"Guernsey, British Channel Islands" bottlebank's Profile
Guernsey is where I lived for over 40 years. Like many Guernsey residents, I am a visitor who decided to stay on. I have moved now to Hampshire in the UK so I may have to make some substantial revisions to my homepage.
The Bailiwick of Guernsey consists of the islands of Guernsey, Alderney, Sark, Herm, Jethou and a number of smaller uninhabited islets. The year 2004 is the 800th anniversary of our becoming an independant political entity.
If you wish to know more about Guernsey then www.thisisguernsey.com is a good place to start, see also www.cwgsy.net.
There are remnants like this scattered all around the coastline of Guernsey. Many of the German fortifications were destroyed immediately after the occupation but some of those that remained have been restored in recent decades. This is one little piece that has been overlooked by both demolishers and restorers.
For those who don't know, the Channel Islands were the only part of Britain to be overrun by the Nazis during WW2.
All the old parish churches are still in use; the picture shows the oldest dating, mostly, from 13th century but bits of earlier buildings are incorporated. There are two older chapels dating to Norman times and there are some well preserved neolithic buildings believed to have religious significance. The most recently built parish church was erected at Torteval in 1818.
A useful online history source covering from neolithic period up to now is www.islandlife.org/history_gsy.htm
I took this pic from inside a neolithic edifice called La Varde (I don't know why). There is evidence of use for burial and other purposes starting in 3500BC and ending in 2000BC. It was rediscovered in the 18th century. The principal capstone is said to weigh over 10 tons. There are other such remains but none so old.
Guernsey isn't all old buildings and ancient history. In spite of increasingly draconian planning regulations there has been considerable development and redevelopment since WW2.
This is part of a recent redevelopment of a formerly rather ugly area. The building on the left is a car park and that on the right an office block occupied by two banks.
The finance industry is now the main income earner on the island.
As you might expect from its location, our island weather is changeable. This photo was taken within a few days of the others above. Our climate, however, does seem to be changing to a dryer, hotter summer but, as yet, winters are still short and mild.
I took this picture because of the Tall Ship but it also shows (from left to right) the islands of Herm, Jethou and - on the horizon -Sark.
Until December 2005, I would have described Sark, just 9 miles east of Guernsey, as the last bastion of the fuedal system in Europe. But, on 06 December 2005, the Seigneur of Sark announced that a new constitution would be introduced by the end of 2006 which, among other things, would allow for universal suffrage. More recent constitutional changes have resulted in a more democratic system. Thus ends a millenium of living history.
Large numbers of people used to visit Guernsey for the many safe, sandy beaches but I think they seek that elswhere now with the expansion of cheap air travel. Our visitors now are more mature and looking for something different from that offered in the mass tourist destinations in the Mediterranean.
Tourism used to be a very important income earner but has long been overtaken by financial services.
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