Guernsey

Guernsey

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Guernsey, officially the Bailiwick of Guernsey (icon ; , bajaʒ də ɡɛʁnəzɛ) is a British Crown dependency
Crown dependency
The Crown Dependencies are British possessions of the Crown, as opposed to overseas territories of the United Kingdom. They comprise the Channel Island Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey in the English Channel, and the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea....

 in the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

 off the coast of Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

.

The Bailiwick
Bailiwick
A bailiwick is usually the area of jurisdiction of a bailiff, and may also apply to a territory in which the sheriff's functions were exercised by a privately appointed bailiff under a royal or imperial writ. The word is now more generally used in a metaphorical sense, to indicate a sphere of...

, as a governing entity, embraces not only all 10 parishes on the Island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Herm
Herm
Herm is the smallest of the Channel Islands that is open to the public and is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. Cars are banned from the small island just like its Channel Island neighbour, Sark. Unlike Sark, bicycles are also banned...

, Jethou
Jethou
Jethou 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.It is immediately south of Herm and has an area of approximately .-History:...

, Burhou
Burhou
Burhou is a small island approximately 1.4 miles northwest of Alderney that is part of the Channel Islands. It has no permanent residents, and is a bird sanctuary, so landing there is banned from March 15 to July 27...

, and Lihou
Lihou
Not to be confused with Lihou Reef National Nature ReserveLihou is a small tidal island that is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, Channel Islands. It lies off the west coast of Guernsey and is the most westerly point in the Channel Islands. Coordinates: . The island was bought by the States of...

 and their islet possessions. The Bailiwick of Guernsey also administers some aspects of two nearby crown dependencies (Alderney
Alderney
Alderney is the most northerly of the Channel Islands. It is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a British Crown dependency. It is long and wide. The area is , making it the third-largest island of the Channel Islands, and the second largest in the Bailiwick...

 and Sark
Sark
Sark is a small island in the Channel Islands in southwestern English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. It is a royal fief, geographically located in the Channel Islands in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, with its own set of laws based on Norman law and its own parliament. It has a population...

), and the island of Brecqhou
Brecqhou
Brecqhou is one of the Channel Islands and part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. It is located just west of Sark and has a surface area of approximately...

.

Although its defence is the responsibility of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, the Bailiwick of Guernsey is not part of the UK; and while it participates in the Common Travel Area
Common Travel Area
The Common Travel Area is a passport-free zone that comprises the islands of Ireland, Great Britain, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The area's internal borders are subject to minimal or non-existent border controls and can normally be crossed by Irish and British citizens with only...

, it is not part of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

.

The Bailiwick of Guernsey is included (along with the Bailiwick of Jersey
Jersey
Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France. As well as the island of Jersey itself, the bailiwick includes two groups of small islands that are no longer permanently inhabited, the Minquiers and Écréhous, and the Pierres de Lecq and...

) in the grouping known as the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
The Channel Islands are an archipelago of British Crown Dependencies in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. They include two separate bailiwicks: the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey...

.

Etymology


The name of Guernsey, as that of neighbouring Jersey
Jersey
Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France. As well as the island of Jersey itself, the bailiwick includes two groups of small islands that are no longer permanently inhabited, the Minquiers and Écréhous, and the Pierres de Lecq and...

, is of Old Norse
Old Norse
Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300....

 origin.
The second element of Guernsey (-ey) is the Old Norse for "island". The first element is uncertain, traditionally taken to mean "green," but perhaps rather representing an Old Norse personal name, possibly Grani's.

History


Rising sea levels caused by prehistoric global warming transformed Guernsey from being the tip of a peninsula
Peninsula
A peninsula is a piece of land that is bordered by water on three sides but connected to mainland. In many Germanic and Celtic languages and also in Baltic, Slavic and Hungarian, peninsulas are called "half-islands"....

 jutting out into the emergent English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

 around 6000 BC, into an island when it and other promontories were cut off from continental Europe
Continental Europe
Continental Europe, also referred to as mainland Europe or simply the Continent, is the continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European islands....

.

At this time, Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 farmers settled the coasts and built the dolmen
Dolmen
A dolmen—also known as a portal tomb, portal grave, dolmain , cromlech , anta , Hünengrab/Hünenbett , Adamra , Ispun , Hunebed , dös , goindol or quoit—is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of...

s and menhir
Menhir
A menhir is a large upright standing stone. Menhirs may be found singly as monoliths, or as part of a group of similar stones. Their size can vary considerably; but their shape is generally uneven and squared, often tapering towards the top...

s that dot the islands. The island of Guernsey contains three sculpted menhirs
Statue menhir
A statue menhir is a type of carved standing stone created during the later European Neolithic.The statues consist of a vertical slab or pillar with a stylised design of a human figure cut into it, sometimes with hints of clothing or weapons visible....

 of great archaeological interest; the dolmen known as L'Autel du Dehus also contains a dolmen deity known as Le Gardien du Tombeau.

During their migration to Brittany
Brittany
Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

, the Britons occupied the Lenur Islands (former name of the Channel Islands including Sarnia or Lisia (Guernsey) and Angia (Jersey). It was formerly thought that the island's original name was Sarnia, but recent research indicates that might have been the Latin name for Sark
Sark
Sark is a small island in the Channel Islands in southwestern English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. It is a royal fief, geographically located in the Channel Islands in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, with its own set of laws based on Norman law and its own parliament. It has a population...

; although Sarnia remains the island's traditional designation. Coming from the Kingdom of Gwent, Saint Sampson
Samson of Dol
Saint Samson of Dol was a Christian religious figure who is counted among the seven founder saints of Brittany. Born in southern Wales, he died in Dol-de-Bretagne, a small town in north Brittany.-Life:...

 (abbot of Dol
Dol-de-Bretagne
Dol-de-Bretagne , cited in most historical records under its Breton name of Dol, is a commune in the Ille-et-Vilaine département in Brittany in north-western France.-History:...

, in Brittany) is credited with the introduction of Christianity to Guernsey.

In 933 the islands, formerly under the control of William I, then Duchy of Brittany were annexed by the Duchy of Normandy
Duchy of Normandy
The Duchy of Normandy stems from various Danish, Norwegian, Hiberno-Norse, Orkney Viking and Anglo-Danish invasions of France in the 9th century...

. The island of Guernsey and the other Channel Islands represent the last remnants of the medieval Duchy of Normandy.
In the islands, Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

's traditional title as head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 is Duke of Normandy
Duke of Normandy
The Duke of Normandy is the title of the reigning monarch of the British Crown Dependancies of the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey. The title traces its roots to the Duchy of Normandy . Whether the reigning sovereign is a male or female, they are always titled as the "Duke of...

.

During the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 the island was repeatedly attacked by continental pirates and naval forces, especially during the Hundred Years War when the island was occupied by the Capetians
Capetian dynasty
The Capetian dynasty , also known as the House of France, is the largest and oldest European royal house, consisting of the descendants of King Hugh Capet of France in the male line. Hugh Capet himself was a cognatic descendant of the Carolingians and the Merovingians, earlier rulers of France...

 on several occasions, the first being in 1339
English Channel naval campaign, 1338-1339
The English Channel naval campaign of the years 1338 and 1339 saw a protracted series of raids conducted by the nascent French navy and numerous privately owned raiders and pirates against English towns, shipping and islands in the English Channel which caused widespread panic, damage and financial...

