Saint Martin, Jersey
Mont Orgueil is in the parish
Location of Saint Martin in Jersey
|Crown Dependency||Jersey, Channel Islands|
|• Connétable||Michel Le Troquer|
|• Total||10.3 km2 (4.0 sq mi)|
|Area rank||Ranked 6th|
|• Density||370/km2 (950/sq mi)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+01|
Saint Martin (Jèrriais: St Martîn) is one of the twelve parishes of Jersey in the Channel Islands. Historically it was called "Saint Martin le Vieux" to distinguish it from the present day parish of Grouville (historically "Saint Martin de Grouville").
St. Martin is the only parish in Jersey not to conduct its municipal business from a Parish Hall. St. Martin has a Public Hall instead, having accepted money from the States of Jersey to provide an assembly room.
The dolmens at Le Couperon and Faldouet are among the prehistoric remains in the parish. La Pouquelaye de Faldouet features on the reverse of the Jersey ten pence coin (see coins of the Jersey pound) and was the inspiration for the poem Nomen, numen, lumen written by Victor Hugo in 1855 during his exile in Jersey.
The rock known as Le Saut Geffroy, or Geoffroy's Leap, is reputed to be an ancient place of execution where criminals were thrown into the sea. According to folklore, a man named Geffroy was condemned to be thrown into the sea. Remarkably, he survived and climbed back up the cliff face where an argument broke out among the mob of spectators. Some said that sentence had been duly carried out and that Geffroy should go free; others said that sentence had not been properly carried out. To settle the argument, and demonstrate his prowess, Geffroy dived off the rock, but perished on this occasion. Le Saut Geffroy is now preserved by the National Trust for Jersey.
The ancient castle of Mont Orgueil dominates the small harbour and village of Gorey. The castle served as the island's prison until a prison was constructed in St. Helier in the 17th century. Among agitators imprisoned there by the British government were William Prynne and John Lilburne. Until the construction of Elizabeth Castle off St. Helier at the beginning of the 17th century, Mont Orgueil was generally the residence of the Governor of Jersey.
The 600m breakwater at St. Catherine is all that remains of a grandiose harbour project started, but then abandoned, by the British government in the 19th century. It is now a popular site for sea anglers.
St. Martin is one of the remaining strongholds of Jèrriais with a distinctive accent. The area around Faldouet formerly possessed a dialect of its own, known as Faldouais, of which the distinctive feature was the realisation of intervocalic /r/ as /z/. Although the Faldouais dialect is extinct, it has left notable amounts of writings in Jèrriais literature.
The artist Edmund Blampied was born at Ville Brée on 30 March 1886.
This is one of the most agricultural parishes, and one of the most sought after places to live in the island. It has the best herd of Jersey cattle, some of the largest potato growers and a number of small farmers now cultivating the new “Genuine Jersey”, mainly organic, brand.
St. Martin is divided into vingtaines as follows:
- La Vingtaine de Rozel
- La Vingtaine de Faldouet
- La Vingtaine de la Quéruée
- La Vingtaine de l'Église
- La Vingtaine du Fief de la Reine
The Écréhous, small group of rocky islands, are part of the parish of St. Martin.
- Jersey Folk Lore, John H. L'Amy, Jersey 1927
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