Saint Helier

Last updated

Saint Helier
Saint Hélyi  (Norman)
Saint-Hélier  (French)
Saint Helyi panoranmique 2.jpg
Saint Helyi pelerinnage 2011 08.jpg
Jersey Girl sculpture Saint Helier 2010 q.jpg
Jersey Opera House 2013 2.jpg
Saint-Helier - Cenotaph 20160706.jpg
King Street Jersey 2012 2.JPG
Cauchie d'la Ville Saint Helyi Jerri Janvyi 2010 e.jpg
Elizabeth Castle.jpg
Bangneresse du Havre des Pas Jerri Octobre 2009.jpg
Saint Helier
Flag of Saint Helier.svg
Blason ville uk Saint-Helier (Jersey).svg
Nickname(s): 
Town
Saint Helier, Jersey - locator map.svg
Location of Saint Helier in Jersey
Jersey location map EN.svg
Red pog.svg
Saint Helier
Location of Saint Helier in Jersey
Channel Islands location map (+parishes).svg
Red pog.svg
Saint Helier
Saint Helier (Channel Islands)
Coordinates: 49°11′09″N02°06′36″W / 49.18583°N 2.11000°W / 49.18583; -2.11000 Coordinates: 49°11′09″N02°06′36″W / 49.18583°N 2.11000°W / 49.18583; -2.11000
Crown Dependency Jersey
Named for Helier, patron saint of Jersey
Vingtaines
List
  • Vingtaine de la Ville
  • Vingtaine du Rouge Bouillon
  • Vingtaine de Bas du Mont au Prêtre
  • Vingtaine de Haut du Mont au Prêtre
  • Vingtaine du Mont à l'Abbé
  • Vingtaine du Mont Cochon
Government
[1]
   Connétable Simon Crowcroft (Ind.)
Area
  Total10.6 km2 (4.1 sq mi)
Area rank Ranked 5th
Population
 (2018 est.) [2]
  Total37,540
  Density3,500/km2 (9,200/sq mi)
Time zone GMT
  Summer (DST) UTC+01
Postcode district
JE2
Postcode sector
3 and 4
Website www.sthelier.je

St. Helier ( /ˈhɛliər/ ; Jèrriais: Saint Hélyi; French : Saint-Hélier) is one of the twelve parishes of Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands in the English Channel. St. Helier has a population of about 37,540 – roughly one-third of the total population of Jersey – and is the capital of the island.

Contents

The town of St. Helier (commonly referred to by locals as just "town") is the largest settlement and only town of Jersey. The town consists of the built-up areas of St. Helier, including First Tower, and parts of the parishes of St Saviour and St Clement, with further suburbs in surrounding parishes. [3] The greater part of St. Helier is rural.

The parish covers a surface area of 4.1 sq mi (10.6 km2), being 9% of the total land area of the island (this includes reclaimed land area of 494 acres (2.00 km2) or 200  ha). The growth of the town has been described as "spasmodic", its expansion reflecting waves of migration to the island.

The parish arms are two crossed gold axes on a blue background, the blue symbolising the sea, and the axes symbolising the martyrdom of Helier at the hands of Saxon pirates in 555 AD.

History

The Hermitage of St. Helier lies in the bay off St. Helier and is accessible on foot at low tide Hermitage St Helier Jersey.jpg
The Hermitage of St. Helier lies in the bay off St. Helier and is accessible on foot at low tide

Saint

The face of St. Helier as sculpted on the 1978 monument La Croix de la Reine in St. Helier. Saint Helier sculpture.jpg
The face of St. Helier as sculpted on the 1978 monument La Croix de la Reine in St. Helier.

St. Helier is named for Helier (or Helerius), a 6th-century ascetic hermit from Belgium. The traditional date of his martyrdom is AD 555. His feast day, marked by an annual municipal and ecumenical pilgrimage to the Hermitage, is on 16 July.

The medieval hagiographies of Helier, the patron saint martyred in Jersey and after whom the parish and town are named, suggest a picture of a small fishing village on the dunes between the marshy land behind and the high-water mark.

An Abbey of St. Helier was founded in 1155 on L'Islet, a tidal island adjacent to the Hermitage. Closed at the Reformation, the site of the abbey was fortified to create the castle that replaced Mont Orgueil as the island's major fortress. The new Elizabeth Castle was named after the Queen by the Governor of Jersey 1600–1603, Sir Walter Raleigh.

Early St Helier

The land now known as the town of St Helier was once not much more than a low-lying basin consisting of marshy lands and sand dunes (to the west), surrounded by low hills on other sides. There is very little evidence of prehistorical settlement in the St Helier basin; the archaeological site in the parish is an Iron Age dolmen, which used to sit atop Mont de la Ville (the present site of Fort Regent), but which was moved to the house of a former Governor in Henley-on-Thames in the 1780s. It is thought that the site of St. Helier was settled at the time of the Roman control of Gaul. [4]

By 540 AD, the monk Helerius (for whom the parish is named) had settled on the islet in the bay of St Aubin, now part of the parish and the modern-day site of Elizabeth Castle. From this hermitage, the monk converted the island's population to Christianity, but he was killed in 555 AD by seagoing raiders, attempting to defend the island. Therefore, his hermitage took on great spiritual significance. This establishment of Christianity as the principal religion of the islanders brought with it new governmental structures by the end of the 10th century, including the parochial system. It is believed the boundaries of the parish have not much changed since that time. [4]

The Parish Church of St. Helier Parish Church of St Helier Pfarrkirche der Inselhauptstadt - Island of Jersey Kanalinseln United Kingdom Foto 2017 Wolfgang Pehlemann DSC05074.jpg
The Parish Church of St. Helier

The first evidence for the existence of a settlement in St Helier is in the Assize Roll of 1229. However, the parish church, the Town Church, is known to contain features that date to at least the 11th century. [4] Although it is now some considerable distance from the sea, at the time of its original construction it was on the edge of the dunes at the closest practical point to St Helier's Hermitage. Before land reclamation and port construction started, boats could be tied up to the churchyard wall on the seaward side.

