St. Saviour's Church

Guernsey, United Kingdom

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 30 January 1658, the tower was struck by lightning whilst the congregation were still inside. They were thrown to the ground and some were so badly shocked that they were unable to walk home. The tower was rebuilt in the 17th century following the damage from lightning. In the 18th century the vestry was added and held the parish artillery.

During the occupation, the Germans used the Church's impressive 35m high spire as a lookout post and also constructed an extensive network of tunnels under the Church it. Russian and Polish slave labour was used to carve the tunnels out of the granite rock. The tunnels were used as ammunition stores as the Germans thought it unlikely that the allies would bomb a church. The churchyard has a number of interesting items, including one statue which is a Christianised menhir with a cross incized on its face. There is also a stone bench which was used as a meeting place for the Lord of the manor, Fief Jean Gaillard and the oldest gravestone belongs to a Nicholas Torode who died in 1602.

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Founded: 1154
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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