Saturday, 24 October 2015

Jersey in the rain

The first serious rain for quite a while coincided with my first visit  to Jersey (one day last week). After completing work by early afternoon I had contemplated a few hours in the sunshine sightseeing. Reality was about an hour and a half in the rain in St Helier before I gave up and caught the bus back to the airport.

After quite a good fish and chips (with mushy peas) and an excellent pint of "Liberation ale" at The Peirson in Royal Square, I went out and took a photo of ...Royal Square. The Peirson is in the background ( grey to the left, - the pub directly behind the statue is the Cork and Bottle).

This was the marketplace until 1751 when it was renamed 'Royal Square' in honor of George II who had given £200 towards the construction of a new harbour. The gilded lead statue of George II is by John Cheere. It stands on a granite plinth close to where the old market cross stood until the Reformation. All distances in the island are measured from this statue.

As a stone in the square says...

.. that this was the site of The Battle of Jersey on 6 January 1781; the last attempt by French forces to seize Jersey. The battle is often remembered for the death of the British officer Major Francis  Peirson who was in command of the British troops who defeated the  French invasion force...hence The Peirson where I had lunch.

Also in the square is a self explanatory  memorial...

 ...commemorating the announcement of the liberation of Jersey at the end of the Second world War.

Close to Royal Square is the Central Market, also with a plaque explaining its origin:

The Central Market, a Victorian cast iron market hall was opened in 1882 as a result of the stalls being banished from the Royal Square in 1800. It was worth a visit to see the the recently restored central fountain, and for the colourful array of fruit, vegetables and flowers around the fountain.

A view  up the road from the market with No 1 King Street,  home to the jewelers, Hettich, since 1900 with the front (or rear which ever way you look at it) of the  Cork and Bottle and the Chambre des Etats further on.

 The public entrance to the Chambre des Etats (States Chamber).

The building was opened on 21 June 1887, the 50th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s accession to the throne. The States Assembly meets here.

The Parish Church of St Helier is one of the twelve 'Ancient Parish Churches' of Jersey,

Although the church is some way inland today, this is a result of land reclamation and it once lay on the shore. The present church was begun in the 11th century although all that is visible of the 11th century structure are the remains of window arches on either side of the Choir. The church building was extended to roughly its present size by the end of the 12th century, but most of that building is also lost.

One striking sculpture in the North Transept is the 'The Blue Madonna' by John Robinson. It is a cast of Michelangelo's Pitti Tondo

The Toad - best explained by an extract from The Islandwiki

'A monument was erected at Charing Cross in St Helier in 2004, as part of the commemoration of the octocentenary of Jersey's status of Crown Dependency, and in memory of the presence on the site between 1698 and 1812 of the island's prison. The monument, created by Gordon Young, consists of a 9-foot tall column of polished Jersey granite into which is carved extracts from the Code Le Geyt of 1698 concerning crimes and applicable punishments. On top of the column is a Jersey crapaud - the site was originally marsh land, and the numerous toad colonies in the area are the source of the nickname commonly applied to Jersey people.

Finally a walk in the rain to Liberation Square

Liberation Square was developed in 1995 to mark the 50th Anniversary of Jersey's Liberation. To the north of the square stands the Pomme D’Or Hotel, which was used by the Nazis as their Headquarters during the Occupation. The hotel's original balcony was the focal point for celebrations when the island was liberated by British forces on May 9, 1945.

At the centre of  the  Square is Philip Jackson’s sculpture  depicting a group holding the Union Flag at the centre of a fountain. Twelve water jets in the pool symbolise Jersey's 12 parishes.

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