It is believed the first residences in St Helier were along the modern-day Hill Street, opposite the church. These would have been simple fishermen's huts, probably constructed from local granite with roofs of thatch. There is some archaeological evidence of 12th-century habitation around Old Street, outwith the medieval town area. Another site of settlement was around the Town Mills at the base of Mont Nerou. Despite not having access to the site, the location of the Abbey and the Town Church led to the village developing into the main town for the insular community. Regular markets were held in the town from at least the 15th century and the Royal Court is recorded to have sat in St Helier from ancient times. The town gained formal recognition by the Privy Council by the mid-16th century. [4]

The street layout of the medieval town is difficult to determine, as there are no detailed street maps. A 1563 map shows a group of buildings huddled behind the town church, with an axis - likely either King Street or the Royal Square - through the centre. It is believed that the Royal Square, which was initially the town's market square, became entirely encircled with buildings by 1550. At this time, the line of King Street and Queen Street were established, extending from Charing Cross (the outlet of Le Grand Douet) and Snow Hill. [4]

St Helier's growth has been marked by waves aligning with waves of migration to the island. The earliest such period of growth for the town seems to be between the Reformation and the Civil War as many French Protestants sought refuge in Jersey, Jersey being a Francophone Protestant state, especially following the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. The first expansion of the old town was to the west. Jurat Helier Hue's lands to the north of Charing Cross were sold and developed as Hue Street and Dumaresq Street. John Seale bought lands near Charing Cross and developed Seale Street. The Vignatine de la Ville officials confirmed their ownership of Mont de la Ville, so developed a new road La Rue des Trois Pigeons (Hill Street) to the south of the Royal Court. [5]

By the start of the 17th century, the town consisted of the modern Royal Square, Hill Street, Regent Road, Church Street, King Street, Queen Street and little else. The eastern gateway to the town was Snow Hill, where the roads from the eastern parishes met, and the western gateway Charing Cross (which led to the market square down Broad Street), where King Street met the sandy plains over which Westerners would travel to come to town. Therefore, King and Queen Streets formed the core axis for St Helier at this time. Approaches to the town included La Motte Street (for St Saviour), Val Plaisant onto Old Street (for the northern parishes and the Town Mill) and St John's Road. The land to the north and southeast of the old town were of considerable value, cultivated as market gardens or planted as orchards. [4]

Improvements to take place during the 17th century included the walling of the Town Church cemetery, the construction of a prison (which arched over Charing Cross) and the paving of important streets. An order of the Royal Court in 1610 led to the improvement of the streets, proprietors being compelled to pave the space before his house to a width of 12 ft (3.7 m), leading to a non-uniform pattern of paving. [4]

18th century

In 1700, the cattle market was moved from Broad Street to a site on the beach, around 60 to 100 yards to the southwest of the churchyard (roughly the site of the Royal Yacht Hotel). It remained here until being relocated to the modern site of Minden Place Car Park in 1841. [4]

La Cohue (a Norman word for courthouse) stood on one side of the Royal Square, now rebuilt as the Royal Court and States Chamber (called collectively the States Building). The market cross in the centre of the square was pulled down at the Reformation, and the iron cage for holding prisoners was replaced by a prison gatehouse at the western edge of town. The road now known as Broad Street served as the coast road for the town and may have also been referred to as La Rue d'Égypte being exposed to wind-blown sand. The Richmond Map of 1795 [6] shows that the town at this period was only a small stub at the foot of Mont de la Ville, consisting of the main thoroughfare (La Rue de Derrière from Charing Cross through to La Colomberie) to the north of the Royal Square, at the time the town market. La Rue du Val and Old St John's Hill were the primary connections up to the north, with La Rue du Val connecting the town to its mill at Grands Vaux. In 1718, John Durell bought a number of St Helier fiefs and constructed a new gated street from King Street to Rue du Val. [5] Maps show that the town experienced a steady increase in densification between 1700 and 1756. [4]

Falle gives an account in the early 18th century of the state of the town

The Town in its present enlarged state, contains about 400 houses, laid out into several wide and well-paved streets. ... The Town is inhabited chiefly by merchants, shop-keepers ... and retailers of liquors; the landed gentlemen generally living upon their estates in the country. In short here is scarce anything wanting for necessity or convenience. Besides the stream running through the place [and literally under some houses] there is farther supply of good water from wells and pumps.

Falle, c. 18th century
The statue of George II in the Royal Square is the zero milestone from which all distances in Jersey are measured George II statue St Helier Jersey.jpg
The statue of George II in the Royal Square is the zero milestone from which all distances in Jersey are measured

George II gave £200 towards the construction of a new harbour – previously boats would be beached on a falling tide and unloaded by cart across the sands. A statue of the king by John Cheere was erected in the square in 1751 in gratitude, and the market place was renamed Royal Square, although the name has remained Lé Vièr Marchi (the old market) to this day in Jèrriais. Many of St. Helier's road names and street names are bilingual English/French or English/Jèrriais, but some have only one name. The names in the various languages are not usually translations: distinct naming traditions survive alongside each other.

The Royal Square was also the scene of the Battle of Jersey on 6 January 1781, the last attempt by French forces to seize Jersey. John Singleton Copley's epic painting The Death of Major Pierson captures an imaginative version of the scene. Following the 1789 French Revolution, many thousands of French refugees settled in Jersey, many aristocratic and most settling in St Helier. This doubled the number of houses in town and its vicinity; many of the tree-lined lanes leading from the town became built up with new houses and streets. [4]

As harbour construction moved development seaward, a growth in population meant that marshland and pasture north of the ribbon of urban activity was built on speculatively. Settlement by English immigrants added quarters of colonial-style town houses to the traditional building stock.

Continuing military threats from France spurred the construction of a citadel fortress, Fort Regent, on the Mont de la Ville, the crag dominating the shallow basin of St. Helier.

