Quetivel Mill is a working watermill in Saint Peter, Jersey. Its history can be traced to 1309 and the current building dates from the 18th century. It is situated near to the Jersey War Tunnels and upstream from Tesson Mill. Quetivel and Tesson are both in the care of the National Trust for Jersey. The mill was derelict by 1934 but was brought back into use during the Occupation of the Channel Islands. It was restored again from 1971 to 1979 and the restoration received a commendation from the Civic Trust in 1978. A new water wheel was fitted in 2015.
Surrounded by water meadows, a visit to the mill will give you a fascinating insight into Jersey’s agricultural and industrial heritage. Discover why Jersey exported flour to the Americas, learn about the meaning of “lé no” or the resurgence of milling during the Island’s Occupation in the Second World War. The two-storey mill has an exhibition of milling, a film presentation and a small shop selling refreshments and freshly ground flour. Outside is a fascinating herb garden and a delightful woodland walk to the mill pond – look out for the red squirrel.
The first recorded watermill on the site was the property of the Crown in 1309 and during the following centuries the mill changed hands and was rebuilt several times. The present building, dating back to the 18th century, marks the height of milling in Jersey. When in use, the mill would grind wheat imported from eastern Europe and export flour as far afield as the United States and Canada. The mill ceased functioning at the beginning of the 20th century, only briefly being brought back into use during the German Occupation. Once closed, the mill slowly fell into disrepair and burnt down in 1969. The mill was restored by the Trust in 1979, earning the organisation an award from the Civic Trust.
The mill is still operational and each year on Open Milling Day, the staff grind wheat to produce flour, which is available for sale in the small shop situated on the ground floor of the mill. The upper floors of the mill contain interpretation materials and displays detailing the history of milling in the Island. At the rear of the shop is a small but beautifully presented herb garden containing a wide variety of herbs.
The mill is situated at the southern end of a long meadow and is surrounded by woodland where visitors can discover a rich variety of flora and fauna. Eager explorers can take a walk along the beautiful woodland footpath that leads up the valley to the mill pond. There is also a footpath that follows the stream down the valley to Tesson Mill, which also has a section open to the public, before continuing down to the beach a further 1km away. There is a new cycle path that links St Helier with the mill.
There are toilet facilities on site, including facilities for the disabled. There is a small on site car park with an additional car park located at the mill pond 500m up St. Peter’s Valley. There is disabled parking available on site. The Ground floor, with all the milling machinery, is fully accessible for mobility impaired visitors. Assistance dogs are welcomed.
Location : La Vallee de St. Pierre, Le Mont Fallu, St Peter, Jersey
Transport: Poole Ferry then bus. Bus Routes : 8 (8A) stoops close by.
Opening Times : 1 May to 26 September, Monday, Tuesday, 10:00 to 16:00.
Tickets : Adults £3.00; Children £1.00
Tel: 01534 483193
La Hougue Bie is a historic site, with museum, in the Jersey parish of Grouville. Hougue is a Jèrriais/Norman language word meaning a "mound" and comes from the Old Norse word haugr. Bie is of uncertain origin. The legend of La Hougue Bie connects it with the Seigneur of Hambye in the Cotentin; an Old Norse origin may connect it to -by toponyms in Great Britain; or it may be connected to the Jèrriais word bié (leat).
One of the ten oldest buildings in the world, built long before the Egyptian pyramids and aligned with the equinox. Enter into one of Europe’s finest passage graves and discover Jersey’s neolithic history at this tranquil and spiritual heritage site. Nominated for a Visit England Hidden Gem Award.
Please enjoy the audio on the spiritual Landscape of Jersey.
The site consists of an 18.6 metre long passage chamber covered by a 12.2 metre high earth mound. The site was first excavated in 1925 by the Société Jersiaise. Fragments of twenty vase supports were found along with the scattered remains of at least eight individuals. Gravegoods, mostly pottery, were also present. At some time in the past, the site had evidently been entered and ransacked. On top of the mound were built two Medieval chapels. The Channel Islands (in contrast with mainland Brittany, where they are rare), have five passage graves with side chambers (La Hougue Bie, Faldouet and Grantez in Jersey, La Varde and Le Déhus in Guernsey).
