Friday, 26 May 2017

Jersey In Colour - Part 4

Today is an extract from an early 1960s Jarrold Guide to Jersey, entitled "Jersey In Colour". How beautiful the Island looked in the 1960s!

Jersey In Colour - Part 4

From Gros Nez we look across the bay towards Plemont and some of the finest cliff scenery in the whole of Jersey. The coast is indented with tiny bays and creeks, many of which have charming little water-falls. About half-way between Gros Nez and Greve au Lancon is Cotte a la Chevre (the goat's cave), another cave- dwelling of the earliest inhabitants of Jersey.

Flint implements recovered here are even more primitive than those found in the similar cave in St. Brelade's Bay. A fascinating collection of archaeological finds from the many pre-historic monuments of the island, in addition to specimens of local fauna and flora, may be seen in the fine museum of the Societe Jersiaise, which has done splendid work in investigating the history of Jersey.

The word greve, which appears frequently in Channel Island place-names, means a sandy beach. GREVE DE LECQ on the northern coast is most aptly named, for the beach here is an excellent one. The mound on the nearer headland is known as the Castel de Lecq; it is a fine example of a prehistoric promontory fort commanding the seaway between Jersey and Guernsey. Through the headland runs a natural tunnel.

On the high ground south of Greve de Lecq we find the beautiful tree-lined Vinchelez Lane and not far away there is an interesting old sixteenth-century stone house. The headland in the distance is Sorel Point, the most northerly part of Jersey, from which there are magnificent views across to Sark and the French coast. Below Sorel is the curious "Lavoir des Dames", an almost rectangular rock-pool which forms a natural bathing-place.

The entrance gateway of GROSNEZ CASTLE is the only part of this interesting fourteenth-century ruin still standing on the edge of the cliff at the north-west corner of Jersey. Little is known of its history; it was certainly an important strongpoint during the Hundred Years War and was captured by Du Guesclin when the French attacked the island. It is also believed that it was defended by one of the De Carteret family against Parliamentary forces during the Civil War.

Its most frequent use was probably as a place of refuge for the islanders in the time of the raids by the French during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Certainly it cannot have been a permanent fortress, for there is no trace of any water supply. By the sixteenth century Gros Nez Castle was already a ruin.

GREVE AU LANCON, also known as Plemont Bay, is renowned for its steep cliffs and numerous caves many of which are readily accessible at low water. The largest has the imposing Needle Rock at its entrance, while the Waterfall Cave is curtained by a stream of water falling from the cliff above.

Romantic stories are told of the uses to which these caves have been put: smugglers figure largely in these tales, and visitors are ever fascinated by them. Of recent years the approaches to the caves have been improved by the provision of foot bridges. On a fine day the view seaward from this part of the north coast includes Guernsey, Jethou, Herm and Sark, with Alderney in the distance, while to the east one may glimpse the French coast in the neighbourhood of Carteret. The notorious Paternoster rocks lie directly north of the coast.

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