19th century

Around 1800, the market was moved from the Royal Square to a new purpose-built and enlarged premises at its current site. This shifted the cultural core of the town out of its old medieval heart, but did not diminish the importance of the old centre, which also saw new works to the waterfront, such as the building of Commercial Buildings. [4] Military roads linking coastal defences around the island with St. Helier harbour allowed farmers to exploit Jersey's temperate micro-climate and use new fast sailing ships and then steamships to get their produce to the markets of London and Paris before the competition. This was the start of Jersey's agricultural prosperity in the 19th century.

In 1855 an obelisk was constructed in Broad Street to commemorate the reformer Pierre Le Sueur, five times elected Constable of St. Helier. The monument was restored in 2005 and the fountains restored to working order. Grand' Rue, Jersey.jpg
In 1855 an obelisk was constructed in Broad Street to commemorate the reformer Pierre Le Sueur, five times elected Constable of St. Helier. The monument was restored in 2005 and the fountains restored to working order.

The Napoleonic Wars brought the threat of war to Jersey's shores, and the island was fortified against French invasion. Martello towers were constructed around the coast (including First Tower in St Helier) and in 1805, the States agreed to sell to the British government Mont de la Ville to site a major fort. The construction of the fort buildings led to a major influx of both people and capital, many of whom came from Ireland and England. The States used the proceeds of the sale of Mont de la Ville to fund improvements to town pavements.

The early 19th century was a period of growth of trade for Jersey. An English Custom House was established in the island in 1810. A key turning point in St. Helier history was the introduction of steamships. Previous to that, travel to the island was long and unpredictable. In the mid-1820s, the post office switched to steam as well. The first paddle steamer to visit Jersey was the Medina on 11 June 1823. In 1824, two shipping companies were established, each operating weekly steamship services to England. [7] :239

This brought thousands of passengers to the town. By 1840, there were 5,000 English residents in Jersey, who some say did not mix well or interact deeply with the native Jèrriais. The number of English-speaking soldiers stationed on the island and the number of retired officers and English-speaking labourers who came to the islands in the 1820s led to the island gradually moving towards an English-speaking culture in St. Helier. This new immigration had a large impact on local architecture, with a number of mainland Georgian-style houses and terraces erected on the main roads out of the town. It also expanded with many new streets, such as Burrard Street, first developed in 1812. In 1831, gas street lighting was first introduced on town roads. [7] :239–40

The rapid growth of St. Helier was one of the most significant changes in the landscape of Jersey during the 19th century. The town developed from a small settlement by the coast to encompassing most of the parish and spreading out into St. Clement and St. Saviour. The expansion of the town mainly happened in the semi-saucer of flat land between Westmount and Mount Pleasant, so there remained a significant rural part of the parish. In 1776, both St. Aubin and St. Helier had had roughly the same size, however by the end of the 19th century, St. Helier was far larger. [8] :42–43 It is estimated that the number of houses by the mid-19th century was 2,600, 2,000 higher than just sixty years prior. [4]

An important growth for St Helier in the early 19th century was the construction of the harbour. Previously, ships coming into the town had only a small jetty at the site now called the English Harbour and the French Harbour. The Chamber of Commerce urged the States to build a new harbour, but the States refused, so the Chamber took it into their own hands and paid to upgrade the harbour in 1790. A new breakwater was constructed to shelter the jetty and harbours. In 1814, the merchants constructed the roads now known as Commercial Buildings and Le Quai des Marchands to connect the harbours to the town and in 1832 construction was finished on the Esplanade and its sea wall. A rapid expansion in shipping led the States in 1837 to order the construction of two new piers: the Victoria and Albert Piers. [7] :242

Pierre Le Sueur, reforming Constable of St. Helier, was responsible for installing sewerage and provision of clean water in St. Helier following outbreaks of cholera in the 1830s. An obelisk with a fountain in the town centre was raised to his memory following his premature death in office from overwork.

In the second half of the 19th century, hundreds of trucks laden with potatoes and other export produce needed access to the harbour. This prompted a programme of road-widening which swept away many of the ancient buildings of the town centre. Pressure for redevelopment has meant that very few buildings remain in urban St. Helier which date to before the 19th century, giving the town primarily a Regency or Victorian character.

Towards the end of the century, in the 1870s, the new Jersey Railway opened, connecting town to the West, with its terminus at the Weighbridge, and a few years later the Eastern Railway, with its terminus at Snow Hill. By this time, the town had three parks: The Parade Gardens, Howard Davis Park and People's Park. Until the opening of the Waterfront and Millenium Parks in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, these parks would be the only three to exist in the town basin. [4]

The expansion of the town during the 19th century also caused an expansion of social facilities, particularly of churches, due to the importance of religion. These 19th century churches include St James' Church (1829), St Mark's Church (1843), Wesley Street Methodist Chapel (1827, rebuilt in 1876) and St Thomas' Catholic Church (1887). [4]

20th century

A statue celebrating the island's liberation from Nazi occupation Liberation sculpture Jersey.jpg
A statue celebrating the island's liberation from Nazi occupation

By the turn of the century, all the large open spaces around St Helier were mostly developed. Most new building involved maximising the density of a plot, joining smaller plots to form larger premises (especially in order to retailize the heart of town). After the First World War, the need for new homes could not be met in the confines of the basin, and with the growth of the motorcar, the roads leading out into the country allowed ribbon development in all directions, along the coast, up over the hills and into neighbouring parishes. In the 1930s, the States constructed the first ever public housing estate in Jersey at Wellington Park. [4]

After the German Occupation of the Channel Islands, St Helier continued to change as a result of renewed tourism industry and Jersey's role as a financial centre. A large change was the unprecedented movement of people around the island thanks to the motor car, but this required higher capacity on the old road network and more parking. [4] In the 1960s, income from the Jersey States Lottery was used to excavate a two-lane road tunnel under Fort Regent, enabling traffic from the harbour to the east coast towns to avoid a tortuous route around the fort.

