Top Historic Sights in Jersey, United Kingdom

Explore the historic highlights of Jersey

Mont Orgueil

Mont Orgueil is a castle in Jersey Island. The site had been fortified in the prehistoric period, but the construction of the castle was undertaken following the division of the Duchy of Normandy in 1204. The castle was first mentioned in 1212. The castle was the primary defence of the Island until the development of gunpowder which then rendered the castle ultimately indefensible from Mont Saint Nicholas, the adjacent hi ...
Founded: 1204 | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

St. Helier Church

St Helier's Church, known as the Town Church, is one of the 12 parish churches of Jersey. Helier was a Belgian saint who lived as a hermit on an islet in St Aubin's Bay, about three quarters of a mile off the south coast of Jersey. In AD 555 he was killed by pirates, beheaded by their leader who feared his men would be converted by Helier's preaching. In consequence Helier soon came to be venerated by the Islanders, and e ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Jersey War Tunnels

Jersey War Tunnels, often abbreviated to Hohlgangsanlage 8, also known as the German Underground Hospital was a partially completed underground hospital complex, built by German occupying forces during the occupation of Jersey during World War II. Over 1 km of tunnels were completed. After the liberation of the Channel Islands, the complex was converted into a museum detailing the occupation and remains a visitor attracti ...
Founded: 1941 | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Elizabeth Castle

Elizabeth Castle was built to the site of earlier Catholic St. Helier abbey. The monastic buildings were finally taken over by the Crown at the Reformation. Surviving buildings were used for military purposes. The construction of the Elizabeth castle was started in 1594 when the power of cannon meant that the existing stronghold at Mont Orgueil was insufficient to defend the Island and the port of St. Helier was vulnerabl ...
Founded: 1594 | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Battery Lothringen

Battery Lothringen was a World War II coastal artillery battery in Saint Brélade. It was constructed by Organisation Todt for the Wehrmacht during the Occupation of the Channel Islands. The first installations were completed in 1941, around the same time as the completion of the nearby Battery Moltke, in St. Ouen. The battery site is located at the end of Noirmont Point, a rock headland which overlooks St. Aubin's Bay, E ...
Founded: 1941 | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Grosnez Castle Ruins

Grosnez Castle is a ruined castle built by Sir John des Roches around 1330. The castle"s purpose was to provide local farmers with a place of refugee from French attacks. The French captured however the castle in 1373 and 1381. The castle was probably demolished around the time of the French occupation of Jersey (1461–1468). In 1483 the Seigneur of St Ouen was allowed to fortify his manor house and it is unlik ...
Founded: 1330 | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Fort Regent

The construction of the Fort Regent fortress we see today began on 7 November 1806, during the Napoleonic Wars, with the laying of a foundation stone by George Don the Lieutenant Governor of Jersey. The fort was built using local workers and men from the Royal Engineers, with an average of 800 men working at any given time. This enabled the substantial amount of work to be completed 8 years later, in 1814. It was given th ...
Founded: 1814 | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Fishermen's Chapel

The walls of the ancient Fishermen's Chapel are reputed to date from the middle of the 6th century, but some authorities give a later date. It is however only a few monastic chapels survived the destruction of over fifty others at the hands of the Reformers in the 16th century. The material used in the chapel is the same as was used in the parish church: limpet shells crushed and dissolved with boiling sea-water. The ston ...
Founded: c. 550 AD | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

St. Brelade's Church

The date of the present St. Brelade's is unknown, but it is mentioned in deeds of patronage. In AD 1035, Robert of Normandy confirmed the patronage of the church to the monastery of Montivilliers, which shows that the church was here before 1035. The chancel is the oldest part of the building. The original building extended some six feet into the nave. It was then only a small monastic chapel. Early in the 12th century St ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Saint Thomas Church

Saint Thomas Church is the largest church in the Channel Islands, and first opened its doors in 1885.
Founded: 1885 | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Saint Aubin's Fort

St Aubin"s Fort was developed on a rocky islet off the coast at the western end of St Aubin"s Bay. It was finished in the 1540s. At that time St Aubin was the primary port on Jersey and the fort controlled the entrance. In the 17th century the Civil War the Parliamentarians turned it into a stronger fortress, by building a bulwark on it, and when the Royalists regained possession they replaced this with granite ...
Founded: 1542 | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Battery Moltke

Battery Moltke was an uncompleted World War II coastal artillery battery. It was constructed by Organisation Todt for the Wehrmacht during the Occupation of the Channel Islands. The battery structures include bunkers, gun emplacements and the Marine Peilstand 3 tower, which are located on Les Landes, a coastal heathland area at the north end of St Ouen"s Bay. The bunker was left unfinished at the end of the war, when ...
Founded: 1941 | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

