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You are in Jersey > My Island > Historic Sites > La Hougue Bie
SEE ALSO
La Hougue Bie
Hamptonne
Castles
Jersey War Tunnels
ON THE WEB
Jersey Heritage  
Jersey War Tunnels
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HISTORIC SITES
Jersey War Tunnels
Jersey has a rich history with a number of venues to show it off.
Jersey War Tunnels
Castles
Hamptonne
PANORAMIC VIEWS
Gorey Castle Panorama
Panoramic views of historic sites and general views.
Gorey Castle
La Hougue Bie
FOLKLORE
Caumine
Ghosts, Gouls, Witches and Black Dogs.
Geoffrey's Leap
Le Perquage
Spanish Ships
LA HOUGUE BIE
Inside the passage grave
Inside the passage grave

La Hougue Bie began as the site of a Neolithic burial mound around 3500 BC.

The burial chamber

The mound covered a passage grave and burial chamber.

The passage grave consisted of a narrow passage leading to a large oval chamber. Two small side chambers projected from the north and south walls.

A raised platform led to a small end chamber located at the western side of the main chamber. This area was probably the most sacred area of the site.

Construction

The chapel on top of the burial mound
The chapel on top of the burial mound

The large upright stones and capstones in the tomb itself came from various places in the east of the island. They would have been set into place using earth ramps, wooden rollers and a lot of manpower.

Use of the tomb

Although referred to as a tomb, the site would probably have served a much more complex purpose, with a number of ritual and ceremonial functions.

It remained open and in use for several centuries, before the tomb was finally sealed and the site abandoned.

From pagan to Christian

La Hougue Bie would have been recognised as a pagan site from early times, and was christianised in the twelfth century.

Painting of a saint on the chapel roof
Painting of a saint on the chapel roof

A chapel was constructed on the summit of La Hougue Bie, and possibly replaced an older wooden structure.

This chapel remained in use for about four centuries, until the Jerusalem chapel and crypt were built in 1520.

Abandoned

The chapels were abandoned around the Protestant reformation, and later fell into ruin. They were extensively rebuilt and reconsecrated in 1931.

The towers

La Hougue Bie was reoccupied in the 18th century. Shortly after 1780 the D'Auvergne family transformed the chapel ruins into a Neo-Gothic style house.

Inside one of the chapels
Inside one of the chapels

The interiors of the chapels were extensively modified to produce a large hall with windows at both ends.

At the end of the 18th century the house was abandoned and quickly fell into ruin.

Effects of the German occupation

The ruined towers of La Hougue Bie became an important landmark and tourist attraction. In 1859 it was described as 'the wonder of the island's wonders'.

In 1920 the site was bought by the Societe Jersiaise for use as an historic site.

But on the 10th March 1942 German forces began to build a battalion command bunker into the eastern side of the Neolithic mound.

Over the next few years a total of 70 trenches were dug in the grounds, causing extensive archaeological damage.

 


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