A number of architecturally and historically significant buildings have been destroyed since the Second World War, including the demolishing of one of the oldest town houses the Manoir de la Motte, located on the corner of Grosvenor and St James Streets, the site where Lt-Governor Corbet surrendered to the French during the Battle of Jersey. A heritage architecture preservation movement grew, partly due to the destruction of a number of historic buildings in the Hue/Dumaresq Street area. This led to increased planning restrictions aimed to preserve the architectural heritage of the town and preservation of the town's character has become a key part of Jersey's national planning policy. [4]

About the same time, the Fort was converted into a major leisure facility and was linked to the town centre by a gondola cableway – closed and demolished in the 1990s. In the 1970s, a programme of pedestrianisation of the central streets was undertaken.

21st century

Liberation Square is now a focal point in the town – the former terminus of the Jersey Railway housed the Jersey Tourism office until 2007.

In 2006, it was reported [9] that the Connétable, with the backing of the Chief Minister of Jersey, was to seek city status for St. Helier.

Governance

The States Chamber, the island's parliamentary building, is located in St. Helier Chambre des Etats de Jersey a Saint-Helier (ete 2019).JPG
The States Chamber, the island's parliamentary building, is located in St. Helier

The parish is a first-level administrative division of the Bailiwick of Jersey, a British Crown dependency. St. Helier is generally considered to be the capital of the Bailiwick, although the island has no de jure capital. It contains the seat of the island's government, the States of Jersey, including the home of the States Assembly and most Government of Jersey offices. Government House, the official residence of the Lieutenant-Governor, however, is located in neighbouring St. Saviour.

States representation

At present, the parish forms four electoral districts for States Assembly elections (although votes from Districts 3 and 4 are combined into one constituency) and elects ten Deputies, as well as eight Senators in an islandwide constituency and the parish's Connétable, who sits in the States ex oficio. The current Deputies for St. Helier are listed below. [10]

Electoral districts of St. Helier
DistrictVigntainesDeputies
Whole parish for Connétable Simon Crowcroft
1Vigntaine de la VilleRussell Labey

Judy Martin

Scott Wickenden

2Vingtaine de Bas du Mont au Prêtre

Vingtaine de Haut du Mont au Prêtre

Carina Alves

Geoff Southern (Reform)

Robert Ward

3Vingtaine du Rouge Bouillon

Vingtaine du Mont à l'Abbé

Steve Ahier

Mike Higgins

Mary Le Hegarat

Richard Rondel

4Vingtaine du Mont Cochon

The Connétable claims St. Helier suffers a "democratic deficit" since St. Helier has a lower proportion of States Members directly representing it than other parishes by population. If the 49 seats in the States were proportioned evenly, St. Helier would have 16 seats. [11] The proposed reform of the States Assembly would mean that St. Helier would gain 3 extra representatives and be split into three districts as follows: [12]

Proposed electoral districts of St. Helier
DistrictVigntainesRepresentatives
SouthVigntaine de la Ville4
CentralVingtaine de Bas du Mont au Prêtre

Vingtaine du Rouge Bouillon

5
NorthVingtaine du Mont Cochon

Vingtaine du Mont à l'Abbé

Vingtaine de Haut du Mont au Prêtre

4

Administration

The Town Hall is the seat of municipal administration Salle Paroissiale de Saint Helier, Jersey.jpg
The Town Hall is the seat of municipal administration

The Parish has its own responsibilities and elections to the Municipality of St. Helier take place to elect honorary officials who fulfil a variety of roles for Parishioners under the overall control of the Constable, two Procureurs du Bien Public and the Parish Assembly.

Five members of the Roads Committee and ten Roads Inspectors are also elected by parishioners and ensure that the roads of the parish are kept in good repair.

The members of the Assessment Committee are elected to agree the rate chargeable to each property in the Parish.

The Accounts Committee are elected to ensure that the accounts of the Parish represent a 'true and fair view' of the state of the Parish finances in order that the Parish Assembly may rely upon the information to set the Parish Rate.

Elected officials are supported by a paid administration within the Parish.

The parish is divided into vingtaines for administrative purposes:

Honorary Police of St. Helier

All parishes of Jersey, including St. Helier, have an Honorary Police force.

Conseil Municipal

The Conseil Municipal is a new municipal council for St. Helier. The idea of creating a council was first floated in 1892, however, the idea was not put into place until November 2019, when it was agreed to establish a Shadow Conseil to trail the idea in 2020. The idea is to help the Parish to deliver the Parish Objectives.

It is composed of:

  • The Constable
  • The Procureurs du Bien Public
  • Roads Committee members
  • One elected youth members
  • Four other members to be elected

Geography

St. Helier is one of the twelve parishes of Jersey and is the most populated of them. It is located on the south coast of the island, on the eastern end of St Aubin's Bay. It covers the majority, and the principal part of, the island's principal settlement (henceforth referred to as "the town"). A large part of the parish is rural.

The town has no clearly defined boundary and does not directly match to any parish boundaries. The 2011 Island Plan defines the built-up area as including a large part of the Southern part of the parish (the contiguous built-up area within the parish, notably excluding parts of Mont à l'Abbé, Le Mont au Prêtre, Grands Vaux and St Andrews), a part of St Saviour (however not the Five Oaks area, despite being part of the contiguous urban area) and the Georgetown-Plat Douet area of St Saviour and St Clement. [13] Most of the town is located on low-lying land, consisting of escarpment and flood plain. [14]

The town's centre is located entirely within the Parish of St. Helier, and mostly consists of the area surrounding the town's high street, King Street and Queen Street. It also contains the Parade Cenotaph, Town Church, Town Hall, Royal Square, Victorian Market, the States Chamber and Liberation Square. The town centre is the central business district for the island, containing the principal retail and finance companies.