La Hougue Bie is a Neolithic ritual site which was in use around 3500 BC. In Western Europe, it is one of the largest and best preserved passage graves and the most impressive and best preserved monument of Armorican Passage Grave group. Although they are termed "passage graves", they were ceremonial sites, whose function was more similar to churches or cathedrals, where burials were incidental. Since the excavations and restoration of the original entrance of the passage observations from inside the tomb at sunrise on the spring and autumn equinox have revealed that the orientation of the passage allows the sun's rays to shine through to the chamber entering the back recess of the terminal cell. Although many passage graves showed evidence of continued activity into the Late Neolithic period, La Hougue Bie was abandoned before that time.
Atop the mound are two medieval chapels, one 12th Century and the other from the 16th Century. This building complex has been altered a great deal through its history - including being engulfed for a period by the The Prince’s Tower. During World War II it was used as a key lookout point, and an underground command bunker was built in the mound and adjacent. This structure is open to the public, and houses an exhibition commemorating the workers from across Europe forced to build defences in Jersey during the German occupation.
In 1759 Major-General James d’Auvergne bought La Hougue Bie and in 1792 he gave it to his nephew, Philippe, who had already started building his ‘Prince’s Tower’. Philippe d’Auvergne, born in Jersey in 1754, was an extraordinary individual who enjoyed a most colourful career. He entered the Royal Navy at the relatively old age of 16 where he served on the Royal Yacht. As a 19year-old midshipman he served on board HMS Racehorse during the Admiralty expedition to find the North Pole where he was responsible for the astronomical and meteorological observations. Another young midshipman on the same expedition was Horatio Nelson.
During the war of American independence he was captured by the French and spent four years as a prisoner. During this time he attracted the attention of the Duke of Bouillon, whose family name was ‘de la Tour d’Auvergne’. The two men became friends and in 1791 he was publicly declared the old duke’s successor to the tiny principality of Bouillon on the French-Belgian border. But sadly before he could claim his inheritance, the French Revolution broke down the old order and the new Prince de Bouillon saw his opportunity for social advancement destroyed.
During the war that followed, d’Auvergne was recalled to the Royal Navy to command the Channel Islands squadron from his headquarters at Mont Orgueil Castle. He was also responsible for the welfare of thousands of refugee French Royalists who had fled to Jersey and he organised a spy network in France supplying arms and money to the ‘Chouan’ rebels in Normandy and Brittany. Over the next 20 years the French Wars changed the map of Europe and by 1815 the tiny principality of Bouillon no longer existed. Broken and bankrupt, d’Auvergne died in London in September 1816, but he was buried with due pomp in St Margaret’s church, Westminster.
D’Auvergne, as a Jerseyman and an adopted Prince, enjoyed a unique social status in the Island. He was an accomplished seaman and a scholar - a talented mathematician with a deep interest in scientific discovery. He held no strong religious beliefs and his library of 4,000 books suggests that he was an intellectual as well as a man of action. His architectural legacy to Jersey, including the Prince’s Tower, show a man up to date with the latest fashions of his day, yet clearly looking back to an idealised medieval past for more than just his architectural inspiration. He aspired to live like a lord, and was able to do so for some years. His obsession with succeeding to the principality of Bouillon cost him everything. His enchantment with royalty and the aristocracy ran throughout his life and its humiliating finale still obscures his genuine achievements.
Philippe d’Auvergne began the construction of the Prince’s Tower in 1792. He developed the site in a very personal and unique way producing the most flamboyant piece of NeoGothic architecture ever built in the island. His design was inspirational and the way in which the medieval chapel and the physical constraints of the site were handled was ingenious. The Prince’s Tower gave the illusion of a miniature castle set on a hilltop. In the middle of the 18th century numerous gothic follies sprang up in the English countryside inspired by medieval castles and monastic architecture. They were mostly decorative features in the grounds of country houses, or built for occasional use such as hunting or banqueting. The Prince’s Tower was different because despite its small size it was, in fact, a gothic country house, complete with essential facilities such as water supply, kitchen, banqueting room, chapel and a pleasure ground.
