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Neolithic Presence in Jersey, Channel Islands

Jersey (Channel Islands) is a small island off the coast of Normandy in the English Channel.  It has been inhabited since prehistoric times.  Nowadays, one can see traces of those first dwellers almost anywhere.  One of the things I loved doing the most during my time there was to put on my walking boots, grab a map and explore the island in search of ancient monuments.  Let me share my discoveries with you.

Ville-ès-Nouaux

Channel Islands Guernsey

Ville-ès-Nouaux

Channel Islands Guernsey

Ville-ès-Nouaux

It’s slap bang in the middle of a small park outside the Anglican Church of St. Andrew’s in First Tower (on the road to St. Aubin).  I thought it was a garden feature of some sort.  Only when I got closer did I realize it was a Neolithic passage grave, and possibly older then the Pyramids!

Mont Ubé

Channel Islands Guernsey

Mont Ubé

Channel Islands Guernsey

Mont Ubé

The Neolithic passage grave of Mont Ubè can be tricky to locate as it’s hidden in trees on a small promontory on Rue de la Blinerie, off the A5 near Samarés Manor.  It took me two attempts to find it.  I’m glad I persevered.

Les Monts Grantez

Channel Islands Guernsey

Les Monts Grantez

Channel Islands Guernsey

View from Monts Grantez

My hubby and I came across this passage grave almost by chance when we attended a Summer Solstice Concert over St. Ouen’s Bay.  We parked the car and crossed a field towards the picnic site on a cliff.  There was a bunch of rocks which, on closer inspection, turned out to be a dolmen!

La Hougue Bie

Channel Islands Guernsey

La Hougue Bie

Channel Islands Guernsey

View from La Hougue Bie

La Houge Bie is a most unusual tribute to the history of humankind.  It consists of a Neolithic passage grave under a mound, topped by not one but two chapels (circa 1520 and 1780s) and a German command bunker (the Channel Islands were the only British territory occupied by Nazi Germany during WWII).  It is mind boggling!  And on a clear day the coast of Normandy can be seen from the top.

Menhir and Burial Chamber at Les Quennevais

Channel Islands Guernsey

Chamber Les Quennevais Sand Dunes

Channel Islands Guernsey

Menhir at Les Quennevais Sand Dunes

These two monuments are located on the southern edge of Les Blanches Banques sand dunes over St. Ouen’s Bay.  It’s such a peaceful place.  It’s easy to imagine what the ancients were thinking when they chose it as a final resting place.

Enjoy more Photo Essays!

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Harold Engstrom says:

How do you know the chambers and dolmen and other sites are grave sites? Are they well know as such? Are there other potential meanings for these sites? Thanks!

Ana O'Reilly says:

Hello Harold. Thank you for your question. As far as I know, there is no other meaning to these sites. Each site was excavated and researched by archeologists, who based their interpretation of each site on the objects they found. Since they found mostly human bones, as well as some pottery, they deduced these monuments were tombs.

I hope you find this explanation satisfactory. If you want to know more, visit the Jersey Heritage website or the Prehistoric Jersey website as well.

Ana O'Reilly says:

Louise, thank you!
Cecilia, merci!
Perth tourist guide, I’m glad you enjoyed reading this post as much as I did writing it.
Miriam, we spend a little over a year in Jersey. i loved the island, I can’t wait to go back.

Hello, Great story. I lived in Jersey for 4 years and it is an incredible place. Thanks for this post. It was very interesting to read, even for someone who called themself a “local”. Miriam

perth tourist guide says:

I also am interested in history. and what you have here is truly a revelation. Wonderful work.

Cecilia Fasola says:

Une autre perle! Merci, Ana, de partager avec nous ces si beaux textes!

Louise says:

Ana…this is lovely and your photos are stunning!

Ana O'Reilly says:

Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

this is a great post on the history of man. great work

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