The parish has a population of 33,522 [15] and a land area of 10.6 km2, making it the densest parish on the island.

The topography of the parish is one of the most varied. The marshland on which the town is situated is encircled by highlands which protect the town from the worst winds. [5] In the south east of the parish, rising from the plains in the centre of town, there is also Mont de Ville. This divides the Havre des Pas district from the Harbour.

Le Grand Douet runs underneath the parish from the north near Grands Vaux, out near the Underpass (pictured below).

The Waterfront Centre was constructed on land reclaimed in the 1980s. Waterfront Centre.jpg
The Waterfront Centre was constructed on land reclaimed in the 1980s.

Since the 1980s, a significant reclamation project has extended the southern area of St. Helier – the area now known as the Waterfront. The A1 dual carriageway was upgraded and extended, with a new grade-separated roundabout junction, the first in the Channel Islands.

Architecture

The town is not particularly visible from the island's countryside due to the position of the town in a sheltering landscape. The parish has a number of character areas: [14]

Climate

Under the Köppen climate classification, St. Helier has an oceanic climate, however, it exhibits characteristics of a mediterranean climate, with a dry summer trend. [16] St. Helier has cool, wet winters and mild summers with moderate rainfall. Summers on the island tend to be sunnier, but generally cooler than Southern England. January is the coldest month with an average high of 9.5 °C (49.1 °F), and a low of 4 °C (39 °F). August is the warmest month, with an average high of 21 °C (70 °F), and a low of 14 °C (57 °F). December is the wettest month with 111 mm (4.37 in) of rain, and July is the driest month with 37 mm (1.46 in). Snow is rare. Average Sunshine hours are around 1930 annually. In 2016, St. Helier reported the highest temperature in the United Kingdom for that year, reaching 35.2 °C (95.4 °F) on 19 July. [17] St. Helier also set the record for the most sunshine ever reported in one calendar year in the British Isles, at 2340.3 hours in 1893. [18]

Climate data for St Helier, United Kingdom
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °C (°F)9.5
(49.1)
9.7
(49.5)
10.9
(51.6)
13.2
(55.8)
16.6
(61.9)
19.2
(66.6)
21.1
(70.0)
21.2
(70.2)
19.3
(66.7)
15.7
(60.3)
11.9
(53.4)
10.4
(50.7)
14.9
(58.8)
Average low °C (°F)4.3
(39.7)
4.0
(39.2)
5.4
(41.7)
6.6
(43.9)
9.4
(48.9)
11.8
(53.2)
14.0
(57.2)
14.4
(57.9)
12.9
(55.2)
10.6
(51.1)
7.4
(45.3)
5.5
(41.9)
8.9
(48.0)
Average precipitation mm (inches)90.4
(3.56)
73.6
(2.90)
70.8
(2.79)
54.4
(2.14)
52.0
(2.05)
48.6
(1.91)
37.0
(1.46)
45.6
(1.80)
70.3
(2.77)
92.2
(3.63)
107.9
(4.25)
110.5
(4.35)
853.3
(33.61)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)19.015.916.313.312.210.79.910.113.317.019.219.5176.4
Source: World Meteorological Organization (UN) [19]

Demography

A depiction of the Town of St. Helier as it was in 1709 Saint Helier 1709.jpg
A depiction of the Town of St. Helier as it was in 1709

St. Helier is the most populated of Jersey's parishes, with 33,522 residents according to the 2011 census. [15]

Historical population
YearPop.±%
199128,123    
199627,523−2.1%
200128,310+2.9%
201133,522+18.4%

Culture

St. Helier contains cultural facilities at the Jersey Museum, the Maritime Museum, the Jersey Opera House, the Jersey Arts Centre, the performance venue of St James, the sports and entertainment facilities at Fort Regent, the Jersey Library, the library of La Société Jersiaise and the Jersey Archive.

The parish has hosted the Jersey Battle of Flowers carnival since 1902.

Public squares and parks

The Weighbridge

The Fete de Noue Christmas Market in the Weighbridge in 2010 Fete de Noue 2010 xmas market-10.jpg
The Fete dé Noué Christmas Market in the Weighbridge in 2010
A view over the Weighbridge St Helier Waterfront from Fort Regent.jpg
A view over the Weighbridge

The Weighbridge is a public space in the south of town. The modern space consists of three squares, trisected by La Route de la Libération and the Esplanade. The Weighbridge is notable for being the site of the Liberation of Jersey, when British soldiers raised the Union Flag at the Pomme d'Or Hotel, bringing a return to British rule in the island after five years under Nazi occupation.

In 1995, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jersey's liberation from Nazi occupation, and thus 50 years of peace, a sculpture was erected in the focal point for the celebrations when the island was liberated.

The sculpture was originally to depict islanders releasing doves of peace, but this came under fierce criticism, with some islanders remarking that had any doves been on the island during the occupation, they would have been eaten by starving German soldiers. Therefore, the sculpture was revised to show islanders raising the British flag, as they had done on the day of liberation 50 years previous.

The site is on reclaimed land and has served many purposes over the years. The initial weighbridge was constructed in 1825. The town terminus of the Jersey Railway was opened here in 1870. A statue of Queen Victoria was initially located in what is now Weighbridge Place (it has been relocated to Victoria Park at West Park). This area also served as the island's bus terminus until the opening of Liberation Station in 2005. [20]

In the 1990s, Liberation Square was built in front of the Pomme D'Or for the 50th anniversary of Liberation. It features a statue of islanders holding up a Union Flag. The circular forms of the square represent free thought and liberation. There is a moat around the statue representing the sea and twelve representing the parishes of the island. [21]

The Parade

The Parade The parade jersey.JPG
The Parade

The Parade is a wide area in the west of St. Helier, incorporating a park in the centre and roads around most of the edges. The area is home to the Cenotaph and General Hospital. It is known as Les Mielles in Jèrriais, meaning sand dunes. [22]

It was initially a drilling ground for the island's troops. The original hospital building was completed in 1768, but was originally used as barracks. [23] The Cenotaph was constructed in 1923 to commemorate those islanders who lost their lives in the First World War (however has also been expanded to the Second World War), designed by Charles de Gruchy. It is the focal site for Rememebrance Day celebrations on the island. [24] [25]

Millenium Town Park

Millenium Park in 2012 Millennium Town Park Jersey 2012 1.jpg
Millenium Park in 2012

This is the newest park in St. Helier, opened on the site of a former car park in 2013. Its creation was initially agreed in 2000, however, plans stalled due to a lack of funds. [26] The park has water features, sculptures, a playground and an area to play ball games. It also has a cycle path through the centre of it.

