Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Millennium Day

Towards the end of the 1990's the States of Jersey gave each Parish ( the island consists of 12 parishes) a wayside cross based on a medieval design.  The Societe Jersiaise presented to each Parish a granite standing stone, to be placed at various locations designated by the Parish.
Ronez Quarries donated the granite stones, which are between 9 and 12 feet high and the Jersey Field Squadron agreed to transport the stones and to help erect them.
The project was first suggested by Societe Jersiaise member Philip Le Brocq who said, "The standing stones will be giant fingers pointing to the future and inspiring people to think what the future holds for them."
Today I took the opportunity to cycle to all of the Millenium Stones, in one continuous circuit.  It actually took a bit of research to decide which was the most effective route, eventually deciding upon an anti-clockwise track, finishing with the St Brelade stone, which is the closest to where I live.
First stop St Lawrence.  Part of the way up Waterworks Valley, just below Dannemarche Reservoir, built in 1909 it was the second of the islands reservoirs
  Weather still wasn't great when I reached stone number 2, St Saviour.  Also located by a reservoir, Grands Vaux, constructed in 1952 it was the first big project from the Waterworks Company after the Occupation.

St Helier was next, on the waterfront at Havre des Pas, close to the seawater swimming pool.
 St Clement was next, after nearly 50 years of living on the island I had never seen this rural corner of this south coast parish.

 Grouville is next, looking towards Mont Orgueil Castle, one of the islands finest historic monuments.

 Half way through, St Martin's stone is on the breakwater at St Catherine's.  I am probably closer to France than my house.
 It was a long stretch to Trinity.  Hidden away in the trees it is not that obvious to find, somewhat spoilt by the proximity of the rubbish bins.
Sorel is the location for the St John stone. Sark is just visible behind, the scene of some great kayaking a couple of weeks ago.
St Mary is the smallest parish in terms of population.  The Parish placed its stone close to the North Coast Footpath.
It was a reasonable distance to the St Ouen stone, looking out over the whole of the west coast.
Most people think of the airport when they think of St Peter.  The parish stone was placed in front of the local primary school, a personal connection as my dad was head of the school when he retired.
 The last one, I arrived at the same time as a rather spectacular Marsh Harrier.

All that remained to do was to sink a quick pint at the La Pulente and then complete the journey home.  A total of 48 miles, which was surprisingly further than I expected but it did take me to some interesting parts of the Island.

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