Top Historic Sights in Guernsey, United Kingdom

Explore the historic highlights of Guernsey

Town Church

Originally known as Sancti Petri de Portu, many regard the Town Church as the Cathedral Church and the finest in the Channel Islands. The first mention of the church in official documents was in 1048 when it is thought to have been given to the Abbot of Marmoutier by William of Normandy. It is likely that the original building was made of wood. The current building was built over a 200 year period with the chancel complet ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Castle Cornet

Formerly a tidal island, Cornet Rock was first fortified as a castle between 1206 and 1256, following the division of the Duchy of Normandy in 1204. In 1339 when a French force captured the island and occupied it for several years, Cornet was besieged and captured, and the garrison massacred. With the advent of cannon and gunpowder, the castle was remodelled between 1545 and 1548. Prof. John Le Patourel, in The Building o ...
Founded: 1206-1256 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Little Chapel

The Little Chapel created in July 1914 by Brother Déodat. He planned to create a miniature version of the grotto and basilica at Lourdes, the Rosary Basilica. It has been said that it is the smallest functioning chapel in Europe, if not the world, and it is believed to be the world’s smallest consecrated church. The chapel was originally 9 feet long by 4.5 feet wide. After taking criticism from other brother ...
Founded: 1914 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Fort Grey

Fort Grey is a Martello tower located on a rock in Rocquaine Bay. It was previously the site of local witches' Sabbaths. The existing fort, with its white tower was originally built as a defence by the British in 1804 during the Napoleonic Wars, it was named after Charles Grey, 1st Earl Grey, who was Governor of Guernsey from 1797 to 1807. The Fort Grey tower, like the other two Guernsey Martello towers, Fort Saumarez an ...
Founded: 1804 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Sausmarez Manor

The first mention of the de Sausmarez family in Guernsey is at the consecration of the Vale church in 1115 followed by a letter dated 1254 in which Prince Edward, Lord of the Isles, afterwards King Edward I, ordered an enquiry into the rights of the Abbot and Monks of St. Michel to 'wreck' in the Islands of Guernsey and Jersey. Of this oldest manor house only a fragment remains. Its rough but remarkably solid st ...
Founded: 1873 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Forest Church

Ste Marguerite de la Foret (Forest church) is the smallest parish church in Guernsey. It was built in two stages with the nave, chancel and the centrally positioned tower in the 13th century and additions in the 15th century. Interestingly it has two entrances, one originally for men and the other for women. All now enter by the north door. Its walls feature massive stones which were once part of a dolmen. The Church orig ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Victoria Tower

Victoria Tower is a monument erected in honor of a visit by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to the island in 1846. As the 1846 royal visit was the first time a reigning monarch had ever visited the island, a small granite stone was laid to mark where the queen had first stepped ashore in St Peter Port harbour. The following year, the architect William Colling was asked to draw up plans for a tower to commemorate the mona ...
Founded: 1848 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Castel Church

Pagans, Pirates and Romans have all been linked with the site now occupied by Castel Church. Outside the main door can be seen the Neolithic Statue Menhir found under the floor of the church during the 19th century. At its foot lie the stone seats for the official of the medieval court of Fief St Michel. The church of ‘Our Lady of Deliverance’ to use its ancient title, was first mentioned in a papal document d ...
Founded: 1155 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Fort Hommet

Fort Hommet (or Fort Houmet) was built on the site of fortifications dating back to 1680, and consists of a Martello tower from 1804, later additions during the Victorian Era, and bunkers and casemates that the Germans constructed during World War II. The Martello tower was constructed after the onset of the Napoleonic Wars, and during the tenure (1803-1813) of Lieutenant GovernorGeneral Sir John Doyle. To simplify matte ...
Founded: 1804 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

St. Martin's Church

St Martin de la Bellouse dates from around 1225 with the centrally situated tower (similar to the one at the Forest Church), nave and chancel completed by 1250. The South porch was added around 1520 and until 1869, was the meeting place of the Douzaine. The church sits on an ancient holy site in attractive surroundings. The church is well known for the female menhir stone figure (dating back to 2500 - 1800 BC) La Gran&qu ...
Founded: c. 1225 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Le Creux ès Faies

Le Creux ès Faies is a Neolithic (3500 - 2000 BC), 8.5m long passage grave covered by a low mound. Two large capstones cover a rounded chamber but the passage capstones have long since gone. The mound on the north east side has been damaged and repaired though the first and last of the surrounding peristalith stones maybe in situ. Finds included human and animal bones, Beaker pottery and barbed and tanged arrowheads.
Founded: 3500 - 2000 BC | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Fort Saumarez

Fort Saumarez is a Martello tower in Saint Peter, Guernsey, on a headland that forms the northern tip of L"Erée and extends to the Lihou causeway. It was constructed in 1804 on the site of an existing battery after the onset of the Napoleonic Wars, and during the tenure (1803-1813) of Lieutenant Governor General Sir John Doyle. Doyle named the tower for the Guernsey native and renowned Royal Navy Captain, Sir ...
Founded: 1804 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

St Tugual's Chapel

St Tugual"s Chapel dates back to the 11th century when the island was a haven for an order of Norman monks. However, there is evidence that the site has had religious significance since the 6th century. The chapel was designed in such a way that they could sit in the building"s north nave without being seen by the public who would sit in the west portion of the chapel. In the years before the Wood family took h ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Le Trépied

Le Trépied is a prehistoric passage grave built during the Neolithic period (4000 to 2500 BC). It is a single chamber tomb, 5.5 metres in length and two metres at its widest point with three capstones, one of which was returned to its original position in the 1870s after it had fallen off. Excavations in 1840 discovered pottery and flint arrowheads dating to 1800BC showing that the site was still in use then. The tomb w ...
Founded: 4000 -2500 BC | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

