St Ouen

An introduction of St Ouen.


The parish that has one claim to fame as being the largest parish on Jersey Island, is Saint Ouen. St. Ouen lies in the North West section of the island, forming a peninsula with most of its territory. The parish of St. Ouen covers a surface area of 8,341 vergees, or 15 square kilometers. This is roughly 5.79 square miles. St. Ouen’s second claim to fame is that it is considered to be the most traditional of all twelve of the parishes on the island of Jersey. St. Ouen is also the further most parish from St. Helier. St. Ouennais carries the traditional nickname of Gris Ventres, or grey bellies. This stems back to a custom for men of the parish to wear jerseys of undyed wool. This would distinguish the St. Ouennais men from men who were from other parishes and usually wore blue.

St. Ouen’s third claim to fame is that most of Jersey’s most influential writers hailed from St. Ouen. George F. Le Feuvre was a St. Ouenais. Le Feuvre wrote as George d’la Forge as his psuedonym. He was, by far, one of the most prolific authors, of the genre of literature that has come to be known as “Jerriais literature,” of the 20th century. Another literary great, Frank Le Maistre, was the driving force behind standardizing the St. Ouennais dialect of Jerriais as a legitimate literary language. He compiled the Dictionnaire Jersiais Francais. Another writer, Edward Le Brocq, chronicled the lives and antics of two St. Ouennais characters, Ph’lip and Merrienne, in a weekly newspaper column that ran from 1946 until 1964. St. Ouen is a treasure trove for a rich literary history.

There are a great number of prehistoric sites that are located throughout St. Ouen. The dolen des Monts Grantez, the dolmen des Geonnais are included in these prehistoric sites. Aslo included is the prehistoric site that is located at Le Pinacle. This site contains one of the Gallo Roman sites that are typically unidentifiable in Jersey. The Le Pinacle is the foundations of a fanum, which is a small temple. The ruins of Grosnez Castle are in the North West and stand as a landmark for Jersey and St. Ouen. This landmark is also featured on the Jersey 50 pence coin. These historical sites stand as a testament that the parishes of Jersey have stood the test of time and little pieces of the island’s rich history have remained unblemished and intact.

Take a trip to the Jersey Island and while you are there, check out the parish of St. Ouen. View first hand the pieces of history that have been preserved over time and give St. Ouen a character all its own. Enjoy the beauty of the nature that surrounds St. Ouen. Walk the beaches, take a dip in the ocean, enjoy the romance. With all of the offerings of nature from beaches to oceans to hills to cliffs to forests, this is a paradise in which you can lose yourself and all of your cares will melt away.

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