L’Ancresse – The Anchorage. (place name) Corruption of Norman French ‘ancre’ – anchor
So, no surprise then that this flat sandy bay in the north of the island should be named as an “anchorage”. What is surprising though is one of the stories associated with how it was given this name. That is the story of when Robert “the devil” Duke of Normandy met the Abbot of St Michel du Valle
In recent years the Guernsey Market buildings have undergone something of a grand transformation from the covered markets it was originally built for in the 19th century. They are certainly one of Guernsey’s most iconic landmarks, but its history has not always been as obvious. So, what was here before then and were Guernsey’s Markets always here ?
Guernsey French is theoretically the mother tongue of our island home, Guernsey. However it is dying out rapidly. So how many of these Guernsey French words do you know (or can guess)? Improve and test your Patois wordpower by matching each of the words below to one of the multiple possible definitions.
In April 2019 a remarkable Guernsey milestone was reached. That month saw the 500th aircraft registered in the States of Guernsey’s own prestigious “2-REG” aircraft registry. Aircraft, just like cars, need to be registered. Unlike your car, though, which will be registered in the place where it is driven, an aircraft can be registered in one jurisdiction but operated in another.
During the occupation of the Channel Islands it’s thought that about 1300 Channel Islanders were imprisoned in Jersey and Guernsey prisons during the occupation for acts of protest, defiance and resistance. Of these, at least 200 people were deported to Nazi prisons, labour and concentration camps on the continent. One of the most well known acts of resistance was the production of an underground News Letter “The Guernsey Underground News Service” or GUNS for short.
Much has been written about the occupation and liberation of Guernsey from the Germans in World War II. But what about Guernsey’s nearest neighbour Herm? What was her war like?<
The Battle of Trafalgar was to witness both the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte’s plans to invade Britain, and the death of Admiral Lord Nelson. It was never going to be any ordinary battle, and quickly acquired a heightened, almost magical, reality.
The Channel Islands were the most heavily fortified part of Hitlers’ Atlantic wall, particularly Alderney and Guernsey as the outlying islands in the Channel. So when, in 2018, a building project on Guernsey’s West coast unearthed a bunker complex that hadn’t seen the light of day since the war’s end you’ll understand our excitement when we were invited to view it prior to it being reburied and built upon.
The card game of Euchre can arguably be considered Guernsey’s national game. Across the island there’s a collective enthusiasm for the game that has resulted in leagues, clubs, Euchre drives and many a private euchre party . But how do you play it?
In the summer of 1994 the States of Guernsey commissioned the design for a new Liberation Monument, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Liberation from the German occupying forces in 1945. The result is a truly amazing fusion of art and science. On the 9th May each year the shadow from the needle-like monument falls across a bench recording the events of that day at the exact same time they occurred.
Guernsey’s historical pre-eminance as a horticultural centre for tomatoes is well known. Less well known is Guernseys cultivation of table grapes, which at one time was THE main export industry. The remnants of this industry can still be found in the language of your average ‘guern’ today – who often refers to greenhouses exclusively as vineries – even though its many decades since they grew any grapes.
At the entrance to the St Martin’s Church yard there is a rather curious pagan symbol that has no real business being there, right next to a Christian Church. It’s a standing stone carved into the shape of a female figure known as La Gran’mere du Chimquiere (Grandmother of the cemetery). What is more there’s a second such stone outside the Castel Church. So where did they come from and why are they outside 2 island churches ?
One of the most enduring effects of Guernsey’s association with Normandy is the system of fiefs in the island. The island’s link with the Crown is feudal, as the Queen is still Duchess of Normandy. In this article we look at how Guernsey’s fiefs came about and how they worked.
The telephone was invented in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell, and a limited telephone network was in operation in London as early as 1879. Before long, this had spread to other areas of Britain, and it was only a matter of time before Guernsey showed an interest.
Place-names are not just arbitrary sounds or quaint words. They had meaning to our remote ancestors who derived them for a reason. They give us insight into their world . In this article we look at just a few of some of Guernsey’s place names and their meanings.