.

In 1372 the island was invaded by Aragon
Aragon
Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

ese mercenaries under the command of Owain Lawgoch
Owain Lawgoch
Owain Lawgoch, , full name Owain ap Thomas ap Rhodri , was a Welsh soldier who served in Spain, France, Alsace and Switzerland. He led a Free Company fighting for the French against the English in the Hundred Years' War...

 (remembered as Yvon de Galles), who was in the pay of the French king. Lawgoch and his dark-haired mercenaries were later absorbed into Guernsey legend as an invasion by fairies from across the sea.
During the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

, Guernsey sided with Parliament
Roundhead
"Roundhead" was the nickname given to the supporters of the Parliament during the English Civil War. Also known as Parliamentarians, they fought against King Charles I and his supporters, the Cavaliers , who claimed absolute power and the divine right of kings...

, while Jersey remained Royalist
Cavalier
Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I and son Charles II during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration...

. Guernsey's decision was mainly related to the higher proportion of Calvinists and other Reformed churches, as well as Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

's refusal to take up the case of some Guernsey seamen who had been captured by the Barbary corsairs
Barbary corsairs
The Barbary Corsairs, sometimes called Ottoman Corsairs or Barbary Pirates, were pirates and privateers who operated from North Africa, based primarily in the ports of Tunis, Tripoli and Algiers. This area was known in Europe as the Barbary Coast, a term derived from the name of its Berber...

. The allegiance was not total, however; there were a few Royalist uprisings in the southwest of the island, while Castle Cornet
Castle Cornet
Castle Cornet is a large island castle in Guernsey, and former tidal island, also known as Cornet Rock or Castle Rock, which has been part of one of the breakwaters of St Peter Port's harbour, the main one in the island, since 1859.- Geography :...

 was occupied by the Governor, Sir Peter Osborne
Peter Osborne (1584-1653)
Sir Peter Osborne , of Chicksands in Bedfordshire, was an English administrator and Member of Parliament, who was Royal Governor of Guernsey during the English Civil War....

, and Royalist troops. Castle Cornet, which had been built to protect Guernsey, was turned on by the town of St. Peter Port, who constantly bombarded it. It was the last Royalist stronghold to capitulate, in 1651, and was also the focus of a failed invasion attempt by Louis XIV of France in 1704.

During the wars with France and Spain during the 17th and 18th centuries, Guernsey shipowners and sea captains exploited their proximity to mainland Europe, applying for Letters of Marque
Letter of marque
In the days of fighting sail, a Letter of Marque and Reprisal was a government licence authorizing a person to attack and capture enemy vessels, and bring them before admiralty courts for condemnation and sale...

 and turning their merchantmen
Cargo ship
A cargo ship or freighter is any sort of ship or vessel that carries cargo, goods, and materials from one port to another. Thousands of cargo carriers ply the world's seas and oceans each year; they handle the bulk of international trade...

 into privateer
Privateer
A privateer is a private person or ship authorized by a government by letters of marque to attack foreign shipping during wartime. Privateering was a way of mobilizing armed ships and sailors without having to spend public money or commit naval officers...

s.

By the beginning of the 18th century Guernsey's residents were starting to settle in North America. The 19th century saw a dramatic increase in prosperity of the island, due to its success in the global maritime trade, and the rise of the stone industry. One notable Guernseyman, William Le Lacheur
William Le Lacheur
William Le Lacheur , was a Guernsey sea captain who played an important role in the economic and spiritual development of the Central American country of Costa Rica....

, established the Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

n coffee trade with Europe.

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 approximately 3,000 island men served in the British Expeditionary Force. Of these, about 1,000 served in the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry
Royal Guernsey Light Infantry
Royal Guernsey Light Infantry was a regiment in the British Army that was formed from the Royal Guernsey Militia in 1916 to serve in World War I. They fought as part of the British 29th Division...

 regiment which was formed from the Royal Guernsey Militia in 1916.

The Bailiwick of Guernsey was occupied by German troops
Occupation of the Channel Islands
The Channel Islands were occupied by Nazi Germany for much of World War II, from 30 June 1940 until the liberation on 9 May 1945. The Channel Islands are two British Crown dependencies and include the bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey as well as the smaller islands of Alderney and Sark...

 in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Before the occupation, many Guernsey children were evacuated to England to live with relatives or strangers during the war. Some children were never reunited with their families.


During the occupation, some people from Guernsey were deported by the Germans to camps in the southwest of Germany, notably to Biberach an der Riß
Biberach an der Riß
Biberach is a town in the south of Germany. It is the capital of Biberach district, in the Upper Swabia region of the German state of Baden-Württemberg...

 and interned in the Lindele Camp ("Lager Lindele"). There was also a concentration camp built in Alderney
Alderney
Alderney is the most northerly of the Channel Islands. It is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a British Crown dependency. It is long and wide. The area is , making it the third-largest island of the Channel Islands, and the second largest in the Bailiwick...

 where forced labourers, predominantly from Eastern Europe, were kept. It was the only concentration camp built on British soil and is commemorated on memorials under Alderney's name in French: 'Aurigny'. Among those deported was Ambrose (later Sir Ambrose) Sherwill, who, as the President of the States Controlling Committee, was de facto head of the civilian population. Sir Ambrose, who was Guernsey-born, had served in the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 during the First World War and later became Bailiff of Guernsey.

Certain laws were passed at the insistence of the occupying forces; for example, a reward was offered to informants who reported anyone for painting "V-for Victory" signs on walls and buildings, a practice that had become popular among islanders who wished to express their loyalty to Britain.

Three islanders of Jewish descent were deported to Auschwitz, never to return.

Guernsey was very heavily fortified during World War II by 4x Russian 305mm guns made in 1911 out of all proportion to its strategic value. There are German defences visible all round the coast and additions were made to Castle Cornet
Castle Cornet
Castle Cornet is a large island castle in Guernsey, and former tidal island, also known as Cornet Rock or Castle Rock, which has been part of one of the breakwaters of St Peter Port's harbour, the main one in the island, since 1859.- Geography :...

 and a windmill
Windmills in the Channel Islands
The Channel Islands have had a number of windmills over the centuries. They were mostly corn mills, and about half of those built survive in one form or another.-Moulin Huet:Moulin Huet, Guernsey is a tower mill...

. Hitler became obsessed with the idea that the Allies would try to regain the islands at any price, and over 20% of the material that went into the Atlantic Wall
Atlantic Wall
The Atlantic Wall was an extensive system of coastal fortifications built by Nazi Germany between 1942 and 1944 along the western coast of Europe as a defense against an anticipated Allied invasion of the mainland continent from Great Britain.-History:On March 23, 1942 Führer Directive Number 40...

 was committed to the Channel Islands. 47,000 sq m of concrete were used on gun bases. Most of the German fortifications remain intact; although the majority of them are on private property, several are open to the public.

Politics



The deliberative assembly of the States
The States
The States or the Estates signifies the assembly of the representatives of the estates of the realm, called together for purposes of legislation or deliberation...

 of Guernsey is called the States of Deliberation and consists of 45 People's Deputies, elected from multi- or single-member districts every four years. There are also two representatives from Alderney, a semi-autonomous dependency of the Bailiwick, but Sark
Sark
Sark is a small island in the Channel Islands in southwestern English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. It is a royal fief, geographically located in the Channel Islands in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, with its own set of laws based on Norman law and its own parliament. It has a population...

 sends no representative. The Bailiff or Deputy Bailiff preside in the assembly. There are also two non-voting members: H.M. Procureur (Attorney General) and H.M. Comptroller (Solicitor General), both appointed by the Crown and collectively known as the Law Officers of the Crown.

