carries the vessel on the rock she breaks on it, and is lost. Casquets lighthouses SS Stella Website Alderney society and museum – Geology Channel Islets – Victor Coysh Thumbnails of pictures of the Casquets
The Channel Islands are an archipelago in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. They are considered the remnants of the Duchy of Normandy, and although they are not part of the United Kingdom, it is responsible for the defence, the Crown dependencies are not members of the Commonwealth of Nations nor of the European Union. They have a population of about 168,000. The total area of the islands is 198 km2, the two bailiwicks have been administered separately since the late 13th century, each has its own independent laws and representative bodies. Any institution common to both is the rather than the rule. The Bailiwick of Guernsey is divided into three jurisdictions – Guernsey and Sark – each with its own legislature, the term Channel Islands began to be used around 1830, possibly first by the Royal Navy as a collective name for the islands. The permanently inhabited islands of the Channel Islands are, Jersey Guernsey Alderney Sark Herm Jethou Brecqhou There are several uninhabited islets and they are an incorporated part of the commune of Granville.
While they are popular with visitors from France, Channel Islanders rarely visit them as there are no transport links from the other islands. Chausey is referred to as an Île normande, Îles Normandes and Archipel Normand have also, been used in Channel Island French to refer to the islands as a whole. The lowest point is the Atlantic Ocean, the earliest evidence of human occupation of the Channel Islands has been dated to 250,000 years ago when they were attached to the landmass of continental Europe. The islands became detached by rising sea levels in the Neolithic period, hoards of Armorican coins have been excavated, providing evidence of trade and contact in the Iron Age period. Evidence for Roman settlement is sparse, although evidently the islands were visited by Roman officials, the Roman name for the Channel Islands was I. Lenuri and is included in the Peutinger Table The traditional Latin names used for the islands derive from the Antonine Itinerary, gallo-Roman culture was adopted to an unknown extent in the islands.
In the sixth century, Christian missionaries visited the islands, samson of Dol, Helier and Magloire are among saints associated with the islands. In the sixth century, they were included in the diocese of Coutances where they remained until reformation. The islands were inhabited by Britons, who inhabited Wales, south west England, from the beginning of the ninth century, Norse raiders appeared on the coasts. Norse settlement succeeded initial attacks, and it is from this period that many names of Norse origin appear. In 933, the islands were granted to William I Longsword by Raoul King of Western Francia, in 1066, William II of Normandy invaded and conquered England, becoming William I of England, known as William the Conqueror
Ortac is a small uninhabited islet about 5 kilometres west of the coast of Alderney near to the islet of Burhou. It measures roughly 50 by 70 metres, and rises 24 metres above the sea level, a. H. Ewen surmised that the rocks name meant large rock at the edge from the Norman language or + etac. Alexander Deschamps said that the French formerly knew it as the Eagles Nest and Alderney, along with the Casquets, are part of the same sandstone ridge. Paul Naftel, a Guernsey artist, sketched it, and the appeared in Ansted & Lathams book. The 1906 book, The Channel Pilot states – Between Ortac, Verte Tête and Burhou Island, are scattered many dangerous rocks and it supposedly contains a cave known as the Oven. The Ortac, all of a piece, rises up in a line to eighty feet above the angry beating of the waves. An immovable cliff, it plunges its rectilinear planes apeak into the numberless serpentine coils of the sea, at night it stands an enormous block, resting on the folds of a huge black sheet. In time of storm it awaits the stroke of the axe which is the thunderclap.
To be wrecked on the Casquets is to be cut into ribbons, on a straight frontage, such of that of the Ortac, neither the wave nor the cannon ball can ricochet. If the wave carries the vessel on the rock she breaks on it, accordingly the sailors, as they passed, were in the habit of kneeling many times before the Ortac rock, until the day when the fable was destroyed, and the truth took its place. For it has discovered, and is now well established, that the lonely inhabitant Of the rock is not a saint. This evil spirit, whose name is Jochmus, had the impudence to pass himself of, even the Church herself is not proof against snares of this kind. The demons Ragubel and Tobiel were regarded as saints until the year 745 and this sort of weeding of the saintly calendar is certainly very useful, but it can only be practiced by very accomplished judges of devils and their ways. The islet is noted for its large gannet colony and this is of fairly recent origin. On June 19,1940, Major J. A. A. Wallace, preparing for the evacuation of Alderney and he found none on Les Etacs off Alderney.