The site has contributed to local regeneration, with new developments nearby such as Merchant's Square [27] and the Gas Place development. [28]

Charing Cross

Le Crapaud of Charing Cross Crapaud St Helier Jersey.jpg
Le Crapaud of Charing Cross

Formerly the site of the prison in the 17th century, Charing Cross is a square at the western end of King Street. There is a monument of a Toad ("Le Crapaud"). It was erected in 2004 as part of the commemoration of 800 years of allegiance to the English Crown. On the side, there are inscribed extracts from the Code Le Geyt. Across the road, there is La Croix de la Reine, a cross erected to commemorate the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977. [29] Recently, the Co-operative building on the square was redeveloped, with a new food store and the island's first Premier Inn. [30]

Landmarks

Many places in St. Helier have been formally listed as Sites of Special Interest by the Planning and Environment department of Jersey. [31]

Elizabeth Castle

The castle viewed from the town, with the duck ferry running in its amphibious form Chate Lizabe du Mont es Pendus Jerri.jpg
The castle viewed from the town, with the duck ferry running in its amphibious form

Elizabeth Castle is a 16th-century castle located on a tidal island off the coast of the town. It was constructed to supplement the defence provided by Mont Orgeuil in St Martin. It is now a museum and tourist attraction, administered by Jersey Heritage. It can be accessed by a causeway at low tide, which becomes inundated at high tide, and a duck ferry, which runs on land at low tide and by sea at high tide.

Fort Regent

Fort Regent Fort Regent dome 2.jpg
Fort Regent

Fort Regent is located at the top of the Mont de la Ville. It was initially constructed as a barracks at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. It was decided to develop it into a leisure complex in 1967. There was a cable car that gave access to Fort Regent from Snow Hill, however, it was closed in 1991. There used to be a swimming pool which opened in 1971 however was knocked down in 2020. [32] [33]

A tunnel (A17) was opened under the Fort on 25 February 1970 after seven years of construction. [34] The tunnel links traffic from the east to the west of the island, and allowed for the pedestrianisation of the town centre.

Central Market and Beresford Market

Central Market Central Market St Helier.jpg
Central Market

Central Market, in Beresford Street, St. Helier, is an indoor market which was opened in 1882. [35] It is an official Site of Special Interest, [36] and is popular with tourists and locals. It features Victorian architecture including cast iron structures, and an ornamental fountain in the centre. The market was designed by Thomas Helliwell of Brighouse, Yorkshire, working with Bellamy and Hardy of Lincoln. [37] [38] The market comprises stalls selling flowers, fruit and vegetables, as well as small shops and cafés.

Beresford Market is a separate building next to the Central Market and specialises in fishmongery. [39]

16 New Street

This is an 18th-century Georgian townhouse, with some 19th century additions, which has been renovated by the National Trust for Jersey, and is now operated as a museum. [40] [41]

Transport

The Underpass, near Liberation Square in the south of St. Helier. In the background is the new International Finance Centre. Le Grand Douet runs underneath this road. Underpass, Jersey.jpg
The Underpass, near Liberation Square in the south of St. Helier. In the background is the new International Finance Centre. Le Grand Douet runs underneath this road.

The primary road network in the parish consists of the St. Helier Ring Road (part of which is located in St Saviour) and a series of A roads branching from there to the surrounding parishes, such as Victoria Avenue. Under Fort Regent there is a road tunnel that connects the West and the East of the island together.

The parish is responsible for the upkeep of by-roads (chemins vicinaux) within its boundaries, managed by the Roads Committee. The Government is responsible for main roads. [42]

The parish contains Liberation Station, the bus terminus for the island's public transport network. Every bus route on the island terminates in St. Helier and the parish has bus connections to every settlement on the island. [43] A number of bus services provide a direct connection to Jersey Airport in St Peter.

The parish contains the island's main port, with ferry services to Saint-Malo, Poole and Portsmouth.

Future plans

The St Helier Waterfront area in 2012 Waterfront st helier 2012.JPG
The St Helier Waterfront area in 2012

The Waterfront district of St Helier sits on land reclaimed during the 1980s. Since then, there have been numerous plans aimed at developing the area. The current planning framework covering the area is the Southwest St Helier Planning Framework, published in 2019. The plan aims to improve safety and convenience for pedestrians across La Route de la Libération (which is a road that runs through the area and is grade separated and at some points six lanes wide), including the possibility of an 'iconic bridge'; require major development proposals to have detailed landscaping schemes to enhance open space and secure a mix of uses in the area, including community facilities. [44]

The state-owned Jersey Development Company, who owns much of the land in the area, is managing the redevelopment and has contracted Gillespies, a landscape architecture firm, after a concept design competition. [45] As of June 2021, the proposals include demolishing the existing Waterfront Centre buildings, redesigning the existing Jardins de la Mer and Waterfront Gardens parks, creating new public squares and new single-phase signalised crossings across Route de la Libération. [46]

Twin towns and sister cities

St. Helier is twinned with:

Sport

The parish has a number of sports facilities, including Springfield Stadium (incorporating the island's football pitch), Aquasplash (swimming pool), pétanque pitches, badminton and the Fort Regent leisure centre. Motorsports events take place on roads in the Parish as well as an annual Town Criterium, and the start and finish of the Jersey Marathon.

