Mont Orgueil Castle, Jersey


Mont Orgueil Castle I — Jersey — Château du Mont Orgueil I
c.1910
Pictorial Stationary Co. (1897-1914)

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Jersey Heritage: video tour

Mont Orgueil has been set onto its rocky outcrop above the town of Gorey since 1212. At the time, it was a state-of-the-art stronghold, and its construction was a matter of urgency. In 1204, Normandy – which lies just 17 miles to the east – had been seized by France, having been tied to the English crown since the Norman Conquest of 1066. What had been a friendly neighbour was suddenly the foe next door, and Mont Orgueil had a job to do, monitoring the Channel for any signs of enemy action. It never fell into French hands.

Although its soaring towers and sturdy walls were the best defence that money could build in the 13th century, by the 15th Mont Orgueil was obsolete, thanks to the hilly terrain which surrounds it – a landscape which left it open to cannon fire now that gunpowder had been invented.
The Telegraph: Five reasons why visiting Mont Orgueil in Jersey is a must

The castle is built on a rocky promontory facing the coast of Normandy and overlooking the Bay of Grouville. There are steep slopes and high cliffs on three sides giving an almost impregnable position. In 1204, King Philip of France took Normandy back but King John of England kept the administration of the islands. The Channel Islands became the front line between England and France and work began on Mont Orgueil under the Warden of the Isles, Hasculf du Suligny.

The site chosen had been used as a defensive place since the Iron Age and possibly as early as the Neolithic period. The earth rampart and ditch would have been degraded but would have provided a good start for the new fortress which was built on the rocky ridge. The shape of the stone buildings was determined by the narrowness of the ridge, with a hall being connected to two square towers by long passageways. Access to the hall was through an enclosed staircase. The area inside the ramparts below was further strengthened in 1224-5 when 1,000 tree trunks were sent to the islands from the New Forest to make palisades for the two new castles. In addition Jersey also received five cartloads of lead, the timber from 20 oak trees and 60 bags of nails to assist with the building.
The Island Wiki

Gatehouse Gazetter

Wikipedia

La Coupée, Sark


5660. SARK LA COUPÉE.
The Cut, Sark

Published Photochrom Co., London and Tunbridge Wells. POstmarked 1912

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La Coupée, the causeway which joins big and little Sark, is about 100m long. It is a high ridge 80 metres (262 ft) above the sea which is only some three metres in width. This is gradually being eroded and Little Sark will eventually become an island (a similar process is likely to have occurred with Brecqhou close to Sark’s west coast).

Several small islets lie close to the shore of Little Sark. These include Moie de la Fontaine and Moie de la Bretagne on the west coast, Petite Baveuse, Moie du Port Gorey Seceuil and Bretagne Uset along the south coast, and Brenière on the east coast. Several tiny islets also lie in Baleine Bay, which stretches along much of the east coast of Little Sark and also the southeast coast of great Sark, and L’Etac de Sark and les Demies lie to the southeast of Little Sark.

Until the beginning of the twentieth century, access to Little Sark was extremely difficult or, at best, unnerving. La Coupée was traversed by a narrow dirt track, and children are reputed to have had to crawl across it on their hands and knees to prevent being blown over the edge by the wind. According to a description in 1875, “People have thrown themselves flat on their face, from terror and nervousness on reaching the Coupée; others have lost courage half way across, and have hidden themselves behind the heads of the rocks that crop up in the middle of the Coupée until some passer by came and led them along; others have been unable to get across without shutting their eyes and being led between two persons.” On 4 September 1802, Elie Guille of the Clos-à-Jaon was carrying sheaves of corn across La Coupée for the payment of tithes. He was blown over the East side and killed.
Isle of Sark