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Industrial Heritage Wartime Heritage Maritime Heritage

Heritage

The islands that dot the British coastline have a unique and varied heritage and are packed with fascinating landmarks that incude ancient castles, museums and stately homes which bring the past to life for many thousands of visitors each year.

Castles & monuments

Dramatically situated and crammed with history, some of Britain's finest coastal castles can be found on our featured islands.
Elizabeth Castle, which sits on a rocky islet in Jersey's St Aubin's Bay, has defended the island for more than 300 years and is the perfect place to explore the island's history. Mont Orgeuil in Gorey protected Jersey for over 600 years agains French invasion and brings history to life with a network of staircases, towers and secret rooms.

Guernsey's ancient royal fortress, Castle Cornet, has stood guard over the town and harbour of St Peter Port for nearly eight centuries. Castle Rushen, on the Isle of Man, is one of Europe's best preserved castles and where you can find out how the kings and lords of Mann lived; while at Peel Castle in the west of the island you can follow in the footsteps of Christian missionaries and Viking warriors.

Fortifications on the Isle of Wight include Carisbrooke Castle which dates from Norman times, while Yarmouth Castle, the Needles Old Battery and Fort Victoria will appeal to military historians.

Wartime History

The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by Nazi forces during World War II. The Jersey War Tunnels or Guernsey's German Military Underground Hospital and Occupation Museum are evocative reminders of this turbulent time in the islands' past. Alderney also has its share of fortifications to explore while Sark also has tunnels to be seen. On 9th May each year, the Channel Islands celebrate Liberation Day with a variety of events, parades and entertainment.

Abbeys & Churches

You'll discover a variey of historic churches and chapels scattered across all the islands. The Little Chapel on Guernsey is modelled on the shrine at Lourdes and is quirkily decorated in shells and pottery. Rushen Abbey on the Isle of Man offers an insight into Abbey life through the ages, from the 1180s to the present day.
On the Isles of Scilly the world-famous sub-tropical Tresco Abbey Garden has the remains of a Benedictine Abbey founded in 964AD.

THE GUERNSEY HERITAGE FESTIVAL 2018

This popular festival returns for its fifth year and 2018 shines a spotlight on life in the Bailiwick of Guernsey under German rule and the island's
subsequent liberation from the Occupying forces. During WW2, Guernsey and its sister islands were occupied for five long years. Hear first-hand tales of what life was like during that period and how day to day life carried on. The festival will feature guided walks and cycle rides, events at prominent heritage sites and museums, talks and family fun days and exclusive access into some of the Guernsey's unique landmarks which have left
a permanent reminder of the Occupation on the island.