Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Gorey under its castle


According to Paul Grodon
The first recorded mention of Gorey Castle aka Mont Orgueil (its French name, meaning "pride") was in November 1212. Gorey Castle was a stronghold of English rule. In 1337 the French invaded, and the castle resisted siege. Blood flowed, but the castle did not fall. A second siege under French buccaneer Bertrand du Guesclin followed in July 1373, and the outer walls were breached. But the rock did not fall. The French finally occupied it in the fifteenth century, but through treachery not brute force. Sir Walter Raleigh was sent by Queen Elizabeth to tear down the old fort but sentiment won the day. Gorey Castle turned from sanctuary into prison. As the French Revolution cast its fanatical spell over Europe, the castle was used as a royalist base by d'Auvergne and his secret network. Then as Jersey sauntered into the sunlit uplands of the Victorian age, the castle retained its potency as a symbol of the island's proud loyalism and independence. Queen Victoria chose to visit Mount Orgueil with Prince Albert. She had a penchant for island castles. As Hitler's armies poured into Jersey and the swastikas flew over the fields of brown Jersey cows and sweet potatoes, Gorey Castle, as a prominent coastal fortified site, was absorbed into the machinery of the Third Reich. Concrete gun emplacements, bunkers and flak towers were added to the ancient walls. Today it is a tourist trap, but one with a unique sense of presence and power. You can experience something of the depth of the past, of the blood and glory of previous ages.
A contribution to ABC Wednesday.

5 comments:

Roger Owen Green said...

a gory history for Gorey castle.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Meryl said...

Amazing how rock is more valuable than human life...I like what Roger wrote!

Joy said...

It certainly looks sturdy (nice contrast with harbour buildings) and what a fascinating history.
Joy, ABC Team

jewaicious said...

What a lovely capture of textures and history. Thank you for the photo and historical bits.

Paul @ Leeds Daily Photo said...

Blood and gore, that's my kind of visitor place.