Council for the Protection of Jersey's Heritage
Le Hocq

Newsletter 2007 continued...

Forts and Castles - Michael Ginns MBE

The Committee is concerned that converting Archirondel Tower into another holiday let is not appropriate treatment for the penultimate Conway Tower. Although, for the time being, it would only be used as one of the so-called ‘stone tents’ - due to the prohibitive costs of installing mains services-the fact that as a Conway tower its design is unique and that it was heavily modified by the Germans (thus making an 18th century fortification fit for 20th century warfare) makes it worthy of preservation to ensure that both its form and military function can be understood and appreciated by future generations.

Other 18th and 19th century fortifications which have been converted to holiday lets i.e. Fort Leicester (Bouley Bay) and La Crête (Bonne Nuit), would appear to have settled down and are popular with tourists. The concept of converting these fortifications into holiday lets may not appeal to some, but, at least, it generates funds for their upkeep and ensures that the buildings are no longer neglected.

Also popular is the stone tent at Fort Etacquerel (Trinity) which, once in ruinous condition, has been expertly restored and is much sought after. Further stone tents are proposed at Lewis’s Tower and La Tour Carrée, both in St. Ouen’s Bay. Here, again, lack of funding precludes any thought of installing mains services for the time being, although in the longer term, this may well happen and will need watching.

As reported elsewhere no decision has been taken on the planning application at Plémont. Assurances have been given that the Napoleonic guardhouses will be safe if the development goes ahead. However, time, weather and human feet are causing serious erosion to these structures and some remedial work really needs to be carried out, particularly to the guardhouse at the top of the cliff path.

Mont Orgueil Castle - John Mesch

The complete removal of the German artillery command post in the North-East Outworks of Mont Orgueil Castle remains a contentious issue. The historical and archaeological integrity of the castle has not been preserved as required by the Cession of Usufruct. And with the added loss of Archirondel Tower, there will be a complete absence of authentically preserved German fortifications in the East of the Island. The rapid redeployment by the occupying German forces of men, guns and equipment to confront the allies following the Normandy landings constitute an historic event of great importance to the Island. The modifications to these SSI buildings, created at great speed during the final stages of the war, should clearly be restored to the state they were in when the Germans surrendered.

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