Elizabeth Castle sits off St. Helier in St. Aubin’s Bay and is a great Tudor stronghold, which defended the island for over 300 years. At high tide the only way to get there is aboard the castle’s ferry, a semi-amphibious vehicle.
Queen Elizabeth I ordered the construction and Sir Walter Raleigh, who was Jersey’s governor, named it Fort Isabella Bellissima (Elizabeth the Most Beautiful) after his queen. You can’t help but think that our man Raleigh might have done that to further his own cause.
Later, Charles II took refuge in the castle on two occasions, once as Prince of Wales, and again, three years later, after the execution of his father, when he was proclaimed King Charles II.
During the Second World War the Germans added to the fortifications with bunkers, gun batteries and a command post at the top of the castle.
Up on the Upper Ward is Hermitage Rock, home of St. Helier, Jersey’s patron saint. Helerius came to Jersey in the 6th Century and founded a hermitage. Norman pirates murdered him in AD555. He was subsequently made a saint and a monastery was founded here.
By the time we left, the tide was out and we were able to walk back across the causeway to St. Helier.