La Hougue Bie

La Hougue Bie is the original Jersey tourist attraction, built six thousand years ago by neolithic man as a ritual site. The Ritual site, a passage grave is still is one of the largest and most well preserved passage graves in North Eastern Europe. This passage grave was also used for rituals other than just burial and can be regarded as something close to a neolithic church. This site was first excavated in 1924 but was further investigated in the 1970’s and particularly well studied between 1991 and 1995 which established the understanding of the neolithic passage grave we have today.

Entrance to Neolithic Passage Grave

Entrance to Neolithic Passage Grave

The use of the site as a special site of spiritual significance continued right through history and a Chapel was built on top of the mound in the late 12th century. This chapel still has late 12Th century walls as well as additions from the 16Th, 17Th, 18Th and 20Th Century.

Neolithic Passage Grave

Neolithic Passage Grave

In 1792 Philippe d’Auvergne built a tower which stood over the chapel which was known as The Princes Tower. He also turned the area into a pleasure garden as was the fashion in this era. This tower stood till 1924 when it was demolished.

Princes Tower

Princes Tower

Guide books from 1830 till the end of the century recommend visiting Princess Tower Hotel (as it was then known) which had a reputation till the middle of the nineteenth century as a place to party and enjoy life.

Museum at La Hougue Bie

Museum at La Hougue Bie

Today La Hougue Bie is part of the Jersey Heritage Trust and houses an Archaeology and geology museum as well as a unique record of the second world war in Jersey including a memorial to the forced workers who were brought to Jersey from occupied Europe by the Nazi’s to build fortifications.

Memorial to forced slave workers

Memorial to forced slave workers

As a place to educate and amuse a family there are very few other places where the heritage, history and archaeology are as well displayed and/or explained  as La Hougue Bie.

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