Jersey History - 800 Years' Independence

The year of 1204 is an important one in the history of Jersey. It was the year in the generally troubled reign of King John of England, that he lost possession of the continental Duchy of Normandy to the French king.

That year of 1204 can be said to be when the Channel Islands, including Jersey, started along a road which would ultimately give them extensive independence from Britain. Discover the roots of Jersey’s modern history in the Norman period when as part of the Duchy of Normandy, it was ruled by the Dukes of Normandy, who also were the kings of England. And when King John lost continental Normandy, but managed to retain the Channel Islands, a new front-line was drawn on the European map which was a battlefield or threatened with invasion by the French for the next 650 years.

This period of conflict had a lasting impact on Jersey in that needed to be governed in a way which took account of these threats. There was also a requirement that the people of Norman stock should retain their allegiance with the English Crown. Our laws are correspondingly different from those in Britain, as the Channel Islands had never been incorporated into any county or part of England or later Great Britain. That later fact, together with our unique history, our loyal but resilient citizens and our geography, have created the Jersey that we enjoy today and given it its independence.

Our history and archaeology tours cover the whole of Jersey’s history, and being more general in nature, are suitable for all, whatever interests you may have. And at the same time, join us to enjoy Jersey’s beautiful scenery!

Our tour “Jersey History – 800 Years’ Independence” explores Jersey’s unique history and its glorious scenery which has in many ways been shaped by that history. You can book this tour as a Private Half Day Tour. Please view the Calendar to check dates, time and availability on Private Tours.

Please see the separate Places section below to see some of the locations which are included in these tours.

(Page image is the masts of the old military Signal Station at Fort Regent, St Helier decked out with all the flags to celebrate a special flag day such as Liberation Day or a member of the Royal Family’s birthday)

You can also Click the Map icon (below main image in grey bar to the right) to view locations and see further information

History Alive’s and Jersey Military Tours are devised in a way to give our guests an overall and enjoyable experience which means that we won’t always follow the same route or stop at all the above locations. This also gives us the ability to make changes either to take advantage of, or to mitigate against, factors such as weather or other delays which might affect timing. On full day tours, we stop at lunch times where refreshments/food can be purchased, and on all tours, we will stop as necessary for refreshments and comfort breaks.

Our Tours are a combination of a coach tour and exploring the sites on foot, so please refer to the Level of Fitness required to enjoy these Tours. For that, and for what’s included in these Tours and Prices, as well as Pick-Up points for the Tours, please see Information below

We offset our carbon footprint for each tour and additionally match it with a donation towards seagrass conservation


Places in Jersey History – 800 Years’ Independence

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