Across Gorey harbour to Mont Orgueil Castle

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Mont Orgueil Castle overlooks the harbour of Gorey. The construction of the castle was undertaken following the division of the Duchy of Normandy in 1204.

The castle was the primary defence of the Island until the development of gunpowder which then rendered the castle ultimately indefensible from Mont Saint Nicholas, the adjacent hill which overlooks the castle. So Mont Orgueil was replaced by the Elizabeth Castle off Saint Helier. Walter Raleigh, Governor of Jersey in 1600, saved Mont Orgueil by rejecting a plan to demolish the old castle in order to recycle the stone for the new fortifications with the words.

Subsequently the castle was used as a prison until the construction of a prison in St. Helier at the end of the 17th century. The Crown found it expedient to send troublesome agitators such as William Prynne and John Lilburne to Mont Orgueil far from the realm of England. The regicides Thomas Waite, Henry Smith, James Temple, Hardress Waller and Gilbert Millington were transferred to Mont Orgueil in 1661.

In 1693 the castle was stated to be in a ruinous condition and subsequently was abandoned as a prison.

Repairs were carried out 1730–1734 and for the rest of century parts of the castle were adapted for garrison accommodation.

In 1846 the castle was visited by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The castle has also hosted subsequent royal ceremonies to welcome George V in 1921 and Elizabeth II; inscriptions mark the occasions.

Second World War German look-out posts were designed to fit in with the existing structure of the castle.

In a generally dilapidated state at the time of its handover to the people of Jersey by the Crown on 28 June 1907, Mont Orgueil has been managed as a museum site since 1929, although during the Second World War German Occupation (1940–1945) the occupying forces garrisoned the castle and added modern fortifications camouflaged to blend in with existing structures.

The heritage site has been managed by the Jersey Heritage Trust since 1994. In 2004, a commemorative Jersey pound note was put into circulation depicting Mont Orgueil. The castle is depicted on the 2010 issue Jersey 50 pound note. On 2 April 2006, after a long building programme the castle was reopened to the public by the Lieutenant-Governor of Jersey. Restoration work has opened up previously inaccessible areas of the castle to the public.

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Comments (10)

⚔ Richard ⚔ on September 23, 2012

I have enjoyed reading the information Neil and looking at this picture, it's been 40 years since i last visited Jersey. Like Regards Richard

Neil Aitkenhead on September 24, 2012

Nice shot Neil - lots to look at :)

Neil Grimwood on September 24, 2012

Thanks Richard, its a good bet that very little has changed in those 40yrs. This was our first visit,hopefully not the last,so much to see even though its a small island.


Thanks Neil,i'm pleased you took the time to have a look round.

Rosalyn Hilborne on September 24, 2012

A lovely scene across the harbour Neil. I have been to Guernsey but not Jersey and that was in 1975! Like it.

ian1949 on September 24, 2012

It's a nice panorama Neil, plenty to look at from one side to the other, the castle looks good on the left and I like the boats stood on their end on the quayside saves a lot of room I think. Never been here so wouldn't have seen the castle but for this no doubt you'll see it on a daily basis every time you pull a Jersey £50 note from your wallet. ;o)

Neil Grimwood on September 24, 2012

Hi Rosa, 1975!! then its time you hopped over the Channel again;-)) I've a feeling we'll be back, don't know when though.


Its a lovely place Ian,we weren't there long though,too late to climb up to the castle unfortunately. A £50 note!! never seen one;-)) we can't spend Jersey money over here but we can spend ours there.

Thankyou both for calling in.

Andy Rodker on September 24, 2012

Great harbour view. You must have been sewing away like anything (...sorry, I mean stitching!). Thank you also for the informative and extensive notes; very much appreciated by a historian by training (and inclination) such as meself.

Like. Best wishes, Andy

Dean Matthews on September 25, 2012

Another one with more stitches than a piece of clothing :) cracking job and lots to entertain.

Yorkshire Sam on September 26, 2012

Very neat composition mate, excellent detail too ,especially so for bobbing boats. If I tell you there is very little I'd change I'm sure you'll take that as the compliment it is intended to be :o)

Neil Grimwood on September 26, 2012

Hi Andy, boy does it make your fingers hurt;-)) glad you enjoyed the info.


Not as many as you might think on this one Dean,20 frames. Many thanks for the "cracking job", I'm pleased you enjoyed it.


Eyup Sam, nice to see you back;-) I certainly do take that as intended mate,especially as it was 20 frames hand held.I braced myself against the sea wall,just couldn't get the full curve in though.Now i have to blow my own trumpet.There was a chap there with a Canon and a bag full of gear. When i told him what i intended he implied i would never do it leaning over the wall like that,i just hope he looks on GE;-) Thanks Sam,much appreciated.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on September 23, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Neil Grimwood
    • Camera: SONY DSLR-A300
    • Taken on 2012/09/14 16:43:22
    • Exposure: 0.006s (1/160)
    • Focal Length: 35.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/10.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash