Grouville Bay so impressed Queen Victoria on her first visit to the island that in 1859 the Home Secretary wrote to the Bailiff to annouce that she desired that it should be known as the Royal Bay of Grouville.
The Bay is very built-up at the southern end, but at the other end, approaching Gorey the large expanse of Grouville Common remains open although those walking across it do run the risk of being hit by golf balls on the section used by the Royal Jersey Golf Club.
The common has had many uses over the centuries, most notably for training and reviews by the militia and for sixty years from 1843 it was the venue for horse racing, which had previously taken place on the beach at St Aubin's Bay and then at Grève d'Azette. The Grouville Common event was Jersey biggest annual carnival and was captured in oils by island painter Philip Ouless in 1849.
The bay offers nearly 5 miles of sandy beach, with marshland behind the common, which has diminished in size over the years, although what remains is unspoilt by development and should remain so thanks to modern planning legislation. During the Occupation the Germans took over a million tons of sand off the beach to make the concrete needed for their bunkers, gun emplacements and other concrete fortifications.
- Coast: Grouville Bay, one of the stops on our coastal tour of Jersey NEW
19th century etching showing the bay viewed from Mont Orgueil