A Projet de Loi is the equivalent of a UK Bill or a French projet de loi, and a Law is the equivalent of a UK Act of Parliament or a French loi. A draft Law passed by the States can have no legal effect until formally approved by Her Majesty in Council and promulgated by means of an Order-in-Council. Laws are given the Royal Sanction at regular meetings of the Privy Council in London, after which they are returned to the Islands for formal registration at the Royal Court.

The States also make delegated legislation known as 'Ordinances (Ordonnances)' and 'Orders (Ordres)' which do not require Royal Assent. Commencement orders are usually in the form of Ordinances.

The Lieutenant Governor is the representative of "the Crown
The Crown
The Crown is a corporation sole that in the Commonwealth realms and any provincial or state sub-divisions thereof represents the legal embodiment of governance, whether executive, legislative, or judicial...

 in right of the république of the Bailiwick of Guernsey". The official residence
Official residence
An official residence is the residence at which heads of state, heads of government, gubernatorial or other senior figures officially reside...

 of the Lieutenant Governor is Government House. Since 15 April 2011 the incumbent has been Air Marshal Peter Walker
Peter Walker (RAF officer)
Air Marshal Peter Brett Walker CB CBE is a former Royal Air Force officer who is now Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey.-RAF career:Educated at Pocklington School and Durham University, Walker joined the Royal Air Force in 1975. He served as a fighter pilot flying the Phantom FGR2 and Tornado F3...

.

Each parish is administered by a Douzaine. Douzeniers are elected for a six year mandate, two Douzeniers being elected by parishioners at a parish meeting in November each year. The senior Douzenier is known as the Doyen (Dean). Two elected Constable
Constable
A constable is a person holding a particular office, most commonly in law enforcement. The office of constable can vary significantly in different jurisdictions.-Etymology:...

s carry out the decisions of the Douzaine, serving for between one and three years. The longest serving Constable is known as the Senior Constable and his or her colleague as the Junior Constable.

The legal system is Guernsey customary derived from Norman
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 French customary law, heavily influenced and overlaid by English common law, justice being administered through a combination of the Magistrates' Court
Magistrates' Court
A magistrates' court or court of petty sessions, formerly known as a police court, is the lowest level of court in England and Wales and many other common law jurisdictions...

 and the Royal Court. Members of Guerney's legal profession are known as Advocates , there being no distinction between solicitors and barristers as in England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

: Guernsey Advocate
Advocate
An advocate is a term for a professional lawyer used in several different legal systems. These include Scotland, South Africa, India, Scandinavian jurisdictions, Israel, and the British Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man...

s fulfil both roles. The Royal Court of Guernsey is made up of the Bailiff , who presides and determines issues of law, and between twelve and sixteen Jurats , who determine issues of fact and are elected to office by an electoral college known as the States of Election . Appeals lie from the Royal Court to the Guernsey Court of Appeal and thereafter to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is one of the highest courts in the United Kingdom. Established by the Judicial Committee Act 1833 to hear appeals formerly heard by the King in Council The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) is one of the highest courts in the United...

.

Several European countries have consulate presence in the island. The French Consulate is based at Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo
Victor-Marie Hugo was a Frenchpoet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France....

's former residence at Hauteville House
Hauteville House
Hauteville House is a house where Victor Hugo lived during his exile from France, located at 38 Rue Hauteville in St. Peter Port in Guernsey. The house was donated to the City of Paris by Hugo's descendants in March, 1927...

. The German Honorary Consulate is based at local design and advertising agency Betley Whitehorne.

While Guernsey has complete autonomy over internal affairs and certain external matters, the topic of complete independence from the British Crown has been discussed widely and frequently, with ideas ranging from Guernsey obtaining independence as a Dominion to the bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey uniting and forming an independent Federal State within the Commonwealth, whereby both islands retain their independence with regards to domestic affairs but internationally, the islands would be regarded as one state.

Geography




At 49°28′N 2°35′W, Alderney, Guernsey, Herm, Sark, and some other smaller islands have a total area of 30 square miles (77.7 km²) and a coastline of about 30 miles (48.3 km). By itself, the island of Guernsey has a total area of 25 square miles (64.7 km²). Guernsey is situated 30 miles (48.3 km) west of France's Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

 coast and 75 miles (120.7 km) south of Weymouth, England and lies in the Gulf of St Malo. Lihou
Lihou
Not to be confused with Lihou Reef National Nature ReserveLihou is a small tidal island that is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, Channel Islands. It lies off the west coast of Guernsey and is the most westerly point in the Channel Islands. Coordinates: . The island was bought by the States of...

, a tidal island
Tidal island
A tidal island is a piece of land that is connected to the mainland by a natural or man-made causeway that is exposed at low tide and submerged at high tide. Because of the mystique surrounding tidal islands many of them have been sites of religious worship, such as Mont Saint Michel with its...

, is attached to Guernsey by a causeway
Causeway
In modern usage, a causeway is a road or railway elevated, usually across a broad body of water or wetland.- Etymology :When first used, the word appeared in a form such as “causey way” making clear its derivation from the earlier form “causey”. This word seems to have come from the same source by...

 at low tide. The terrain is mostly level with low hills in southwest. The southeastern point is Jerbourg Point
Jerbourg Point
Jerbourg Point or the Jerbourg Peninsula is the southeastern point of the Bailiwick of Guernsey in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy, lying within St Martin Parish. It marks the end of the east coast cliffs and beginning of the south coast cliffs...

, used by the Germans during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.
Elevation varies across the bailiwick from sea level to 375 ft (114.3 m) at Le Moulin
Le Moulin
Le Moulin is the highest point in Sark and is also the highest point of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a British Crown Dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy, with an altitude of 114 metres ....

 on Sark. The highest point in mainland Guernsey is Hautnez (363 ft (110.6 m)), in Alderney at Le Rond But (306 ft (93.3 m)), in Jethou (248 ft (75.6 m)) and Herm (322 ft (98.1 m)). Natural resources include cropland.

Guernsey contains two main geographical regions, the Haut Pas, a high southern plateau, and the Bas Pas, a low-lying and sandy northern region. In general terms, the Haut Pas is the more rural of the two, and the Bas Pas is more residential and industrialised.

There is a large, deepwater harbour
St Peter Port Harbour
Saint Peter Port Harbour is located in Saint Peter Port. It was a natural anchorage used by the Romans but it is now Guernsey's main port for passengers. However, a lot of cargo is shipped from St Sampson's harbour. Castle Cornet is on one of the breakwaters....

 at St Peter Port
St Peter Port
Saint Peter Port is the capital of Guernsey as well as the main port. The population in 2001 was 16,488. In Guernésiais and in French, historically the official language of Guernsey, the name of the town and its surrounding parish is St Pierre Port. The "port" distinguishes this parish from...

. The Casquets
Casquets
Les Casquets or Casquets is a group of rocks 13 km northwest of Alderney and are part of an underwater sandstone ridge. Other parts which emerge above the water are the islets of Burhou and Ortac. Little vegetation grows on them...