In 2021, the Government of Jersey published a report Inspiring Active Places Strategy. [49] The strategy will have a total cost of circa £100 million. The plan proposes the removal of sports facilities from Fort Regent by early 2022, which is "beyond the end of its useful life". The report states it is not the best location for health and fitness facilities for St. Helier residents. By the end of 2021, there will therefore be the need to create temporary or alternative facilities to enable sport relocation from Fort Regent.

Springfield will be refurbished to provide better public active facilities and a new town community park, with the single stadium pitch replaced with two smaller 5-a-side pitches by 2026/27. However, in the interim, parts of Springfield will be redeveloped to provide more parking.

The plan includes the reprovision of facilities from Fort Regent. By 2030, a new leisure centre will be constructed in the town centre, on the site of the Waterfront centre. The leases on the current Waterfront development terminate in 2027. It will include a large swimming pool, with minimal spectator provision, and 1,250 m2 (13,500 sq ft) of health and fitness space. This will re-accommodate the Aquasplash facility, which will be demolished, and the current fitness facilities at the Fort. Due to the high-density town centre location, there is the opportunity to construct a three-storey residential site above the facility.

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

Transport in Jersey

Transport in Jersey is primarily through the motor vehicle. The island, which is the largest of the Channel Islands has 124,737 registered vehicles (2016). The island is committed to combatting climate change, having declared a climate emergency, and policy is focused on reducing dependence on the car. The island has a cycle network and bus service. The primary modes of transport for leaving the island are by air or sea.

Saint Saviour, Jersey Jersey parish

St. Saviour is a parish of Jersey in the Channel Islands. It is located directly east of St. Helier. It has a population of 13,580. It has a land surface area of 3.6 square miles and has a very small coastline at Le Dicq.

Saint Clement, Jersey Jersey parish

St. Clement is one of the twelve parishes of Jersey in the Channel Islands. Its parish hall is around 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) south-east of St. Helier. The parish has a population of 9,221 and is the second most densely populated.

Grouville Jersey parish

Grouville is one of the twelve parishes of Jersey in the Channel Islands. The parish is around 3.9 kilometres (2.4 mi) east of St Helier. The parish covers a surface area of 4,354 vergées (7.8 km²). The parish includes the south-east portion of the main island of the Bailiwick of Jersey, as well as the Minquiers islets several miles to the south, and is dominated by the broad sweep of the Royal Bay of Grouville. It borders St. Clement, St. Saviour and St. Martin.

Saint Martin, Jersey Jersey parish

St. Martin is one of the twelve parishes of Jersey in the Channel Islands. It is 5.5 kilometres (3.4 mi) north-east of St Helier. It has an area of 10.3 km2. It has a population of 3,763. The parish covers 10.3 km2 (4.0 sq mi).

Trinity, Jersey Jersey parish

Trinity is one of the twelve parishes of Jersey in the Channel Islands. It is 5.8 kilometres (3.6 mi) north of St Helier. It has a population of 3,156. The parish covers 6,975 vergées. Les Platons in the north of the parish is the highest point in Jersey. The parish borders St John, St Helier, St Saviour and St Martin.

Saint John, Jersey Jersey parish

St. John is one of the twelve parishes of Jersey and is around 7.3 kilometres (4.5 mi) north of St Helier on the north coast of the island. It has a surface area of 8.7 km2. St. John's Village is also the name of the main village in the parish.

Saint Ouen, Jersey Jersey parish

St. Ouen is one of the twelve parishes of Jersey in the Channel Islands. It is around 8.8 kilometres (5.5 mi) north-west of St. Helier. It has a population of 4,097. The parish is the largest parish by surface area, covering 8,525 vergées (15 km2), and is located in part on a peninsula.

Saint Lawrence, Jersey Jersey parish

St. Lawrence is one of the twelve parishes of Jersey in the Channel Islands. It is located 8.0 kilometres (5.0 mi) west of St. Helier. The parish covers 5,258 vergées (9.5 km2) and occupies the centre of the Island. St. Lawrence Village is also the name of a village in the parish.

Vingtaine

A vingtaine is a political subdivision of Jersey. They are subdivisions of the various parishes of Jersey, and one, La Vingtaine de la Ville, in Saint Helier is further divided into two cantons.

Gorey, Jersey Village

Gorey is a village in the parishes of St Martin and Grouville on the east coast of Jersey. The harbour is one of the three main harbours of the island, and is located in St Martin. The main centre of the village is located at Gorey Pier near Mont Orgeuil Castle, a 13th century fortification, in St Martin, while there is a small community with a few shops. The church in the village is known as Gouray Church.

Saint Aubin, Jersey Harbour in Saint Aubins Bay, Jersey

St. Aubin is a town and port in St. Brelade in Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands. It is located on the western end of St. Aubin's Bay, on the south coast of the island, opening out into the Gulf of Saint-Malo.

Parishes of Jersey Administrative district of Jersey in the Channel Islands

The parishes of Jersey are the civil and religious administrative districts of Jersey in the Channel Islands. Jersey has a unitary system of governance and all the powers and administration of the parishes are governed by laws enacted by the States Assembly. All have access to the sea and share a name with their ancient parish churches.

Vingtaine de la Ville

The Vingtaine de la Ville is one of the six vingtaines of Saint Helier in Jersey, and roughly corresponds to the historic town centre and harbours. It is divided into two cantons:

Elizabeth Castle Castle on a tidal island in the parish of Saint Helier, Jersey

Elizabeth Castle is a castle and tourist attraction, on a tidal island within the parish of Saint Helier, Jersey. Construction was started in the 16th century when the power of cannon meant that the existing stronghold at Mont Orgueil was insufficient to defend the Island and the port of St. Helier was vulnerable to attack by ships armed with cannon.

Vingtaine des Quennevais

Vingtaine des Quennevais is the largest of the four vingtaines of the Parish of St. Brélade in Jersey in the Channel Islands.

