Meeting Up With History On Jerseys Shores
Posted on August 25, 2011 by sguese
Not quite French and not quite British, the island of Jersey finds a home somewhere in the middle. Despite being a small island, many say Jersey holds a big personality. As lanes wind throughout cities and towns, 48 miles of coastline weave around the rest of the land. Just as Jersey is not quite French and not quite British, it is not exactly cosmopolitan and not completely country. Yes, Jersey is somewhere in between yet technically and by definition a part of Britain.The island’s history runs deeps, dating back over 1,000 years. Norman style farmhouses, French street names, and bunkers note this history. Being part of the Channel Islands, Jersey reflects the marriage of France and Britain. Seated at the Bay of Mont St Michel, Jersey dominates as the largest island in the Channel Island chain.
Jersey’s history intertwines with war and struggle. The Channel Islands Military Museum resides within Jerseyâ€™s shores. The museum sets up displays in one of Hitlerâ€™s former Atlantic Wall defences, providing insight into the dark days of the 1940s for the island. The marks of war imprint further at the Jersey War Tunnels. The Tunnels serve as a permanent reminder of the German Occupation of Jersey. The site is also known as HÃ¶hlgangsanlage 8, detailing the Occupation history on the island. While the site, La Hougue Bie, notes this time period as well in bunker form, the site existed long before. Discoveries show it was a Neolithic burial mound, dating back 5,500 years.
Jersey’s history continues throughout the many castles dressing the island. The Elizabeth Castle rests on an islet. It was used to defend Jersey for 300 years. The history lessons go on at the Mont Orgueil Castle in Jersey. Built in the 13th century to protect against the French, the castle hovers above the rest at the harbour at Gorey. Mont Orgueil Castle is known to be one of the best-preserved castles in all of Britain.
With a lengthy and detailed coastline, it would be a downright shame to pass up the beaches and views of Jerseyâ€™s shores. On the north and east of the island, rock pools flood with marine life. Heading south and west, visitors will unearth glorious golden sands. Views of the islandâ€™s bays loom along rugged cliffs. Some of Jersey’s most frequented beaches include Archirondel, Anne Port and Beauport.
The layers of history on Jersey may surprise. A small, yet large piece of the Channel Islands proves its importance through every area, from Neolithic to World War II history. Those that find history to be one giant snooze can appreciate the natural aspects to a visit to Jersey. Then again, if you don’t like beaches and rugged cliffs, Jersey may not be for you.
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