, a group of islets, are notable for the lighthouse
Lighthouse
A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire, and used as an aid to navigation for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways....

 facility constructed there.

Climate


The climate is temperate with mild winters and warm sunny summers. The warmest months are July and August, when temperatures are generally around 20 °C (68 °F) but occasionally reach 24 °C (75.2 °F). On average, the coldest month is February with an average weekly mean air temperature of 6 °C (42.8 °F). Average weekly mean air temperature reaches 16 °C (60.8 °F) in August. Snow rarely falls and is unlikely to settle, but is most likely to fall in February. The temperature rarely drops below freezing, although strong wind-chill from Arctic winds can sometimes make it feel like it. The rainiest months are December (average 108 mm (4.3 in), November (average 98 mm (3.86 in)) and January (average 89 mm (3.5 in)). July is on average the sunniest month with 250 hours recorded sunshine; December the least with 50 hours recorded sunshine. 50% of the days are overcast.

Parishes


Guernsey is divided into ten parishes. The smaller islands of Alderney and Sark are not parishes of Guernsey, except in ecclesiastical terms (like Guernsey, their parishes fall under the Bishopric of Winchester and their respective parish churches are Saint Anne and Saint Peter).
EWLINE
Parish Population (2001) Area (vergee
Vergée
A vergée, or vergee, is a unit of area, a quarter of the French acre. Other spellings include vergie and vrégie. It is not an SI unit. The SI unit of area is the square metre.The term derives from Latin virga...

s)
Area (km²) Area (sq mi)
1. Castel
Castel, Guernsey
Castel is the largest Parish in Guernsey in terms of area.It hosts the North Show and Battle of Flowers in August, annually...

10.200 3.938
2. Forest
Forest, Guernsey
The Forest is a parish in Guernsey. It is the highest parish on the island, with altitudes of up to about 100 m. The full title being Ste Margurite de la Foret after the parish church....

4.110 1.587
3. St Andrew 4.510 1.741
4. St Martin 7.340 2.834
5. St Peter Port
St Peter Port
Saint Peter Port is the capital of Guernsey as well as the main port. The population in 2001 was 16,488. In Guernésiais and in French, historically the official language of Guernsey, the name of the town and its surrounding parish is St Pierre Port. The "port" distinguishes this parish from...

6.677 2.578
6. St Pierre du Bois
St Peter's, Guernsey
St Peter's , known officially as Saint Pierre du Bois is a parish in Guernsey...

6.257 2.416
7. St Sampson 6.042 2.333
8. St Saviour 6.378 2.463
9. Torteval
Torteval, Guernsey
Torteval is the smallest of the ten Guernsey parishes. Its name comes from the Guernésiais words for 'twisting valley'. The full title being Ste Phillipe du Torteval. It is the westernmost parish of Guernsey and is part of the Guernsey Western Parishes. The parish is split in two by the parish of St...

3.115 1.203
10. Vale
Vale, Guernsey
Vale is one of the ten parishes of Guernsey.Until 1806 the parish occupied territory on the mainland of Guernsey, the Vingtaine de l'Epine, as well as the whole of Le Clos du Valle, a tidal island forming the northern extremity of Guernsey separated from the mainland by La Braye du Valle, a tidal...

8.951 3.456


Economy



Unlike many countries, Guernsey has not delegated money creation
Money creation
In economics, money creation is the process by which the money supply of a country or a monetary region is increased due to some reason. There are two principal stages of money creation. First, the central bank introduces new money into the economy by purchasing financial assets or lending money...

 to the central bank and has instead issued interest-free money from 1822 to 1836, stimulating the growth of economy after Napoleon's wars without creating public debt and without increasing taxes. Also gold and silver coin remained money in Guernsey in the period 1822 to 1836 – and indeed long after.

Financial services, such as banking, fund management, and insurance, account for about 32% of total income. Tourism, manufacturing, and horticulture, mainly tomatoes and cut flowers, especially freesia
Freesia
Freesia Ecklon ex Klatt is a genus of 14–16 species of flowering plants in the family Iridaceae, native to Africa. Of the 14 species, 12 are native to Cape Province, South Africa, the remaining two to tropical Africa, one species extending north of the equator to Sudan.The genus was named in honor...

s, have been declining. Light tax and death duties make Guernsey a popular offshore finance centre for private equity fund
Private equity fund
A private equity fund is a collective investment scheme used for making investments in various equity securities according to one of the investment strategies associated with private equity....

s. However, while Guernsey is not a member of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, the EU is forcing Guernsey to comply more and more with its rules. As with other offshore centres, Guernsey is also coming under pressure from bigger nations to change its way of doing business. Guernsey is changing the way its tax system works in order to remain OECD ( and EU ) compliant. From 1 January 2008 it has operated a Zero-Ten corporate tax system where most companies pay 0% corporate tax and a limited number of banking activities are taxed at 10%. As a result it is confronting what it terms a financial "black hole" of forty-five million pounds or more according to some estimates which it aims to fill through economic growth and indirect taxation. Guernsey now has the official ISO 3166-1 alpha-2
ISO 3166-1 alpha-2
ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes are two-letter country codes defined in ISO 3166-1, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , to represent countries, dependent territories, and special areas of geographical interest...

 code GG
GG
GG, G.G., G-G and other variants may refer to:Politics* Governor-General, a governor of high rank* Grundgesetz, the constitution of the Federal Republic of GermanyTechnology* .gg, the Top-Level Domain country code for Guernsey...

and the official ISO 3166-1 alpha-3
ISO 3166-1 alpha-3
ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 codes are three-letter country codes defined in ISO 3166-1, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , to represent countries, dependent territories, and special areas of geographical interest...

 code GGY; market data
Market data
In finance, market data is quote and trade-related data associated with equity, fixed-income, financial derivatives, currency, and other investment instruments. Market data is numerical price data, reported from trading venues, such as stock exchanges...

 vendors, such as Reuters
Reuters
Reuters is a news agency headquartered in New York City. Until 2008 the Reuters news agency formed part of a British independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data...

, will report products related to Guernsey using the alpha-3 code. Guernsey also has a thriving non-finance industry. It is home to Specsavers
Specsavers
Specsavers Optical Group Ltd is the biggest optical retailer in the UK and Ireland. It is also the biggest of the four major opticians that control 70% of the British market for spectacles and contact lenses, with Specsavers having a 39% share of the market...

 Optical Group, which manages the largest optical chain in the UK and Ireland and also operates in Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and Spain. Healthspan also has its headquarters in Guernsey.

Guernsey issues its own sterling
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

 coinage and banknotes. UK coinage and (English, Scottish and Northern Irish faced) banknotes also circulate freely and interchangeably.
Public services, such as water, wastewater, the two main harbours and the airport are still owned and controlled by the States of Guernsey. The electricity, and postal services have been commercialised by the States and are now operated by companies wholly owned by the States of Guernsey. Guernsey Telecoms, which provided telecommunications, was sold by the States to Cable & Wireless
Cable & Wireless
Cable & Wireless Worldwide PLC is a global telecommunications company headquartered in Bracknell, United Kingdom. Cable & Wireless specialises in providing communication networks and services to large corporates, governments, carrier customers and resellers...

