Jersey, Channel Islands

Grosnez Castle, Jersey, Channel Islands

Grosnez means either "big nose" (in modern day Channel Islands Patois) or "great headland" (from the Norse 'ness').  Either way this rocky outcrop at the very top left hand corner of Jersey is a dramatic viewpoint.

It is cut across by the main structure of Grosnez Castle, although the walls once went right around the headland.  What chiefly remains today is a gatehouse separated from the mainland by a big ditch and a section of walling.

The Gatehouse, although small, did have all the normal accoutrements of such a structure; portcullis, battlements and 'murder holes'.  The date of its construction is unclear, although it would seem likely that it was in the late 1200s to early 1300s, the latter being more likely.  It was obviously not intended to withstand a siege, as there is no well - and it was destroyed deliberately, as the stonework lays scattered around where it was smashed down.

Beyond these scanty facts little is known about the history of the Castle - and for once the Occupying Nazis didn't use the Castle for one of their fortifications - their bunker, one of the most spectacular on Jersey, lies a little way to the south.

The Castle is on public land and always accessible.

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