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Jethou, island in Channel islands.jpg
Jethou from Herm
Location of Jethou (red) in the Bailiwick of Guernsey
Coordinates 49°27′30″N2°27′45″W / 49.45833°N 2.46250°W / 49.45833; -2.46250 Coordinates: 49°27′30″N2°27′45″W / 49.45833°N 2.46250°W / 49.45833; -2.46250
Archipelago Channel Islands
Adjacent bodies of water English Channel
Area44 acres (18 ha)
Jurisdiction Guernsey
Population1 (Isaac Thompson) (2020)
Additional information
MottoVigilare et admonere
Official nameHerm, Jethou and The Humps
Designated19 October 2015
Reference no.2277 [1]

Jethou ( /ʒɛˈt/ zheh-TOO) is a small island that is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey in the Channel Islands. It is privately leased, and not open to the public. Resembling the top of a wooded knoll it is immediately south of Herm and covers approximately 44 acres (18 ha).



There is evidence of flint manufacturing in an area exposed only at low water between the island and Crevichon which shows occupation around 10,000 BC. [2] It is said that in AD 709 a storm washed away the strip of land that connected the island with Herm. [3]

The Vikings called the island Keitholm. [4] The island's current name contains related the Norman -hou suffix, meaning small island or small hill.

In 1416, it became part of Henry V's estate and still remains Crown property, now leased to the States of Guernsey.

On the top is a marker. It is said that in earlier times, pirates were hanged on it with chains, as on nearby Crevichon.

Modern history

An aerial shot showing Jethou centre right next to its bigger neighbour Herm, with Sark in the background and the east coast of Guernsey. Herm, Sark and Jethou.jpg
An aerial shot showing Jethou centre right next to its bigger neighbour Herm, with Sark in the background and the east coast of Guernsey.

In 1867 Lt Colonel Montague Fielden became tenant. However he was discovered using the island as a storehouse for smuggling brandy from France. [4]

From 1920 to 1923 it was leased by the Scottish novelist Compton MacKenzie along with Herm and remained part of that estate for years, although it is currently part of a different one. [4]

From September 1964 until December 1971 the island was occupied by the Faed family consisting of Mr Angus Faed, his wife Susan Faed and their four children, Colin, Erik, Colette and Amanda. Mrs. Susan Faed was the 22nd tenant of Jethou. [4]

In the 1950s and 60s the island was open to the public. During that period stamps were issued. Local stamps on the Bailiwick of Guernsey were banned on 1 October 1969, and the Isle of Jethou was closed to the public from 1970. [5]

In 1972, Charles Hayward, founder of the Firth Cleveland Group of Companies, purchased the Crown tenancy of the island and lived there with his wife Elsie Darnell George until Sir Charles's death in 1983.

It is flanked by two islets, Crevichon to the north and Fauconniere to the south. There is one house on the island and two cottages as well as a large garage where vehicles such as quad bikes and tractors are stored.

In 1996 the island was leased by Sir Peter Ogden of IT company Computacenter. [6]

It was recognised in 2016 as an area of international environmental importance under the Ramsar Convention. [7]


Unlike the largely autonomous islands of Sark and Alderney within the Bailiwick, Jethou is administered entirely by the States of Guernsey, [8] and elects members to the States of Deliberation as part of the St. Peter Port South electoral district. [9]


At the back (east) of Jethou, puffins can be seen swimming off the rocks.

The British 1957 musical Free as Air by Dorothy Reynolds and Julian Slade was set on the fictitious island of 'Terhou', which was based on Jethou.

Mary Gentle's 2007 novel Ilario: The Stone Golem has a villainous noblewoman exiled to a convent in Jethou.

See also

Related Research Articles

Channel Islands Archipelago in the English Channel

The Channel Islands are an archipelago in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. They include two Crown dependencies: the Bailiwick of Jersey, which is the largest of the islands; and the Bailiwick of Guernsey, consisting of Guernsey, Alderney, Sark, Herm and some smaller islands. They are considered the remnants of the Duchy of Normandy and, although they are not part of the United Kingdom, the UK is responsible for the defence and international relations of the islands. The Crown dependencies are not members of the Commonwealth of Nations nor of the European Union. They have a total population of about 170,499, and the bailiwicks' capitals, Saint Helier and Saint Peter Port, have populations of 33,500 and 18,207, respectively.

Herm island which is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey in the Channel Islands

Herm is one of the Channel Islands and part of the Parish of St Peter Port in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. It is located in the English Channel, north-west of France and south of England. It is 2.183 kilometres (1.4 mi) long and under .873 kilometres (0.5 mi) wide; orientated north–south, with several stretches of sand along its northern coast. The much larger island of Guernsey lies to the west and Jersey to the south-east, and the smaller island of Jethou is just off the south-west coast.

Lihou A small tidal island, on the west coast of Guernsey, Channel Islands

Lihou is a small tidal island located just off the west coast of the island of Guernsey, in the English Channel, between Great Britain and France. Administratively, Lihou forms part of the Parish of St. Peter's in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, and is now owned by the parliament of Guernsey, although there have been a number of owners in the past. Since 2006, the island has been jointly managed by the Guernsey Environment Department and the Lihou Charitable Trust. In the past the island was used by locals for the collection of seaweed for use as a fertiliser, but today Lihou is mainly used for tourism, including school trips. Lihou is also an important centre for conservation, forming part of a Ramsar wetland site for the preservation of rare birds and plants as well as historic ruins of a priory and a farmhouse.