La Sergenté

La Sergenté is a Neolithic (4500 - 3250BC) passage grave leading into a circular chamber of diameter of 3.3m. The chamber walls are of dry stone construction and stand to a height of 75cm but originally would have risen to about 1.5m forming a vaulted roof. The fallen remains of this roof were found during excavtion in 1923. The chamber was paved with flat granite slabs except for a small partitioned off area on th ...
Founded: 4500 - 3250 BC | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Faldouet Dolmen

La Pouquelaye de Faldouet is one of the best preserved dolmens in Jersey. A 5m long passage leads to a large circular chamber beyond which is a large capstoned end chamber. This capstone weighs approximately 24 tonnes and comes from a rhyolite outcrop 0.5km north of the site. Three small side chambers and two internal cists form the edges of the main chamber. The cists had capstones but it is unlikely that the passage and ...
Founded: 4000 - 3250 BC | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Mont Ubé Dolmen

Le Dolmen du Mont Ubé is a Neolithic / Chalcolithic () passage grave which was discovered in 1848 by workmen quarrying for stone. The passge leads into bottle shaped chamber that used to have four internal compartments each blocked with low stone slabs. The capstones were taken as well as all but one of the internal compartments. Within the passage stand three stones that may also have had a low sill at some time. ...
Founded: 4500 - 3000 BC | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Couperon Dolmen

Le Dolmen du Couperon is a Chalcolithic (3250 - 2250BC), 8m long capstoned chamber surrounded by a ring of 18 curb stones known as a "peristalith". Originally covered by a long mound what remains today is largely the work of restorers. When first excavated in 1868 the capstones had fallen into the chamber. These stones, including a porthole stone were lifted and placed as capstones. In 1919 the Sociét&eac ...
Founded: 3250 - 2250 BC | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Grouville Church

It has been suggested that Grouville Church was consecrated in 1322, but the first written record of the church dates from 1149. It comprises a nave and chancel with two transepts, or rather aisles and a central tower, surmounted by a quadrilateral broach spire. The west end of the nave, which is undoubtedly the oldest portion of the church, probably dates from the 12th century, and still contains many water-worn stones, ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

St. Clement Parish Church

The Parish Church of St Clement"s origins lie with a privately owned wooded chapel which is thought to have been destroyed during the Norman raids. Construction of the stone church began around the year 911, starting with a chapel which is now the nave. The church became a parish church no later than 1067, because it is known that Duke William II of Normandy granted half the tithes of the church to the Abbey of Monti ...
Founded: 911 AD | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Ville-ès-Nouaux Stone Circle

Ville-ès-Nouaux stone circle is a long chamber and cist-in-circle originally covered by sand dunes. The long chamber was discovered in 1869 by quarrymen looking for stone. By the time the Société Jersiaise became aware of the site two of the capstones had already been broken up. A further seven capstones and two parallel rows of uprights were excavatated.The chamber was further excavated in 1883 which ...
Founded: 3250-2250 BC | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Saint Ouen's Manor

St. Ouen"s Manor is the traditional home of the Seigneur of St. Ouen, and the ancestral home of the de Carteret family. The earliest record of the house dates from 1135. The house and grounds remain intact today, and the house is a private home for the De Carteret family. It is occasionally open to the public.
Founded: 1135 | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Les Monts Grantez

Les Monts Grantez is a fine passage chamber consisting of a passage of large, upright granite blocks and dry stone walling leading into an oval chamber. On the north side is a small side chamber. The passage and side chamber retain their capstones. It has been dated to the Neolithic Age (4000 - 3250 BC) Discovered in 1839 it was excavated in 1912 by the Société Jersiaise. The main chamber was found to conta ...
Founded: 4000 - 3250BC | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

La Hougue Bie

La Hougue Bie is a Neolithic ritual site which was in use around 3500 BC. Hougue is a Jèrriais/Norman language word meaning a 'mound' and comes from the Old Norse word haugr. The site consists of 18.6m long passage chamber covered by a 12.2m high mound. The site was first excavated in 1925 by the Société Jersiaise. Fragments of twenty vase supports were found along with the scattered remains ...
Founded: 3500 BC | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

La Hougue des Geonnais

La Hougue des Geonnais is a passage chamber from the Neolithic age. It is today largely ruined by quarrying prior to the initial excavation in 1929. There is no capstone anymore. At that time the chamber was found to have a paving of pebbles and a large quantity of pottery fragments were disguarded in the spoil heaps. Excavation between 1985 & 1990 revealed a chamber that was probably constructed in two phases. A D sh ...
Founded: 4000 - 3250 BC | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.