Rural – Jersey Country Life Magazine

Festival of British Archaeology

THE annual Festival of British Archaeology, organised in Jersey by the Société Jersiaise, takes place from 12 to 27 July.

It is taking part in the Council for British Archaeology Festival of Archaeology, which is the only annual Nation-wide celebration of archaeology.

The events are all free but entry to the Channel Islands Occupation Society sites may have a small charge.

The programme remains flexible and changes may be made up to the last minute.

Here is the provisional programme of events arranged so far (as of 6 June):


Saturday 12 July


Guide: john Clarke

Meet at Castle Car Park 2.00 pm

Stout shoes or walking boots advised trousers

Children must be controlled. Dogs must be kept on a short lead.

Guided tour of  Château du Grosnez and historic and archaeological sites in the area of Les Landes.


Sunday 13 July

INNER GROUVILLE – defences and history.

Meet at Lower Queens Valley Car Park at 10.30 am.

Guide Johnathan Bull

A circular road based walk of approximately 2 hours: wear walking shoes.

Overlooking the Royal Bay of Grouville Bay, WW2 second line defenses lay awaiting any allied advances.  You will walk through leaf covered lanes on this road based walk whilst taking in views of the French coast, Mont Orgueil Castle and the flat lands of Grouville.

Few remains exist but fascinating clues are scattered throughout. Discover why the East of the island became so important to in the German defenses while exploring the history of Grouville in general.’


Monday 14 July

ST. AUBINGuided walk – St. Aubin -origin of town and fort.

Guide  Marie-Louise Backhurst

Meet at the top of the slipway outside the Royal Channel Islands’ Yacht Club at  2.00 pm

Parking will be very limited therefore expect to park near the Catholic church Wear stout shoes, for wet beach and to climb ladder.

A guided walk through the town returning to cross to the fort after 3.00pm, then return to the harbour if time allows.


Tuesday 15 July


Guided tour of St Lawrence Church. Meet at Church 2.00pm at the south door.

Neil Molyneux will give a talk on the history of the Church. We will examine the Chapels and Mediaeval wall painting found by Dr. W. J. Rodwell and some of the features inside.

Dr. Nichols will describe the geology of the Roman pillar and discus the reuse of it in later phases. Moving outside he will point out the construction and use of types of stone in the construction at various phases

At the west end of the north wall we will discuss the finding of a cyst burial probably of the Norman period excavated by Mrs. Margaret Finlaison.


Wednesday 16  July


Guided visit to Samarès Manor Meet at 5.00pm

Peter Bisson will give a talk on the historic features of the Manor House, Colombier, mediaeval origins, the 15th Century  undercroft and buildings.  The seigneur, Vincent Obbard, has kindly invited us to see some of the features of the house.


Thursday 17 July


Guided walk Faldouet Dolmen and Victoria Tower.

Meet at the Victoria Tower car park 2.00pm.

Wear walking shoes and be prepared to climb a steep ladder.

c in lane

Parking is limited so be prepared to park in road outside Haut de la Garenne.

Show the significance of Mont Nicholas to the protection of Gorey Castle through the times of bow and arrows, cannons, the Civil War, Battle of Jersey, Napoleonic Wars and 20th century.

Walk to the Dolmen noting the historic site of the Naval School,  then at the dolmen a talk by Mrs. Mary Gibb.

Then return to the Victoria Tower and visit the inside of the Martello tower and the parapet by those wanting the climb up a ladder.


Friday 18tJuly


Meet in the Barracks 2.00 pm.

Park in the Barracks  car park or main car park.

Wear stout shoes of boots and suitable attire for climbing a ladder.

Guided walk with Mr. Robert Waterhouse to top of Châtel de Lecq, Iron age Hill Fort, 16th / 17th C redoubts 18th C Fort, lookout.

Guided by Sue Hardy, cross Grève de Lecq Bay to ill-fated harbour,

then explore the round Tower and access the roof by ladder for a rare panorama, and finally a talk on the Barracks by Mrs. Hardy.

A visit to the mediaeval Water Mill could follow for refreshment


Saturday 19 July


Guided visit to La Cotte de Saint Brélade

With Dr Matthew Pope and Dr Martin Bates of the QAEJ Team.

Meet at Ouaisné slip at 5.00pm

Assemble on the beach for a talk on the geology and formation of the headland and caves, then move over rocks to view the gullies and rock arch and a talk on the archaeological excavations.  After assessing the risk some of the group may wish to ascend above the high water level where a further talk could be given, entry under the rock arch may be possible by those accepting the obvious risk.


Sunday 20 July


Meet at Noirmont Point car park at 2.00pm

Boots or walking shoes should be worn and bring a torch.

View the Martello Tower as 19th Century defense of the bay.

Visit excellent display in the German Command Bunker followed by a guided walk across the Mediaeval landscape to  Hougue de Vinde, a late Neolithic or iron age mound in very distressed condition even before excavation in 1881.

A small CIOS entry fee may be charged.


Monday 21 July


Société Jersiaise, Members Room 7 Pier Road at 8.00pm.

Illustrated Lecture on the 2013/14 excavation s at St. Clement.

By the Director of the dig, Robert Waterhouse, the  Société Jersiaise archaeologist. Excavation of site with Iron age and Gallo-Roman archaeology with a display of some of the artifacts.


Tuesday 22 July


Guided Visit to St. Ouen’s Manor Meet at gate in Rue de l’Eglise nearest towards church  at 5.00pm

Walk around grounds, House, Chapel, jousting ground, execution of Françios Scornet.

An historical talk will be given by Peter Bisson


Wednesday 23 July


Guided visit to Les Varines Upper Palaeolithic seasonal encampment site.

Meet at site in field at the inner end of Ivystill Lane at 5.00pm or from track from Claremont Road north of JCG Prep Car park where arrangements to park will be arranged.

Wear walking shoes for crossing the Côtil.

The QAEJ multi disciplinary team are investigating the site in their third season and talks will be given by the senior archaeologists Dr. Chantal Conneller and Dr. Ed Blinkhorn on the findings.


Thursday 24 July


Illustrated Lecture on the 2013 work of the Quaternary Archaeology & Environment Jersey Project at Société Jersiaise Members’ Room 7 Pier Road at 8.00pm.

Dr Beccy Scott and Dr Martin Bates will report on work done in Jersey on Palaeolithic sites in Jersey in recent years.


Saturday 26 July


Guided Walk to Le Pinacle Prehistoric settlement site  and Batterie Moltke and  Observation Tower MP3.

Meet at 2.00pm Car park  next to Model aircraft runways on Les Landes.

Visit the radar tower MP3 heavy gun site of Batterie Moltke with Tony Pike)and then explore the multi period prehistoric site of Le Pinacle.

Wear stout shoes and trousers. Bring a torch.

Children must be closely supervised.


Sunday 27 July


A Guided Walk ‘First World War Prisoner of War Camp & Second World War Fortifications.

Meet at Le Braye Car Park near the Telephone Box/Toilets at 11.00am.

Ian Ronayne,  a local military historian and author, will lead a walk lasting up to 2 hours around the fortifications of the south end of St. Ouen’s Bay and the remaining evidence of the Prisoner of War Camp built to house German Soldiers in the Great War 1914 – 1918






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