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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Visiting Jersey : St. Helier

Our hotel, the Radisson Blu, next to marina, close to the harbour
Jersey has several layers of defences built to counter invasion. Medieval castles, Elizabethan castle, late 18th century towers, Martello Towers and lots of German built Atlantik Wall concrete structures.

Leaving our hotel, we walked along the Prom around the bay for about a mile to First Tower.

The Germans covered the bay with a number of bunkers built into slipways

Armed with 47mm A/T Czech gun and a mg, and sited to deliver flanking fire along the beach

Elizabeth Castle on an island in the bay to cover the harbour entrance

The castle is reached either on foot or on one of these amphibious vehicles

Souvenir guide, showing the castle when the tide is in, access via the ramp at the bottom edge

In 1594, the Crown decided to build a fort on the island that would accommodate the increasing use of artillery in defence. Between 1600 and 1603, Sir Walter Raleigh was Governor and he renamed it Elizabeth Castle.
Photo from the guide, showing the keep and the barracks buildings
The castle was built in three areas, the oldest is the Mount or Upper Ward, then the Lower Ward and finally the Outer Ward.

During the Occupation, the Germans installed a searchlight

The searchlight was kept in this concrete shelter in the Outer Ward

and pushed up this ramp for use to illuminate the harbour entrance when needed.

West Bastion, overlooking the bay

Artillery position

Looking from the West Bastion towards the "Pepper Pot" on the Mount Bastion, Lower Ward

Musket loops for local defence

The Germans built two artillery bunkers, this one faces West and covers the bay. The second is on the other side of the castle and faces East to cover the harbour entrance. 

The Germans installed captured French 105mm cannon.

In the Upper Ward, at the top of the castle, the Germans built this observation tower

From the Upper Ward, the German West bunker and the Grand Battery

From the observation tower, looking back along the castle towards the bay and First Tower

This French photo shows a 105mm gun of the type captured and installed  (Photo pinched from "Les Cannons de la Victoire" volume 1)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your pics.
    I visited Jersey in -78 I think, and back then you were ferried to Elizabeth Castle in a DUKW. That was the high point of the trip :-)