La Varde Passage Grave

La Varde is an 11m long bottle shaped passage grave with 6 capstones and a small oval recess towards the rear. It dates back to Neolithic Age (3000-2500 BC). Originally covered by a mound 18m in diameter and a peristalith. The mound has been partially restored and two capstones are supported by modern pillars. Two layers of paving were recorded above and between which burnt and unburnt human bones, limpet shells and pebbl ...
Founded: 3000-2500 BC | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

St. Saviour's Church

St. Saviour"s is the largest of the Guernsey country churches and stands at the top of a valley overlooking the reservoir. Part of this impressive church was built in the 12th century but most of it dates to the 14th and 15th centuries. It took five months to construct and was dedicated and consecrated on 30 May 1154. However, the first mention of St Saviour"s Church is in a charter from about 1030. On Sunday ...
Founded: 1154 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Vale Church

Vale Church is one of Guernsey"s most ancient churches and a former priory. Somewhere around A.D. 968, monks, from the Benedictine monastery of Mont Saint-Michel, came to Guernsey to establish a community in the North of the Island. This area of Guernsey would form a separate island at high tide, and continued to do so until 1806. The last remaining stonework is a piece of buttressed wall to the South of the church, by th ...
Founded: c. 968 AD | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Le Déhus

Le Déhus is a fine Neolithic bottle shaped Passage Chamber with four side chambers off the entrance passage. Today there are six side chambers but two were erronously constructed during restoration. Side chamber first on the right was found to contain the bones of two individuals, kneeling side by side and facing in opposite directions, their bodies being supported by tightly packed earth and shells. The sixth cap ...
Founded: 3500 - 2000 BC | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

St. Pierre du Bois Church

The oldest part of the existing St. Pierre du Bois Church was probably built around 1375. The rest of the church dates from the 14th and 15th centuries. The church sits in beautiful surroundings on a hillside. Its floor makes this all the more apparent as it slopes one and a half metres from east to west. When refurbished in the Victorian era, men and women sat separately and even entered through different doors. The chur ...
Founded: 1375 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

St. Sampson's Church

St. Sampson"s Church is dedicated to Samson of Dol, who brought Christianity to Guernsey in about 550 AD. Claimed to be the oldest Parish Church in the Island, the church stands on or near the site where St Sampson first landed as a pioneer missionary from Dol, in Brittany, about the year 550 AD, and has been a Christian site for worship ever since. The present church dates from the 12th century, at which time it co ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

La Mare ès Mauves

La Mare ès Mauves is a 4.5m long cist with a single capstone remaining and traces of a surrounding circle. It dates from the Chalcolithic or Early Bronze Age (2500 - 1800 BC). It was discovered in 1837 and excavated by F. C. Lukis.
Founded: 2500 - 1800 BC | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Bréhon Tower

An obelisk was erected on Bréhon island in 1744 to serve as a sea mark. However the lack of visibility of the obelisk led to its replacement in 1824 by a tower 40 ft high and 34 ft in circumference, topped by a globe. During the tenure (1803-1813) of Lieutenant Governor General Sir John Doyle, there were plans to erect a guardhouse on Bréhon, but nothing came of these. Doyle was responsible, however, for sub ...
Founded: 1854-1856 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Torteval Church

The original Church of St Philippe fell into a state of disrepair and was demolished when the current Church replaced it in 1816. The States of Guernsey funded the construction as the parishoners had been unable to maintain its upkeep. It features an unusual round tower with the tallest spire in the island. It contains the oldest bell in the Channel Islands, cast in France in 1432. Thankfully it survived both the Reformat ...
Founded: 1816 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

La Platte Mare

La Platte Mare is a simple megalithic chamber with a single capstone dating back to the Chalcolithic or Early Bronze Age (2500 - 1800 BC). Early drawings show that some stones have been disturbed. Traces of a surrounding circle of stones 5m in diameter are no longer visible. One stone has a curved row of 12 cup marks though only 7 are visible above ground. A few metres away are the remains of another possible cist or cham ...
Founded: 2500 - 1800 BC | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

St. Andrew's Church

The church of St André de la Pommeraye (St Andrews of the Apple Orchard) is one of the smallest in Guernsey and originally consisted of a nave and chancel only. There is little doubt that the walls of these date from the 12th century but, French slate now replaces the early wooden roof and the stone vaulting was added in the early part of the 13th century. The north aisle and tower are 15th century additions, whic ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

L'Islet

L"Islet is a complicated and unique variation of a Cist-in-Circle monument. It dates from the Chalcolithic (2500 - 1800 BC). A central capstoned cist with an antechamber is surrounded by a D shaped ring of stones. Attached to the outer ring are four smaller rings two of which contain further slab lined cists. No bones were found but the central chamber contained a biconical pot. It is probable that the outer cists we ...
Founded: 2500 - 1800 BC | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Cháteau Comtal

The Château Comtal (Count’s Castle) is a medieval castle within the Cité of Carcassonne, the largest city in Europe with its city walls still intact. The Château Comtal has a strong claim to be called a 'Cathar Castle'. When the Catholic Crusader army arrived in 1209 they first attacked Raymond-Roger Trencavel's castrum at Bèziers and then moved on to his main stronghold at Carcassonne.

The castle with rectangular shape is separated from the city by a deep ditch and defended by two barbicans. There are six towers curtain walls.

The castle was restored in 1853 by the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. It was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.