. Newtel was the first alternative telecommunications company on the island providing a range of residential and business telecommunication services as well as high specification data centres. Wave Telecom, owned by Jersey Telecom
Jersey Telecom
JT Global is the former monopoly incumbent operator in the Bailiwick of Jersey. Jersey is incorporated into the UK National Telephone Numbering Plan area codes of +44 1534 for landlines and +44 7797 for Jersey Telecom mobiles, +44 7700 for Cable and Wireless mobiles and +44 7829 for Jersey Airtel...

, also provides some telecommunications excluding local loop services. Newtel was acquired by Wave Telecom in 2010. Gas is supplied by an independent private company. Both the Guernsey Post
Guernsey Post
Guernsey Post is the postal service for the island of Guernsey, Channel Islands. It includes a Philatelic Bureau, and regularly issues both definitive and commemorative stamps...

 postal boxes (since 1969) and the telephone boxes (since 2002) are painted blue, but otherwise are identical to their British counterparts, the red pillar box
Pillar box
A pillar box is a free-standing post box. They are found in the United Kingdom and in most former nations of the British Empire, members of the Commonwealth of Nations and British overseas territories, such as the Republic of Ireland, Australia, India and Gibraltar...

 and red telephone box
Red telephone box
The red telephone box, a public telephone kiosk designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, is a familiar sight on the streets of the United Kingdom, Malta, Bermuda and Gibraltar, and despite a reduction in their numbers in recent years, red boxes can still be seen in many places and in current or former...

. In 2009 the telephone boxes at the bus station were painted yellow just like they used to be when Guernsey Telecoms was state-owned.

Transport



Ports and harbours exist at St Peter Port
St Peter Port
Saint Peter Port is the capital of Guernsey as well as the main port. The population in 2001 was 16,488. In Guernésiais and in French, historically the official language of Guernsey, the name of the town and its surrounding parish is St Pierre Port. The "port" distinguishes this parish from...

 and St Sampson's. There are two paved airports in the Bailiwick (Guernsey Airport
Guernsey Airport
Guernsey Airport is the largest airport in the Bailiwick of Guernsey and is the only airport on the island of Guernsey. It is located in the Forest, a parish in Guernsey, west southwest of St. Peter Port.-History:...

 and Alderney Airport
Alderney Airport
Alderney Airport is the only airport on the island of Alderney. Built in 1935, Alderney Airport was the first airport in the Channel Islands. Located on the Blaye , it is the closest Channel Island airport to the south coast of England and the coast of France. Its facilities include a hangar, the...

), and 3 miles (4.8 km) of railways in Alderney.
The States of Guernsey
States of Guernsey
The States of Guernsey is the parliament of the island of Guernsey. Some laws and ordinances approved by the States of Guernsey also apply to Alderney and Sark as "Bailiwick-wide legislation" with the consent of the governments of those islands...

 wholly own their own airline Aurigny Air Services
Aurigny Air Services
Aurigny Air Services was founded by Sir Derrick Bailey and started operations on 1 March 1968 after British United Airways withdrew the Alderney to Guernsey route...

. The decision to purchase the airline was made to protect important airlinks to and from the island and the sale was completed on 15 May 2003. It was announced that the States would sell Aurigny to a rival Channel Islands' airline, Blue Islands
Blue Islands
Blue Islands Limited is an airline of the Channel Islands. Its head office is in Saint Peter Port, Guernsey, and its registered office is in Saint Anne, Alderney. It operates scheduled services from and within the Channel Islands and the UK and the Isle of Man...

, in July 2010, but the talks fell through in September 2010 due to uncertainty as to whether the Gatwick slots could be guaranteed.

The Guernsey Railway
Guernsey Railway
The Guernsey Railway opened as the Guernsey Steam Tramway on 6 June 1879 with two steam tram engines, more being added later. It was later converted to an electric tramway, which began working on 20 February 1892. The system closed on 9 June 1934. This leaves Alderney as the only Channel Island...

, which was virtually an electric tramway, and which began working on 20 February 1892, was abandoned on 9 June 1934. It replaced an earlier transport system which was worked by steam, and was named the Guernsey Steam Tramway. The latter began service on 6 June 1879 with six locomotives. This leaves Alderney as the only Channel Island with a working railway
Alderney Railway
The Alderney Railway in Alderney is the only working railway in the Channel Islands. It opened in 1847 and runs for about two miles , mostly following a coastal route, from Braye Road to Mannez Quarry and Lighthouse....

.

Demographics


The population is 65,726, as of 2008. The median age for males is 41 years and for females is 43 years. The population growth rate is 0.228% with 8.57 births/1,000 population, 10.09 deaths/1,000 population, and 3.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population. The life expectancy is 77.64 years for males and 83.76 years for females. 1.4 children are born per woman. Ethnic groups consist of British and Norman
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 descent, Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

, Latvian and South African.

For immigration and nationality purposes it is UK law, and not Guernsey law, which applies (technically the Immigration Act 1971, extended to Guernsey by Order-in-Council). Guernsey may not apply different immigration controls to the UK and EEA nationals free movement rights to enter the territory of the British Islands and remain apply also in Guernsey, although there are de facto restrictions on occupation of housing by everyone.

The housing market is split between local market properties and a small number of open market properties. Anyone may live in an open market property, but local market properties can only be lived in by those who qualify – either through being born in Guernsey (to local parents), by obtaining a housing licence, or by virtue of sharing a property with someone who does qualify.

Housing licences are for fixed periods, and are usually only valid for as long as the individual remains employed by a specified Guernsey employer.

These restrictions apply equally regardless of whether the property is owned or rented, and only applies to occupation of the property. Thus a person whose housing licence expires may continue to own a Guernsey property, but will no longer be able to live in it.

There are a number of routes to qualifying as a "local" for housing purposes. Generally it is sufficient to be born to at least one Guernsey parent, and to live in the island for ten years in a twenty year period. Once "local" status has been achieved it remains in place for life. Even a lengthy period of residence outside Guernsey does not invalidate "local" housing status.

Although Guernsey's inhabitants are full British citizens
British nationality law
British nationality law is the law of the United Kingdom that concerns citizenship and other categories of British nationality. The law is complex because of the United Kingdom's former status as an imperial power.-History:...

, an endorsement restricting the right of establishment in other European Union states is placed in the passport of British citizens connected solely with the Channel Islands and Isle of Man
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man , otherwise known simply as Mann , is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is...

. Those who have a parent or grandparent born in the United Kingdom itself (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), or who have lived in the United Kingdom for 5 years, are not subject to this restriction.

Emergency services

  • 112 / 999 (emergency telephone number)
    999 (emergency telephone number)
    999 is an official emergency telephone number in a number of countries which allows the caller to contact emergency services for urgent assistance....

  • States of Guernsey Police Service
    States of Guernsey Police Service
    The States of Guernsey Police Service is the local police force for the Crown dependency of Guernsey. In addition to providing police for the island of Guernsey itself, the Guernsey Police also provides detachments for the islands of Alderney, Herm and Sark...

  • Guernsey Ambulance and Rescue Service
  • Guernsey Fire and Rescue Service
  • Guernsey Harbour Authority
  • Royal National Lifeboat Institution
    Royal National Lifeboat Institution
    The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is a charity that saves lives at sea around the coasts of Great Britain, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, as well as on selected inland waterways....


