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I added text to this collage but it seems to have disappeared on uploading. So, the large image is looking across St Aubins Bay to Noirmont Point, top right, the old Hermitage where St Helier is reputed to have lived as a recluse, bottom right is Elizabeth Castle.

History of Elizabeth Castle By the sixteenth century, cannon and gunpowder had become so common in warfare that the King's main castle in the Channel Islands, Mont Orgueil, was now out of date. A new castle had to be built which was out of range of these new weapons and the site chosen was here on this islet in St Aubin's Bay Elizabeth Castle is divided into three different areas - the highest and oldest part is called the Mount or the Upper Ward, and beneath this is the Lower Ward which contains many eighteenth century buildings, and finally the Outer Ward Work began here during the reign of King Edward Vl in 1550 when a gun platform was built on the highest point of the islet. It was forty years later, in the 1500s, that his sister Queen Elizabeth I sent her military engineer, Paul Ivy, to organise the construction of a new castle. Sir Walter Raleigh, who was governor here between 1600 and 1603, named it after his queen hence Elizabeth Castle. Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the castle developed and grew in size. By the 1640s, when Jersey was drawn into the English Civil War, the castle had been extended twice and included what is now called the Lower Ward. An outpost, Fort Charles, was built to defend the causeway approach to the castle in 1647. The castle is actually built on two small islands which were joined together in the 1660s when the walls were extended and the storm beach between the two was turned into a ditch. During the first half of the eighteenth century the Lower Ward was extensively remodified with new barracks being built for both officers and men. Built as an artillery fortress, the numbers of cannon sited here varied. During the siege of 1651 there was a report of over fifteen cannon in the castle; a report in 1783 gives the number as 84, the largest being 24 pounders, While in 1804 there was a reported 62 guns which included five 68 pounders. Elizabeth Castle is surrounded by the sea for seven hours out of every twelve and while this was originally seen as a strength it also turned out to be a weakness because it meant that any troops garrisoned here were unable to be used effectively to defend St Helier when the causeway was covered by the tide. This weakness was highlighted in 1781 when the French landed at La Rocque and captured the town. As a result of this, a new fortification was built above St Helier on Mont de la Ville - Fort Regent. Elizabeth Castle carried on as an army garrison until 1923 when it was sold to the States of Jersey for use as an historic monument. It resumed its former role briefly during the Occupation when the Germans refortified the castle.The ugly round concrete structure on top of the castle is a lookout post built by Adolfs merry men during the occupation.

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  • Uploaded on October 28, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Neil Grimwood