St Helier – history round every corner

WHERE better to start than with the oldest statue in the town? The statue of George II in the Royal Square replaced a cage that once held prisoners waiting their turn for the Royal Court.

On to the Pierre Le Sueur obelisk. Le Sueur was responsible for the town sewers, the widening and numbering of streets, and a fire brigade.

Continue along Broad Street to La Croix de la Reine. This celebrates Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. It was designed by the States’ engineer Cyril Warren and carved by stonemason Louis Chataigniere.

Next we arrive at Le Bouan Crapaud. This went up in 2004 to celebrate the Island’s 800 years as a self-governing ‘Crown Peculiar’.

Pass the Cenotaph, to the Don Monument. This is the work of Pierre Robinet, a Frenchman who fled to Jersey in 1870 after his studio was destroyed during the Prussian bombardment of Paris.

Cross the road and walk along the path to the bust of Phillippe Baudains. He served in the Town Militia and was a founder of La Société Jersiaise. In 1869, he was awarded a Royal Humane Society medal for saving someone from drowning.

At the western end is Queen Victoria, the most moved statue in the Island. Victoria was originally in front of today’s Royal Yacht Hotel. In 1970, she was moved to Liberation Square, but by 1973, it was felt that a car park was not really suitable, so in 1976 she was moved here.

Cross into Les Jardins de la Mer. Here we find Swimmers II by Philip Jackson.

On to the Freedom Tree. Unveiled by Queen Elizabeth to mark the 60th anniversary of the Liberation, it consists of 70 separate mouldings.

On the Albert Pier is the Jubilee Needle, another piece by Richard Perry who created the Freedom Tree. In all, 415 individual slate discs were used, these were factory-assembled in stacks of 16 discs and joined together on site.

Walk around the Marina to the Deportee Memorial, by Gordon Young, which incorporates the Victorian light that used to be located on St Catherine’s Breakwater.

Then we come to the Steam Clock, made by clock manufacturers John Smith and Son of Derby. In 2005, the clock lost its title as the biggest steam clock in the world when it was converted to electricity.

Next, the Monument to Freedom in Liberation Square. When the design was shown to the public, it caused controversy. The principal problem was that the sculpture had doves being released, which would never have happened during the war, when food was scarce.

From here you can go back to your car or walk up Mulcaster Street, past the Town Church and back to the Royal Square.

This is one of my favourite walks because it is flat, scenic, full of interest, and there are cafés, pubs and restaurants everywhere.

Information

Distance: Two miles (3.5 km)

Time: One hour

A short walk around the western end of St Helier. The route is on good surfaces and would be suitable for wheelchairs or buggies.

Toilets: Conway Street, Parade Gardens, West Park, Liberation Station.

(Park at one of the multi-storeys, such as Pier Road or Sand Street)

Meet your Guide - Blue Badge Guide Arthur Lamy

How long have you been a Blue Badge Guide?
I passed my Blue Badge first time in 1997 – you actually get three goes at it.

What’s your area of expertise?
I’m probably the only Blue Badge Guide who puts on regular cycle tours.

Why do you do it?
You meet different people every day.

Favourite view in Jersey?
From La Tête de Frémonty.

Favourite beach?
St Ouen’s Bay.

Where do you go to relax?
My wife and I walk a lot.

Favourite fascinating fact?
50 per cent of the population were not born here (Jersey in Figures 2014).

Tel: 853525 or 07797 713592

arthurthebluebadgeguide@hotmail.co.uk

arthurthebluebadgeguide.com

Download/print a PDF of the walking map

Other Walks