Education




Guernsey adopts mainly England's National Curriculum, including the use of the GCSE and A Level system, in terms of content and structure of teaching. Children are allocated a primary school on a basis of catchment area, or are allowed to attend either of two Catholic primary schools. In terms of admissions however the island continues to use the 11 plus exam to decide whether a child should receive education at the Grammar School
Grammar School Guernsey
The Grammar School and Sixth Form Centre is a public grammar school located in the parish of St. Andrew's in Guernsey.The school motto is "Qui veult peult", which translates from Norman into 'those who want to, can'. it is an extremely good school...

, or receive state funded places at the independent schools Elizabeth College
Elizabeth College, Guernsey
Elizabeth College is an independent school in the town of St Peter Port, Guernsey, founded in 1563 under the orders of Queen Elizabeth I.- History :...

 for boys, and The Ladies College for girls or Blanchelande Girls College for Roman Catholics. Parents have the choice to send children to independent schools as fee payers. For children who are not selected for the Grammar School or colleges, they attend the secondary schools of La Mare de Carteret School
La Mare de Carteret School
La Mare de Carteret Secondary School is a post-11 secondary school on the island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands, located in the Castel parish.The school caters for pupils from the age of eleven to sixteen...

, Les Beaucamps School, or St Sampson's High.

The Education Department is part way through a programme of re-building its secondary schools. The Department has completed the building of La Rondin special needs school, the Sixth Form Centre at the Grammar School and the first phase of the new College of FE – a performing arts centre. The construction of St. Sampsons High was completed summer 2008 and admitted its first students in September 2008.

In the past, students could leave school at the end of the term in which they turned 14, if they so wished: a letter was required to be sent to the Education department to confirm this. However, this option was undertaken by relatively few students, the majority choosing to complete their GCSEs and then either begin employment or continue their education. From 2008 onwards, the school leaving age was raised to the last Friday in June in the year a pupil turns 16, in line with England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This means students will be between 15 and 10 months and 16 and 10 months before being able to leave.

In 2001 along with redevelopment of secondary schools the then Education Council tried unsuccessfully to abolish this system. Nevertheless there is now a redevelopment of state schools across the island, however most of the plan is subjected to securing state funding.

Post GCSE students have a choice of transferring to the state run The Grammar School and Sixth Form Centre, or to the independent colleges for academic AS/A Levels. They also have the option to study vocational subjects at the island's Guernsey College of Further Education.

There are no universities on the island. Students who attend university in the United Kingdom receive state support towards both maintenance and tuition fees. Recently however, the States of Guernsey Education Department has proposed the introduction of student loans for middle and upper income earners due to the black hole deficit in state spending in 2008. This has been met with much opposition by local politicians, families and students who argue that it will deter future students from going and returning from university, due to very high housing and living costs in Guernsey. The department argues that it had no choice but to introduce them. The decision was first deferred to 2009, however upon the election of new deputies in the 2008 April elections, the decision is now deferred until 2011.

Culture




English is the language in general use by the majority of the population, while Guernésiais, the Norman language
Norman language
Norman is a Romance language and one of the Oïl languages. Norman can be classified as one of the northern Oïl languages along with Picard and Walloon...

 of the island, is spoken fluently by only about 2% of the population (according to 2001 census). However, 14% of the population claim some understanding of the language. Sercquais is spoken by a few people on the island of Sark
Sark
Sark is a small island in the Channel Islands in southwestern English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. It is a royal fief, geographically located in the Channel Islands in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, with its own set of laws based on Norman law and its own parliament. It has a population...

 and Auregnais
Auregnais
Auregnais, Aoeur'gnaeux or Aurignais is the Norman dialect of the Channel Island of Alderney . It is estimated that there are now possibly only 20 people still fluent in the language....

 was spoken on the island of Alderney until it became extinct in the early twentieth century. Until the early twentieth century French was the only official language of the Bailiwick, and all deeds for the sale and purchase of real estate in Guernsey were written in French until 1971 . Family and place names reflect this linguistic heritage. Georges Métivier, considered by some to be the island's national poet, wrote in Guernesiais. The loss of the island's language and the Anglicisation of its culture, which began in the nineteenth century and proceeded inexorably for a century, accelerated sharply when the majority of the island's school children were evacuated to the U.K. for five years during the German occupation of 1940–1945.

Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo
Victor-Marie Hugo was a Frenchpoet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France....

 wrote some of his best-known works while in exile in Guernsey, including Les Misérables
Les Misérables
Les Misérables , translated variously from the French as The Miserable Ones, The Wretched, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, or The Victims), is an 1862 French novel by author Victor Hugo and is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century...

. His home in St. Peter Port, Hauteville House, is now a museum administered by the city of Paris. In 1866, he published a novel set in the island, Travailleurs de la Mer (Toilers of the Sea
Toilers of the Sea
Toilers of the Sea , is a novel by Victor Hugo.The book is dedicated to the island of Guernsey, where Hugo spent 15 years in exile.The story concerns a Guernseyman named Gilliatt, a social outcast who falls in love with Deruchette, the niece of a local shipowner, Mess Lethierry...

), which he dedicated to the island of Guernsey.

The greatest novel by a Guernseyman is The Book of Ebenezer Le Page
The Book of Ebenezer Le Page
The Book of Ebenezer Le Page is a novel by Gerald Basil Edwards first published in United Kingdom by Hamish Hamilton in 1981, and in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf in the same year...

, by GB Edwards
Gerald Basil Edwards
Gerald Basil Edwards , was a British author.- Biography :Edwards is known for The Book of Ebenezer Le Page, which was published posthumously in 1981...

 which, in addition to being a critically acclaimed work of literature, also contains a wealth of insights into life in Guernsey during the twentieth century. In September 2008 a Blue Plaque was affixed to the house on the Braye Road in which Edwards was brought up. A more recent novel by Guernseyman Peter Lihou called Rachel's Shoe describes the period when Guernsey was under German occupation during the Second World War.

Henry Watson Fowler
Henry Watson Fowler
Henry Watson Fowler was an English schoolmaster, lexicographer and commentator on the usage of the English language...

 moved to Guernsey in 1903 where he and his brother Francis George Fowler
Francis George Fowler
Francis George Fowler , familiarly known as F.G. Fowler, was an English writer on English language, grammar and usage.Born in Tunbridge Wells, F. G. Fowler was educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge. He lived on Guernsey in the Channel Islands...

 composed The King's English
The King's English
The King's English is a book on English usage and grammar. It was written by the Fowler brothers, Henry Watson Fowler and Francis George Fowler, and published in 1906, and thus pre-dates by 20 years Modern English Usage, which was written by Henry alone after Francis's death in 1918.The King's...

 and the Concise Oxford Dictionary, and much of Modern English Usage.


The national animals of the island of Guernsey are the donkey
Donkey
The donkey or ass, Equus africanus asinus, is a domesticated member of the Equidae or horse family. The wild ancestor of the donkey is the African Wild Ass, E...

 and the Guernsey cow
Guernsey cattle
The Guernsey is a breed of cattle used in dairy farming. It is fawn and white in colour, and is particularly renowned for the rich flavour of its milk, as well as its hardiness and docile disposition.-Milk:...

. The traditional explanation for the donkey (âne in French and Guernésiais) is the steepness of St Peter Port streets that necessitated beasts of burden for transport (in contrast to the flat terrain of the rival capital of St. Helier
Saint Helier
Saint Helier 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 28,000, roughly 31.2% of the total population of Jersey, and is the capital of the Island . The urban area of the parish of St...

 in Jersey), although it is also used in reference to Guernsey inhabitants' stubbornness.

