The What is special about Jersey? resources are suitable for English learners of a pre intermediate or higher level.

Jersey Old History

In 933 A.D. the Channel islands came under the control of the Duke of Normandy. The island was divided into 12 parts (or Paroisses) where each parish saw the construction of a manor house for a seigneur and his family. Of course, William of Normandy became king of England in 1066 and took the Channel Islands along with him.

This continued until 1204 when King John of England lost his lands in France. The island rulers of the time decided to stay with the English crown. In 1213 King John granted Constitutions to the islands. From that time onwards there was fighting between England and France to regain control.

It wasn’t until 1565 that Sark was colonised by Jersey.

From 1572 many French Huguenots sought refuge in Jersey as they had removed all signs of Catholicism in 1547. This continued sporadically up to the French Revolution with the arrival of many refugees from France in 1790.

In 1774 Methodism was introduced to the island and John Wesley, the founder, himself visited Jersey in 1787.

Jersey was interesting as most people stayed in their own parish and travelled by boat, or across the sands at low tide. In 1806 General Don, who was the Lt. Governor at the time, started a network of main roads which transformed the lives of many and made it much easier to get from one side of the island to the other.

Eventually each parish contained a church, a school and a village, together with a system of government which followed the Norman laws.


Jersey 20th C History

In 1914, 6,292 Jerseymen were mobilised for home defence. 862 were lost as casualties of war. The following year the Jersey Overseas Contingent left for war.

The first airport was opened in 1937, and was not modernised until much more recently. The first passenger plane actually arrived in 1934, although it landed on the beach at low tide.

In July 1940 the German troops arrived and thus began life under occupation until Liberation by British forces took place on 9th May 1945.

In 1953 the International Court of Justice awarded the islands of the Ecrehous and Minquiers to the Bailiwick of Jersey. This has been a problem ever since as the French have always considered that those islands belong to them.

Jersey has spent much of the last 100 years modernising its ancient laws and developing the island. There are lots of things that Jersey tried before the rest of the world and lots of ways where the island finds it difficult to change.