Grosnez Castle Ruins

Jersey, United Kingdom

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 unlikely he would have been given permission if Grosnez was still in use. In 1806, a naval signal station was established at Grosnez to send messages to Guernsey.

The castle's position on a clifftop 60 m above the sea means that the natural features of the site protect it on three sides. A ditch dug into the rock provides protection on the fourth side. The remains of ruined walls, mostly footings, are still present. A drawbridge and portcullis protected the gatehouse, which is the only substantial surviving remnant, and would have made it difficult to capture. There are traces of six simple buildings.

The name comes from the old Norse words for 'grey headland' - grar nes - an accurate description of the site when seen from the sea, rather than from the French for big nose. A nearby headland to the west has a similar name, Rouge Nez.

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Founded: 1330
Category: Ruins in United Kingdom

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Margaret Clarkson (2 months ago)
Beautiful tranquil ruins and views to the other Channel Islands and France
doc young (2 months ago)
Great views, we were lucky with a bright sunny day
Antons Gevals (2 months ago)
Lovely place to see , but in summer or good weather as could be super windy ?
John Baker (3 months ago)
Great views of the other Channel Islands. Look for the sign telling the history. Interesting stuff.
Stephen Ward (3 months ago)
Part of the Jersey coastal path at one of the most scenic parts of the island. Fabulous views across to Sark and Guernsey. Love this walk.
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