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 and Fort Hommet, was intended as a keep for the battery in which it was placed. The Guernsey Martellos are smaller than the British towers, with the Fort Saumarez and Fort Hommet towers being smaller than the Fort Grey tower. Each mounted a 24-pounder carronade on the roof to protect the battery. Fort Saumarez and Fort Hommet also have exterior staircases up to the second floor. The War Office in London sold Fort Grey to the States of Guernsey in 1891 for £185.

During the Occupation of the Channel Islands in World War II, the Germans occupied the fort, as they did most of the other fortifications in Guernsey. More recently Fort Grey has been adapted for other more peaceful uses and now operates as a local shipwreck museum, housing a number of items of marine salvage from famous wrecks, including the MV Prosperity and Elwood Mead. The items also include a cannon from HMS Boreas that points towards the nearby Hanois rocks where Boreas sank in 1807 with the loss of her captain, at least half her crew, and possibly the captain's wife.

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Founded: 1804
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Derek Sherrington (4 years ago)
Superb small but very full museum, lots of one off exhibition material. Excellent information panels as well as supporting photographs. Outside has more exhibits as well as the excellent local views. Very glad we went, made use of the Discovery Pass which is fantastic value.
Patricia Dear (4 years ago)
Very interesting spot providing a wealth of information on the islands marine history.
Paul Kent (4 years ago)
Small shipwreck museum in an interesting setting. Very helpful and attentive staff.
John Merrien (4 years ago)
An authentic representation of the suffering from the numerous wrecks around Guernsey's coast. The Roman Wreck & Guernsey Pearl over the road are also brilliant. Perhaps Guernsey's best carvery on a Sunday.
Dave Dome (4 years ago)
Great views and excellent location for walking. Museum is small but perfectly formed, with info on the shipwrecks in the area. Also the Roman ship found in the harbour is viewable across the road by the Pearl centre, where there is also a good cafe for refreshments. A must visit if you are in the area.
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Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.