Now both swarm with the birds, in 1979, a mission with two naval helicopters was launched to remove nets and rubbish used in nests and which were trapped. Quebec 41 is an Airway over the English Channel from the Channel Islands Control Area to the Solent Control Area, there is a reporting point named ORTAC at southern boundary between Quebec 41 and the Channel Islands Control Zone. Its position is 49°59 57N, 2°0 18W, which is about 30 miles north-north-east of Alderney and this is not coincident with the islet named Ortac, but its name is undoubtedly derived from the islet. Many Standard Instrument Approach and Departure Procedures into Channel Islands airports use ORTAC as part of the procedure
Les Hanois Lighthouse
Les Hanois Lighthouse was constructed between 1860 and 1862 to a new design by James Douglass, and was first lit on 8 December 1862. It is sited on the known as Le Biseau, or Le Bisé. It was erected in response to a number of shipwrecks on the treacherous rocks off the western coast of Guernsey. The Trinity House Brethren appear to have misunderstood the request as these locations are 45km and 125km away and neither can be seen from south of Guernsey. Additional ships were wrecked in 1820,1834 and 1835, with pressure being exerted on Trinity House, local shipowners were against a tax to pay for a lighthouse as they knew of the dangers and did not need it. A further wreck in 1848 of the Emmanuel carrying timber from Canada to Hull had mistaken the Casquets light for the Portland light and erroneously sailed further south to disaster. In 1851 the British government agreed to pay for the lighthouse provided Guernsey and Jersey would defray the maintenance costs, Guernsey objected to the cost, proposing to pay just £75p. a.
The House of Commons got involved, reviewing the costs in 1852, Guernsey objected to the proposed removal of their 1204 rights of self taxation and the Privy Council relented and asked what the Channel Islands would contribute, £100 p. a. total was the answer. The impasse was resolved by England stating that they would levy dues on Channel Island ships docking in England, so collecting over £900 per annum. This forced the issue but the cost was reduced when it was decided that Channel Island shipping would in future be treated as coastal shipping, in July 1858 Trinity House inspected the rocks to determine which was practical. A local pilot advised using Le Bisseau rocks as it could be landed on in most sea conditions whereas La Mauve rocks were in a better location. The cost of construction, measured by the number of days it was possible to access the rocks, the design required the light to be 100 ft above high water. A width of 32.6 ft at the base,17 ft at the waist and 20.5 ft at the light and this dictated 24,542 cu ft of masonry would be needed, weighing 2,500 tonnes.
Designed by James Walker, a circular staircase would serve six rooms, the cement mortar in the joints formed between stone faces lock the dovetails so that the stones cannot be separated without being broken. This method, used for the first time at the Hanois Lighthouse, the cement was a quick drying type invented by John Smeaton. The resident engineer was William Douglass, the 28 year old son of Nicholas Douglass, an engineer, the lighthouse was constructed in Cornish granite rather than stone from Guernsey. Cornish masons were employed to dress the stone on the pier in Saint Peter Port Harbour. Construction workers on the lighthouse worked in gangs of 16 and when resting were accommodated in Fort Grey, the men being employed to build the lighthouse keepers cottage at Portelet when the weather was bad
Les Houmets are to the east of Guernsey in the Channel Islands. Their name derives from a diminutive of hou, a Norman/Guernésiais word meaning islets, among the islets are Houmet Benest/Houmet Benêt, Houmet Paradis and Houmet Hommetol. In fact, they have been islets for a long time. Did the author ever visit them, I wonder, Victor Hugo who wrote about many of the Channel Islands in his books, described Les Houmets, in his work The Toilers of the Sea. Gilliat, the character lives on Houmet Paradis, This house was called the Bû de la Rue. It was situated on the point of a tongue of land, or rather of rock, the water was very deep here. This house was all alone on the point, almost off the land, the high tides sometimes inundated the garden. She was an Englishwoman, at least, she was not French and she had a name which the Guernsey pronunciation and the country folks’ bad spelling had finally converted into Gilliatt. the house of the Bû de la Rue was haunted at this period. For more than thirty years no one had inhabited it, the garden, so often invaded by the sea, could produce nothing.
