St Martin

An introduction of St Martin.


St. Martin parish is the only parish on Jersey Island that does not use a Parish Hall to conduct its municipal affairs. Instead, St. Martin has a Public Hall. St. Martin did accept monies from the States of Jersey so that they could add on an assembly room. St. Martin, once called Saint Martin le Vieux was called such in order to distinguish it from the Saint Martin de Grouville which is now considered Grouville. St. Martin is located in the eastern part of the Jersey Island. It has a land area of 10.3 square kilometers, or 3.98 square miles.

There are several sites of prehistoric remains that reside within the parish of St. Martin. The dolmens that are at Le Couperon and Faldouet are two such sites. The backside of the Jersey ten pence coin features La Pouquelaye de Faldouet, one of the prehistoric remains sites. This was also the inspiration for Victor Hugo, leading him to pen the poem, Nomen, numen, lumen, in 1855 during his exile on the Jersey Island.

Another historic site in St. Martin is a rock that is known as Le Saut Geffroy or Geoffroy’s Leap. This rock is said to be and ancient execution site. It was at this site that criminal were hurled into the sea to die a brutal death. According to legend, there was a criminal by the name of Geffroy received the sentence to death by being thrown into the sea. Miraculously, Geffroy survived the fall and was able to climb back up the face of the cliff. An argument broke out among the spectators and they debated Geffory’s fate. Some said that the sentence had been carried out that the Geffroy should be set free while others help the opposing view. Geffroy, his ego getting the better of him, decide to dive off of the rock in an attempt to settle the debate and to demonstrate his male prowess. Unfortunately, he did not survive his second time into the sea. Now, the Le Saut Geffroy is preserved by the National Trust for Jersey.

Another historical site is the ancient castle of Mont Orgueil. This ancient castle is the dominant figure of Gorey, a small village and harbour. At one time, the castle served as the island’s prison. But then in the 17th century a prison was constructed in St. Helier. Several British government prisoners did some time there. Among them were William Prynne and John Liburne. At that time Mont Orgueil was usually the Governor of Jersey’s residence. Later, in the beginning of the 17th century, the Elizabeth Castle was constructed off of Saint Helier.

A popular site for fisherman and sea anglers, a very large breakwater that is located at St. Catherine is the remains of the very large project that was begun with the premise of building a harbour. The British government cut the program in the 19th century and the project was abandoned.

There is a great deal of history and culture for you enjoyment in St. Martin. You only have to set your feet upon its soil.

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