Bonne Nuit (Jersey) Port

Bonne Nuit is a small natural harbour in the Vingtaine du Nord, Saint John, Jersey, Channel Islands. Both Bonne Nuit in French and Bouonne Niet in Jèrriais mean "good night", referring to the shelter sailors could rely on by overnighting in the harbour. The bay nestles between the headlands of Frémont in the West and La Crête in the East.

Fort Regent

Fort Regent is a 19th-century fortification, and leisure centre, on Mont de la Ville, in St. Helier, Jersey. The fort is in close proximity to the fortified South Hill, Engineers Barracks at La Collette, and overlooks the 16th-century Elizabeth Castle and harbour to the west.

St Helier railway station (Jersey Eastern Railway) Former railway station in Saint Helier, Jersey

St Helier railway station was the terminus of the Jersey Eastern Railway (JER) in Saint Helier, the capital of Jersey in the Channel Islands. Opened in 1874, it was situated in a railway cutting at the base of Mont de la Ville below Fort Regent. The station was referred to as St. Helier to distinguish it from another railway terminus opened by the Jersey Railway in 1873 at the Weighbridge in St Helier. The station was in passenger operation until the line closed in 1929. Today the site is occupied by the Snow Hill car park.

A17 road (Jersey) Road in Jersey, Channel Islands

The A17 road, more commonly known as La Route du Fort, is a road in Jersey, Channel Islands.

References

  1. "Members". Statesassembly.gov.je. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  2. Farnham, Lyndon J. (13 April 2021). Draft Constitution of the States and Public Elections (Jersey) Law 202- (P.17/2021): Second Amendment (P.17/2021 Amd.(2)) – amendment (PDF) (Report). Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  3. "States of Jersey – Revised 2011 Island Plan – 4 Built Environment". consult.gov.je. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 St Helier Urban Character Appraisal: Evolution of Character (PDF) (Report). October 2005.
  5. 1 2 3 Cox, Robin; Garthwaite, Caroline (1983). "A Chronological View of the Growth of St Helier". Annual Bulletin of the Société Jersiaise: 301–.
  6. Richmond, Duke of (1795). Map of Jersey. Jersey.
  7. 1 2 3 Syvret, Marguerite (2011). Balleine's History of Jersey. The History Press. ISBN   978-1860776502.
  8. Kelleher, John D. (1991). The rural community in nineteenth century Jersey (Thesis). S.l.: typescript.
  9. Jersey Evening Post, 5 August 2006
  10. "Results 2018". Vote.je – States of Jersey Elections. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  11. "Constable's Comment: St Helier's Democratic Deficit" (PDF). Town Crier (St. Helier Parish Magazine). February 2021. p. 2.
  12. https://statesassembly.gov.je/assemblypropositions/2020/p.139-2020%20amd(4).pdf [ bare URL ]
  13. "ArcGIS Web Application". www.arcgis.com. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  14. 1 2 Jersey, States of. "Government of Jersey". gov.je. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  15. 1 2 "Jersey Census 2011" (PDF). Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  16. "The Weather in Jersey". Fly Jersey.
  17. "Hottest day of each year from 1875". www.trevorharley.com. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  18. "1949". www.trevorharley.com. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  19. "World Weather Information Service – St Helier". May 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  20. "A history of bus services in Jersey – theislandwiki". www.theislandwiki.org. Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  21. "Saint Helier – Jersey Liberation Sculpture". statues.vanderkrogt.net. Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  22. Dictionnaithe Angliais-Jèrriais : EnglishJèrriais dictionary. Jèrri [Channel Islands]: Don Balleine Trust. 2008. ISBN   978-1-904210-09-2. OCLC   320341131.
  23. "The Parade - theislandwiki". www.theislandwiki.org. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  24. "The Channel Islands and The Great War". www.greatwarci.net. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  25. "The Cenotaph – theislandwiki". www.theislandwiki.org. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  26. "Jersey's Millennium town park opens after 13-year wait". BBC News. 29 October 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  27. "£70million Bath Street project approved". Le Masurier. 18 October 2019. Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  28. "Gas Works Site" . Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  29. Charing Cross (Sign in square). Parish of St Helier. 2020.
  30. "Charing Cross – Jersey | Channel Islands Co-operative". www.channelislands.coop. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  31. "Sites of special interest (SSIs)". Gov.je. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  32. "Fort Regent – theislandwiki". www.theislandwiki.org. Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  33. Taylor, Ed. "Fort Regent pool building to be demolished at a cost of £2.69m". jerseyeveningpost.com. Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  34. "Route du Fort – theislandwiki". www.theislandwiki.org. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  35. Parishes
  36. "Central Market – Flooring". Archived from the original on 25 August 2006.
  37. Jersey Independent and Daily Telegraph – Saturday 15 May 1880 p. 2
  38. "Markets – theislandwiki". www.theislandwiki.org.
  39. "Jersey Markets Information". Thisisjersey.com. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  40. "Historic environment details". Mygov.je. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  41. "16 New Street | The National Trust for Jersey". Nationaltrust.je. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  42. "Parishes – Roads". parish.gov.je. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  43. Liberty Bus Route Map, Winter 2020 http://liberty-admin.nabxtmim3c.eu-west-2.elasticbeanstalk.com/api/v1/files/269/resolve
  44. Southwest St Helier Planning Framework (PDF) (Report). Government of Jersey. December 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  45. "JDC appoints UK landscape architect for St Helier's Waterfront". Channel Eye. 18 August 2020. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  46. "Consultation". St Helier Waterfront. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  47. "St Helier 'twinned' with Madeiran capital Funchal". BBC News. 10 April 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  48. "Trenton twinning tourism boost for Jersey?". Jersey Evening Post. 29 November 2019. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  49. Inspiring Active Places Strategy 2021 (PDF) (Report). Government of Jersey. 2021.
  50. "Sir George Carteret, Baronet | British politician". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 15 October 2020.

General bibliography