The house, demon included, was offered for sale for a few pounds sterling, the stranger woman became the purchaser, evidently tempted by the devil, or by the advantageous bargain. She did more than purchase the house, she took up her abode there with the child, the Bû de la Rue has found a fit tenant, said the country people. There was no longer any light seen there save that of the candle of the newcomer. Witch’s candle is as good as devil’s torch, the proverb satisfied the gossips of the neighbourhood. Today it would be useless to look for the cove of Houmet Paradis, for Gilliats house, the Bû de la Rue no longer exists. All this ridge of rock has long ago taken to London. The novel was written in the 1860s and set in the 1820s when the islands were still inhabited, Houmet Benest/Benêt is about two hundred yards from the shore, preceded by a small rock called Hommet from the same root. It is triangular, and 80 ×50 yards, there is an 18th-century gun battery here, to defend against the French.
The German occupation added their own, and the British another after the Germans left, the steamer Clarrie sank off Houmet Benêt in 1921, in the Great Roussel
Chausey is a group of small islands and rocks off the coast of Normandy, in the English Channel. It lies 17 kilometres from Granville and forms a quartier of the Granville commune in the Manche département. Chausey forms part of the Channel Islands from a point of view. There are no scheduled transport links between Chausey and the other Channel Islands, although two and four daily shuttles link Chausey to mainland France, depending on the season. The -ey ending of the name Chausey may be assumed to be associated with the Norse -ey, as not only in Jersey, Alderney. In 933, the Duchy of Normandy annexed the Channel Islands including Chausey, Minquiers, in 1022, Richard II, Duke of Normandy, gave Chausey and the barony of Saint-Pair-sur-Mer, to the Benedictine monks of Mont Saint-Michel, who built a priory on the Grande île. The islands became subject to the Kingdom of England following the conquest of England by William, john refused to appear and, in 1204, Philip occupied continental Normandy, although he failed in his attempts to occupy the islands in the Channel.
The 1259 Treaty of Paris confirmed the loss of Normandy but the retention of the islands which the King of England should hold under suzerainty of the King of France, the vassalage requirement was extinguished in the Treaty of Calais of 1360. Chausey was for a time an object of rivalry between England and France. Although the UK government has contended that, until about 1764, Chausey belonged to England, unlike its Channel Islands neighbours, has, in fact and it was administered from Jersey until 1499, when the Jerseymen abandoned it to the French for reasons unknown. Seafarers engaged in illegal business long valued this maze of islands as a den of piracy, the Sound, the natural channel running along the Grande île, or the Passe Beauchamp, were ideally secluded anchorages. The fortress of Matignon was built in 1559 as a fort with a round tower, cellars, a bakery. The English destroyed the fort in 1744, a new fort was built at the other end of the island, which the English destroyed in 1756.
In 1772, the Louis XV granted the archipelago to the Abbot Nolin, napoleon III ordered the construction of the present fort in 1859, and the work was completed by 1866. The fort served briefly as a prison for Communards in 1871, although the fort ceased to be a military site in 1906, during World War I it held some 300 German and Austrian prisoners of war. The automobile engineer Louis Renault purchased it and restored it between 1922 and 1924, with the result that it became known as Château Renault and he used it as a retreat from business. During World War II German soldiers garrisoned the fort, today the fort serves as the homes of several fishermen. Grande-Île, the island, is 1.5 kilometres long and 0.5 kilometres wide at its widest, though this is just the tip of a substantial