St Helier

St Helier is Jersey`s capital Named after a hermit, Helier, who lived on the nearby Hermitage Rock and died there at the hands of axe-wielding pirates in around 550AD, St Helier is home to approximately 33,500 people, or roughly one-third of the population and is also the commercial and shopping hub of the island.

St Helier is one of Jersey’s 12 parishes, so where better to start your visit than the St Helier Parish Church. Originally adjacent to the sea, the structure is now almost 1000 feet away (on account of land reclamation works). Though architecturally unimpressive (its steeple was flattened during the English Civil War), the future Kings Charles II and James II attended services here in 1646. The Church is used for important island events.

Next on your list should be the Royal Square, site of the Battle of Jersey in 1781. At the square’s centre is found a gilded statue of George II (1683-1760), erected in gratitude for a £300 royal subsidy for harbour works. Bordering the square are the United Club and the Royal Court and States Chamber (where visitors can see the island’s parliament in session some Tuesdays).

Don’t miss the lively Central Market, a steel and glass structure dating from 1882 which has at its centre an ornamental fountain and fishpond. The wares on sale include vibrant flowers, fruit and veg, meat, bread, cakes, boutiques and gift shops. The adjacent Beresford Market specialises in fish, ranging from king prawns and conger eel to salted cod (a Jersey favourite).

You should also take time to visit the Main Post Office in Broad Street (Jersey stamps have become collectors items since they were introduced in 1969), King Street (Jersey’s main shopping promenade), and the Howard David Park (sponsored by a local philanthropist in memory of his son, a small cemetery for British and US serviceman who died in the second world war)

Main Image Courtesy Madhura Vanjare

St Helier

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