L'Etacquerel Fort

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L'Etacquerel Fort


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1840 etching


L'Etacquerel Fort was built on the north coast at Bouley Bay in the 19th century to defend an area thought likely to be chosen for an invasion

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Other names

Fort L'Etacquerel - Some sources prefer the names in this order. There does not appear to be an official version

Location

Off Route des Cotes du Nord, Trinity

Historic Environment Record entry

Outstanding example of early 19th century fortification. L'Etacquerel Fort retains its historical authenticity and completeness as a fort with the architectural integrity of the buildings in close to their original form and physical context.

L'Etacquerel Fort was built in 1836 on a headland on the east side of Bouley Bay - the site fortified since the 18th century. A battery was built nearby between 1786-90 - to which was added a powder magazine in 1807. Essentially a gun battery with the addition of a guardhouse and flanking screen walls with loopholes to defend the positions from attack on the sides facing inland.

The fort has a stepped profile excavated from the rock, with the base of the seaward wall 54 feet above the high water mark. A dry ditch - 21 feet deep and between 12 and 24 feet wide - separates the walls from the steep hill slopes behind the fort. A modern timber bridge provides access across the ditch to the raised entrance, through which access is gained to a flat platform supported off the brick soffits of the guardhouse below. The guardhouse is single storey and comprises a series of vaulted rooms reinforced by buttresses.

The walls are granite with dressed stone openings, steps and walkways. The arched vaults are in brick. There are granite flagged floors and dressed granite fireplaces in the barrack rooms. The original doors and windows have been lost but an iron grille survives in the storeroom.

On the south-west side of the guardhouse are the remains of the privies and a water tank. The original water pump has been removed. The south-east side of the fort faces landward and is protected by loop-holed granite walls with raised wall walks. On the lower seaward side are traversing gun platforms with circular plan form, designed to project fire across the bay in partnership with Fort Leicester to the west.

Ownership

The fort is owned by the States of Jersey and is now administered by Jersey Heritage, having been adapted as a holiday let in 2005. It provides very basic camping accommodation for up to ten people. No electricity or running water.

2021 picture by Jersey's foremost drone photographer, Paul Lakeman. Visit his Facebook group for a large selection of photographs looking down on Jersey's coasts. Photographs are available in return for a contribution to Jersey Hospice
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