The Guernsey cow is a more internationally famous icon of the island. As well as being prized for its rich creamy milk, which is claimed by some to hold health benefits over milk from other breeds, Guernsey cattle are increasingly being raised for their beef, which has a distinctive flavour and rich yellow fat. Although the number of individual islanders raising these cattle for private supply has diminished significantly since the 1960s, Guernsey steers can still be occasionally seen grazing on L'Ancresse common.

There is also a breed of goat known as the Golden Guernsey
Golden Guernsey
The Golden Guernsey is a rare breed of goat from the Bailiwick of Guernsey on the Channel Islands. They were first brought to Great Britain in 1965 and a sub-breed has evolved known as the British Guernsey.- Origin :...

, which is distinguished by its golden-coloured coat. At the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the Golden Guernsey was almost extinct, due to interbreeding with other varieties on the island. The resurrection of this breed is largely credited to the work of a single woman, Miriam Milbourne. Although no longer considered in a 'critical' status, the breed remains on the "Watch List" of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust
Rare Breeds Survival Trust
The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is a conservation charity, whose purpose is to secure the continued existence and viability of the United Kingdom’s native farm animal genetic resources...

.

Guernsey people are traditionally nicknamed donkey
Donkey
The donkey or ass, Equus africanus asinus, is a domesticated member of the Equidae or horse family. The wild ancestor of the donkey is the African Wild Ass, E...

s
or ânes, especially by Jersey people (who in turn are nicknamed crapauds – toads). Inhabitants of each of the parishes of Guernsey also have traditional nicknames, although these have generally dropped out of use among the English-speaking population. The traditional nicknames are:
Parish Guernésiais English Translation
St Peter Port Cllichards (spitters)
St Sampson's Rôines (frogs)
Vale Hann'taons (cockchafer
Cockchafer
The cockchafer is a European beetle of the genus Melolontha, in the family Scarabaeidae....

s)
Castel Ânes-pur-sàng (pure-blooded-donkeys)
St Saviour's Fouormillaons (ants)
St Pierre du Bois Etcherbaots (beetles)
Forest Bourdons (bumblebees)
St Martin's Cravants (ray fish)
St Andrew's Les croinchaons (the siftings)
Torteval Ânes à pids d'ch'fa (donkeys with horses' hooves)


The Guernsey Lily
Guernsey Lily
The Guernsey Lily is a South African plant with handsome lily-like flowers, naturalized on the island of Guernsey....

 Nerine sarniensis (Sarnia is the traditional name of the island of Guernsey in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

) is also used as a symbol of the island.

A local delicacy is the ormer
Abalone
Abalone , from aulón, are small to very large-sized edible sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Haliotidae and the genus Haliotis...

 (Haliotis tuberculata), a variety of abalone harvested from the beach at low spring tides, although strict laws control their harvesting.

Of the many traditional Guernsey recipes, the most renowned is a stew called Guernsey Bean Jar
Guernsey Bean Jar
Bean Jar is a local dish of the Channel Island of Guernsey. The traditional Guernsey Bean Jar has been around for centuries, and still proves popular today. It is a cassoulet-type bean dish.- History :...

. It is a centuries-old stew that is still popular with Islanders, particularly at the annual 'Viaer Marchi
Viaer Marchi
Lé Viaer Marchi is an annual festival held in Guernsey on the first Monday of July.Held for more than 30 years, Lé Viaer Marchi is an evening show, organised by the National Trust of Guernsey. It showcases local craftsmanship in Guernsey's history and holds displays showing the way in which...

' festival, where it served as one of the main events. Chief ingredients include haricot and butter beans, pork and shin beef.

Guernsey Gâche
Guernsey Gâche
Guernsey Gâche is a local dish of the Channel Island of Guernsey. It is a special bread made with raisins, sultanas and mixed peel. In Guernésiais, gâche means cake.-External links:*...

 is a special bread made with raisins, sultanas and mixed peel.

In July 2006 smoking in enclosed public places was banned
Smoking ban
Smoking bans are public policies, including criminal laws and occupational safety and health regulations, which prohibit tobacco smoking in workplaces and/or other public spaces...

, a law put in place to protect workers' right to a healthy working environment.

Sport


The island's traditional colour (e.g. for sporting events) is green.

Guernsey participates in the biennial Island Games
Island Games
The Island Games are an international multi-sports event organized by the International Island Games Association.- History :The Island Games began in 1985 as the Inter-Island Games, as part of the Isle of Man International Year of Sport, and were intended to be a one-off sporting celebration only...

, which it hosted in 1987 and 2003 at Footes Lane
Footes Lane
Footes Lane is a multi-use sports stadium in Saint Peter Port, Guernsey. It is the main sports venue in Guernsey. It has a total capacity of 5,000 when hosting all-seated games.- Usage :The stadium is used for a number of sports on the island...

. Guernsey participates in its own right in the Commonwealth Games
Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and takes place every four years....

.

In sporting events in which Guernsey does not have international representation, when the British Home Nations
Home Nations
Home Nations is a collective term with one of two meanings depending on the context. Politically, it means the nations of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom...

 are competing separately, islanders that do have high athletic skill may choose to compete for any of the Home Nations – there are, however, restrictions on subsequent transfers to represent another Home Nation. The football player Matt Le Tissier for example, could have played for the Scotland national football team
Scotland national football team
The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. Scotland are the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside England, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872...

 but ended up playing for England
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

.

The Guernsey Football Association
Guernsey Football Association
The Guernsey Football Association, also simply known as the Guernsey FA, is the body that co-ordinates and organises the sport of football in Guernsey. It is not a member of either UEFA or FIFA, but is a member of the Football Association and has the status of an English county, despite that...

 runs Guernsey football. The top tier of Guernsey football is the Sure Mobile Priaulx league where there are 7 teams (Belgrave Wanderers, Northerners, Sylvans, St Martin's, Rovers, Rangers
Guernsey Rangers F.A.C
Guernsey Rangers F.A.C is a Guernsey football club formed in 1893 and is based in Guernsey, Channel Islands. They currently play in the Guernsey Rangers are the oldest club in the Channel Islands and are a founder member of the Guernsey Football Association.The club traditionally plays in red and...

 and Vale Recreation). The champions in 2006–07 were Northerners. The champions in 2010–2011 were St Martin's. The second tier is the Jackson league which is a mixture of top league players, lower players and youth players. The third tier called the Railway League, no longer exists, it featured three extra teams, Alderney Nomads, Guernsey Police and Port City. In 2008 – 2009 there was a split between the two social leagues (Saturday Football League & Sunday Soccer League). In 2011 – 2012 season, Guernsey FC was formed and entered the UK Combined Counties League Division 1 for the first time. Guernsey currently sit top of this table (Sept 2011).

The Corbet Football Field donated by Jurat Wilfred Corbet OBE in 1932 has fostered the sport greatly over the years. Although more recently the island has upgraded to a larger, better quality stadium, in Foote's Lane.

Approximately 200 people play table tennis on a regular basis across four senior and two junior leagues. The GTTA centre, located next to the Hougue du Pommier, is equipped with 12 match tables, 6 training tables, a bar and a small café area. Guernsey sends teams to represent the island in UK and world tournaments.

