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Across Gorey harbour to Mont Orgueil Castle

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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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