On the cliffs of Les Landes which are the most north-westerly part of Jersey there is the ruins of a roughly built castle called Grosnez castle. This Castle was built between AD 1328 and 1330 on the orders of Sir John des Roches.
“Grosnez” means ‘big nose” in modern Jersey/French Patois or “great headland” (from the Norse word “ness”). Built on a clifftop 200 ft (~ 60 m) above the sea means that on three sides it is this fortification is protected by the landscape.
Grosnez Castle was built to protect Jersey from the French It was never intended to hold out agaimst a siege as the nearest spring is 200 metres away.
The castle was captured in 1468 it is recorded as being in ruins in 1540. It is thought that most of the stone that was robbed out was used to build St. Ouen”s Manor. In 1806, a naval signal station was established at Grosnez to send atoledo.com messages to Guernsey.
What remains of Grosnez Castle today is a gatehouse separated from the mainland by a big ditch and a section of wall.
Grosnez Castle is on public land so you can visit it anytime and the sunsets here are breathtaking.
Jersey Fifty Pence Coin
Grosnez Castle is depicted on the reverse of the Jersey 50 pence coin.