The Guernsey Gaels was founded in 1996 and competes in the European gaelic football leagues, the island hosts its own tournament each year with teams from all over Europe visiting the island.

Guernsey also has one of the oldest softball associations in the world. The Guernsey Softball Association was formally established in 1936, it is now one of the oldest and longest running softball associations to be found. Affiliated to the International Softball Federation (ISF) the GSA has both fast and slow pitch leagues with over 300 members.

Guernsey was declared an affiliate member by the International Cricket Council
International Cricket Council
The International Cricket Council is the international governing body of cricket. It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by representatives from England, Australia and South Africa, renamed the International Cricket Conference in 1965, and took up its current name in 1989.The...

 (ICC) in 2005 and an associate member in 2008.

Guernsey also enjoys motor sports. In season, races take place on the sands on Vazon beach on the west coast. Le Val des Terres, a steeply winding road rising south from St Peter Port to Fort George, is often the focus of both local and international hill-climb races. In addition, the 2005, 2006, and 2007 World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx
Andy Priaulx
Andrew Graham Priaulx, MBE is a British racing driver from Guernsey. He is a European Touring Car Championship champion, three times World Touring Car Championship champion and the only FIA Touring Car champion to win an International level championship for four consecutive years...

 is a Guernseyman.

The racecourse on L'Ancresse Common was re-established in 2004, and races are held on most May day Bank Holiday
Bank Holiday
A bank holiday is a public holiday in the United Kingdom or a colloquialism for public holiday in Ireland. There is no automatic right to time off on these days, although the majority of the population is granted time off work or extra pay for working on these days, depending on their contract...

s, with competitors from Guernsey as well as Jersey, France and the UK participating.

Sea Angling around Guernsey and the other islands in the Bailiwick from shore or boat is a popular pastime for both locals and visitors with the Bailiwick boasting 12 UK records. Fishing in Guernsey
Fishing in Guernsey
Fishing within the Bailiwick of Guernsey is common place. The Bailiwick is made up of several islands in the Channel Islands, namely ....

.

2009 Formula One
Formula One
Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile . The "formula" designation in the name refers to a set of rules with which...

 World Champion Jenson Button
Jenson Button
Jenson Alexander Lyons Button MBE is a British Formula One driver currently signed to McLaren. He was the 2009 World Drivers' Champion.Button began karting at the age of eight and achieved early success, before progressing to car racing in the British Formula Ford Championship and the British...

 "resides" on the island.

Guernsey people

  • Sir Isaac Brock – Major General
  • Karen Dotrice
    Karen Dotrice
    Karen Dotrice is an English actress known primarily for her role as Jane Banks in Walt Disney's feature film adaptation of the Mary Poppins book series. Dotrice was born in Guernsey to two accomplished stage actors...

     – Actress
  • G.B. Edwards – author of The Book of Ebenezer le Page.
  • Dale Garland
    Dale Garland
    Dale Garland is a Guernsey born British athlete, educated at Elizabeth College, Guernsey. He competed in the 400m hurdles at the 2007 World Athletics Championships and attended the 2008 Summer Olympics as part of the 4x400m relay squad, but did not run in the competition.-Commonwealth Games:* 2002...

     – Athlete
  • Victor Hugo
    Victor Hugo
    Victor-Marie Hugo was a Frenchpoet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France....

     – Author
  • Barry Jones
    Barry Jones (actor)
    Barry Jones was an actor seen in British and American films, on American television and on the stage.-Biography:...

     – actor
  • Major-General John Gaspard Le Marchant – founder of first British military college
  • John Marr
    James Marr (author)
    James Marr , son of Leonard and Elvina Marr, was the author of The History of Guernsey, acclaimed on publication in 1982 as the most important book on the islands since Ferdinand Tupper's history more than a century earlier....

     – author
  • Andy Priaulx
    Andy Priaulx
    Andrew Graham Priaulx, MBE is a British racing driver from Guernsey. He is a European Touring Car Championship champion, three times World Touring Car Championship champion and the only FIA Touring Car champion to win an International level championship for four consecutive years...

     – Touring Car driver
  • Tim Ravenscroft
    Tim Ravenscroft
    Timothy John Ravenscroft is a Guernsey cricketer. Ravenscroft is a right-handed batsman who bowls right-arm off break.Ravenscroft was spotted by the Guernsey Cricket Association at an early age, after which he began playing age group cricket for Hampshire from the age of eleven after being...

     (1992–), cricketer
  • Oliver Reed
    Oliver Reed
    Oliver Reed was an English actor known for his burly screen presence. Reed exemplified his real-life macho image in "tough guy" roles...

     – Actor
  • James Saumarez, 1st Baron de Saumarez
    James Saumarez, 1st Baron de Saumarez
    Admiral James Saumarez, 1st Baron de Saumarez , GCB was an admiral of the British Royal Navy, notable for his victory at the Battle of Algeciras.-Early life:...

     – Vice-Admiral of Great Britain
  • John Savident
    John Savident
    John Savident is a British actor, best known for playing the part of Fred Elliott in the soap opera Coronation Street from 1994 to 2006. And also was a frequent guest on Soccer AM alongside fellow actor Jack 'The Rigger' Spooner....

     – actor, Coronation Street
    Coronation Street
    Coronation Street is a British soap opera set in Weatherfield, a fictional town in Greater Manchester based on Salford. Created by Tony Warren, Coronation Street was first broadcast on 9 December 1960...

  • Lee Savident
    Lee Savident
    Lee Savident is a Guernsey cricketer who currently plays for Guernsey in international cricket. He is a right-handed batsman who bowls right-arm medium pace. He currently resides in Southampton, Hampshire....

     (1974–), cricketer
  • Matthew Le Tissier
    Matthew Le Tissier
    Matthew "Matt" Le Tissier is a retired English footballer who played for Southampton and England.An attacking midfielder with exceptional technical skills, Le Tissier is the second-highest ever scorer for Southampton behind Mick Channon and was voted PFA Young Player of the Year in 1990. He was...

     – Footballer
  • Tim Walker
    Tim Walker
    Timothy "Tim" Walker is a British fashion photographer.Tim Walker’s photographs have appeared in Vogue, month by month, for over a decade. Extravagant staging and romantic motifs characterise his style...

  • Heather Watson
    Heather Watson
    Heather Miriam Watson is a British female tennis player. Born in Guernsey, she trains and resides at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida, USA. Watson has won one major title at the 2009 US Open Juniors, two senior ITF titles and won gold at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games. She has...

     – Tennis player

See also


  • Alderney Wildlife Trust
    Alderney Wildlife Trust
    The Alderney Wildlife Trust is a trust based in Alderney, Channel Islands.The Trust works to preserve the island's biodiversity, to promote the conservation of Alderney's terrestrial and marine habitats, to encourage a sustainable Alderney, and to educate the public about the importance of the...

  • Channel Television
    Channel Television
    Channel Television is a British television station which has served as an Independent Television contractor to the Channel Islands since 1962. It is based in Jersey...

  • Crown Dependencies
  • Frémont Point transmitting station
  • James Marr (author)
    James Marr (author)
    James Marr , son of Leonard and Elvina Marr, was the author of The History of Guernsey, acclaimed on publication in 1982 as the most important book on the islands since Ferdinand Tupper's history more than a century earlier....

  • PRADO – Public Register of Travel and Identity Documents Online
  • Spotlight (BBC News)


External links