His choice of medieval-style building, with a circular crenellated tower, may also have been for personal reasons. His adopted family name was ‘de la Tour d’Auvergne’, and the family emblem was a round castellated tower. D’Auvergne only occupied the tower on an occasional basis as his principal base was Mont Orgueil Castle and from 1802 he lived at a house named Bagatelle in St Saviour. He had also recognised the strategic potential of La Hougue Bie and in 1792 he established it as the central nerve of an important Islandwide signalling system. While each station would have been inter-visible with its immediate neighbours, there was only one elevated position from which the entire system could be controlled and that was from the Prince’s Tower.
It was this mast that gave the Prince’s Tower its raison d’être. While there would be no practical justification for erecting a gothic extravaganza on the mound, the site was ideal for a signalling post. Unfortunately when the Prince’s Tower was demolished in 1924, no detailed plans or descriptions were made. Nonetheless, we have been able to use antiquarian illustrations and descriptions, and photographs taken just before it was demolished to help reconstruct its shape and design. Reused elements from around the site and fragments found during the 1990s excavations have also helped give an insight into the high quality of the decoration and furnishings – it seems no expense was spared.
D’Auvergne dramatically altered the medieval chapel. An elaborate gothic doorway led into a tiny but formally planned octagonal entrance hall paved with Swanage limestone, all four corners contained round-headed alcoves which were a popular feature of d’Auvergne’s work. He converted the Jerusalem chapel into a library and inserted large windows to light the room and a fireplace in the north wall. Part of the medieval chapel was kept as a domestic chapel. It was a grand room on a small scale with a large gothic-style window and roundheaded alcoves to display sculptures. The walls were painted in imitation marble and the floor was a chequered (Italian) marble pavement with a special rectangular feature where the altar stood. A stone-paved lobby linked the medieval structure to a new brick-built range on the north side, which was based around an octagonal staircase hall. The spiral stairs led to all parts of the tower and were lit by a series of large quatrefoil windows. The octagon had a flat lead roof.
A dining room, or banqueting hall, was built against the north side of the medieval chapel. It had a crenellated parapet, two large windows in the north wall and a flat lead roof. The stone-paved room had a fireplace in the north-west corner, it measured 5.8 metres by 4 metres and was serviced in the proper manner, with two doors at the eastern end where the ‘buffet’ (a counter for food and drink) was located between the two doors, following the usual Georgian arrangement. A concealed staircase gave access to the kitchen, which was located in the basement. It had a brick-paved floor, large fireplace, oven and a well in the floor – dug when the tower was erected in 1792-3. Some of the foundations still remain buried in the mound today. The medieval chapel crypt may have been used as a cellar or left open as an object of antiquarian curiosity.
A circular three-stage stair-turret was built, literally on top of the medieval chapel’s stone vaulted ceiling, destroying the belfry. Each level had three single-light pointed windows. The top stage had a door opening out onto the roof of a circular tower which was built directly on top of the medieval elliptical rotunda. This main tower had two floors each containing one magnificent round room (4.6 metres diameter). The first-floor room with its panoramic views would have been the drawing room. The second floor room was the bedchamber. Each had three windows north, east and south, two fireplaces and alcoves built into the curving walls. A bowed door still survives and was reused as the entrance to the lodge. The flat, leaded roof of the tower was given a crenellated parapet and had uninterrupted views in all directions. It served initially as a lookout for d’Auvergne’s signal station but may later have been regarded as a tiny prospect room. A flagstaff and weathervane were attached to the turret.