Brecqhou islet in the Channel Islands, a dependency of the UK Crown

Brecqhou is one of the Channel Islands, located just to the west of Sark. Brecqhou is politically part of both Sark and the Bailiwick of Guernsey. It has been established in the courts that Brecqhou is a tenement of Sark. The Ministry of Justice, the department of the United Kingdom government with responsibility for the Channel Islands, considers Brecqhou part of Sark.

Crown dependencies Self-governing possessions of the British crown

The Crown dependencies are three island territories off the coast of Great Britain that are self-governing possessions of the Crown: the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the Bailiwick of Jersey and the Isle of Man. They do not form part of either the United Kingdom or the British Overseas Territories. Internationally, the dependencies are considered "territories for which the United Kingdom is responsible", rather than sovereign states. As a result, they are not member states of the Commonwealth of Nations. However, they do have relationships with the Commonwealth, the European Union, and other international organisations, and are members of the British–Irish Council. They have their own teams in the Commonwealth Games. They are not part of the European Union (EU), although they are within the EU's customs area. The Isle of Man is within the EU's VAT area.

Bailiwick of Guernsey British Crown dependency consisting of several islands

The Bailiwick of Guernsey is one of three Crown dependencies.

A bailiwick is usually the area of jurisdiction of a bailiff, and once also applied to territories in which a privately appointed bailiff exercised the sheriff's functions under a royal or imperial writ.

Languages of the Bailiwick of Guernsey languages of a geographic region

The linguistic situation of the Bailiwick of Guernsey is quite similar to that of Jersey, the other Bailiwick in the Channel Islands. English is the official language, French is used for administration, there are several varieties of Norman language used by a minority of the population, and Portuguese is spoken by immigrants in the workforce.

Crevichon island in Guernsey

Crevichon is an islet off the west coast of Herm, immediately to the north of Jethou, in the Channel Islands

Parishes of Guernsey main administrive subdivision of Guernsey

The Bailiwick of Guernsey includes the island of Guernsey and other islands such as Alderney, Sark, Herm, Jethou, Brecqhou, and Lihou. Each parish was established, probably in the 11th century, as a religious area, each having its parish church. Administratively each parish is now administered by an elected council known as a Douzaine.

Outline of Guernsey Overview of and topical guide to Guernsey

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Guernsey:

This page list topics related to the Bailiwick of Guernsey, including Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and smaller islands.

Guernsey Ambulance and Rescue Service organization

Guernsey Ambulance and Rescue Service is the ambulance and rescue service of Guernsey, the second largest of the Channel Islands, and also provides these services to other islands within the Bailiwick of Guernsey, both those directly governed, and those that are semi-autonomous dependencies of Guernsey. It is operated as a private company, but is a subsidiary of the Venerable Order of St John.

Postage stamps and postal history of Guernsey

The first postal service took place using mail sent with captains of packet ships, using agents in the England and in the islands for the end delivery. The cost was normally 3d. The first pillar boxes in Britain were introduced in the Channel Islands as an experiment in 1852, to collect mail for the Royal Mail packet boats. The oldest pillar box in use in the British Isles is in Guernsey.

Bréhon Tower sea fort in Guernsey

The Bréhon Tower is accessible only by boat and sits on Bréhon rock, an island in the Little Russell channel about 1.5 km northeast of St Peter Port, Guernsey, between the port and the islands of Herm and Jethou. Thomas Charles de Putron (1806–1869) built the oval tower of granite from Herm, completing the work in 1857.

External relations of Guernsey

The Bailiwick of Guernsey is a British Crown dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy. As a bailiwick, Guernsey embraces not only all ten parishes on the Island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Alderney and Sark – each with their own parliament – and the smaller islands of Herm, Jethou and Lihou. Although its defence is the responsibility of the United Kingdom, the Bailiwick is not part of the United Kingdom, but, as its description suggests, a possession of the Crown. Consequently, though it lies within the Common Travel Area, it is not part of the European Union.

Archaeology of the Channel Islands

Archaeology is promoted in Jersey by the Société Jersiaise and by Jersey Heritage. Promotion in the Bailiwick of Guernsey being undertaken by La Société Guernesiaise, Guernsey Museums, the Alderney Society with World War II work also undertaken by Festung Guernsey.


  1. "Herm, Jethou and The Humps". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. Cataroche, Jenny. The History and Archaeology of Jethou. L&C Press. ISBN   9781904332374.
  3. Archived August 16, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Jethou History". BBC. 22 April 2008.
  5. Anders Backman. "Stamps issued from 1960 to 1969". silverdalen stamps (SE). Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  6. Graham, Bob (30 January 1996). "When killers came to a rich man's playground". The Independent . Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  7. "Herm and Jethou get Ramsar status". Guernsey Press. 28 January 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  8. Archived 17 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  9. Archived 30 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine