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 B and B in Jersey - Eulah Hotel Jersey, CI, UK - Jersey History | About

Jersey History

  La Cotte de St. Brelarde - Jersey, Channel Islands, UK

Today the Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown dependency with a rich a varied history arising from its strategic position between the northern coast of France and the southern coast of England. The Islands recorded history extends to over a 1000 years although evidence of Neolithic (c. 6000 – 3000 B.C.), early Bronze Age (c. 3000 B.C. – 1200 A.D.) and Iron Age (c. 1200 B.C.) settlements exist.

Human activity in Jersey has been prevalent for a quarter of a million years when Jersey was attached to mainland France. The woolly mammoth stalked these lands and discoveries in the 1900’s have shed light on how our ancestors lived. In a cave at La Cotte in Quaisne Bay, Jersey archaeologists have found tools and fossilised bones and teeth of the woolly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, cave bear and reindeer.


Mont Orgueil Castle Jersey Uk

In more recent times Jersey was under the control of Brittany before the Island was invaded by the Vikings in the ninth century. Jersey was eventually annexed to the Duchy of Normandy by William Longsword (Duke of Normandy) in 933 and became one of the Norman Islands. William’s descendent, William the Conqueror, conquered England in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings and The Duchy of Normandy and the Kingdom of England were governed under one Monarch. In 1204 King John lost his territories in mainland Normandy to King Phillip II Augustus, but retained possession of Jersey along with the other Channel Islands. The Islands have been internally self-governed ever since. 

 


  Sir George Carteret - founder of New Jersey 1664

During the late 16th Century islanders travelled across the north Atlantic to participate in the Newfoundland Fisheries. In recognition for help given to him during his exile in Jersey in the 1640’s, Charles II gave Sir George Carteret (Bailiff and Governor), a large section of land in the American Colonies, which he promptly named New Jersey, now a part of the United States of America.

Neutrality between England and France as well as trade laid the foundations for prosperity in the Island. The Jersey way of life involved agriculture, fishing and the production of woollen goods (The Jersey Pullover) much of which is still prevalent in the Island today. Improvements in transport brought tourism to the Island in the 19th Century.

During World War II, Jersey and the other Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles occupied by Nazi Germany. The occupation lasted from the 1st July 1940 until 9th May 1945 (Liberation Day) when Germany surrendered.