In the first half of the 19th century Jersey had become a fashionable Regency resort and residence for British ex-patriates. Improved road systems and developments in transport together with the aesthetic awareness of the Romantic era all contributed to making La Hougue Bie a popular local beauty spot and tourist attraction. A gate lodge was built in the 1820s in the northeast corner of the site. This rustic thatched cottage functioned as a ticket office where visitors paid their admission charges. It was also a tearoom and the residence for the keeper of the grounds and his family. The grounds, which were extensively planted by d’Auvergne, were now maturing and were adorned with various features such as a ‘bower’ (summer house), nesting boxes for doves, peacocks, wrought iron fences, tree protectors, ornamental arch, stone features (font), urns and seats, flag pole and the mitred figure of a bishop with his hand raised in blessing.
All thanks to Olga Finch, the JHT Curator of Archaeology, for this fascinating piece on the Prince's Tower.
La Hougue Bie delivers a truly memorable experience that is at once thought provoking and peaceful. The site features one of Europe's finest passage graves where you can learn about life in Jersey's Neolithic community 6,000 years ago. A medieval chapel sits on top of the prehistoric mound and dolmen dominating this tranquil and spiritual site. Unlike many other dolmens you can stand inside the chamber of the passage grave and feel the heart of this place of worship. Ancient treasures are waiting to be found in the geology and archaeology museum, including coin hoards, axes, swords and spears. You’ll also discover a command bunker built during the German Occupation, housing a unique memorial to the slave-workers who were brought to the Channel Islands by invading Nazi forces during the Second World War.
In the geology and archaeology museum there is a display relating to the Jersey Mummy. In 1835, John Gosset from Jersey, Channel Islands, took an expedition to Thebes, Egypt, and returned with various artifacts and a mummy (the Jersey Mummy). Unfortunately, he died on the way back in Paris. His father, Isaac Gosset, took over, and brought the mummy to Jersey, where it was housed in a museum in Belmont Road, Saint Helier, along with other Egyptian artifacts, and some Roman and Greek ones as well. The mummy was dated to around 1069-945 BC, the time of King Amunoph III. It was thought to be that of a high priestess, but in 1837, it was carefully unwrapped, and found to be that of a middle aged man, early 40s, about 5 ft 5 in. The museum later closed around 1850, and artifacts were returned to people who had given them for show. Isaac Gosset being dead, the mummy went to a new owner (who the records do not name), presumably the next of kin in the family. He obviously did not care much for a mummy being deposited at his house, because the next we hear about the matter, it is of the mummy having been burnt to ashes somewhere in Longueville, Jersey.
Payment: On arrival, by cash (Sterling or Euros accepted), credit/debit card (not Diners Club or American Express). Organised groups: 15% discount for groups of 6 or more adults or seniors. Entrance and parking: Car park on site. Buses and cycle routes: There is a bus stop outside the main entrance at LHB. LibertyBus run a regular service from Liberty Station, Jersey cycle routes 3 and 8. Refreshments: Hot and cold drinks, snacks and ice creams available. La Hougue Bie has a large picnic area where you can enjoy a day out amongst the beautiful and peaceful surroundings. Gift Shop: The Jersey Heritage gift shop, selling gifts and souvenirs relating to the site and to Jersey, is located on site and is open to visitors and passers by. Guide Book: A souvenir guide book is available to buy on site. Access arrangements: There is limited disabled access at the site. The museum and grounds are wheelchair accessible. Dogs: No dogs allowed, except Guide DogsLa Hougue Bie (Visitor Attraction) has achieved a Gold level in the Green Tourism Scheme , for more information on the scheme please go to the Green Tourism website. Hearing loop available at reception and a portable hearing loop is available for groups if requested in advance.
Location : La Route de la Hougue Bie, Grouville, Jersey JE2 7UA
Transport: Poole Ferry then bus (13). Bus Routes : 13 stops at the museum.
Opening Times: 29 March to 29 October, Daily 10:00 to 17:00; 5 February to 28 March, Sunday, 10:00 to 16:00
Tickets : Adults £8.95; Children (6 - 16) / Students £5.70; Seniors £7.80.
Tel: 01534 853 823