La Hougue Bie timeline

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La Hougue Bie timeline


The chapel interior

La Hougue Bie, on the border of the parishes of Grouville and St Saviour is a Neolithic passage tomb, one of the largest and best preserved in Europe. Before this was realised the location has been variously a religious centre, private residence, and leisure complex with a hotel, tearoom and bowling alley

  • 1213: Approximate date when first chapel would have been built at the site. A precise date is not known
  • 1269: First recorded mention of the Hougue
  • Early 1500s: Land purchased by Richard Mabon, possibly from Eleazor Le Marchant, of Guernsey, who was Seigneur du Fief de La Hougue
  • 1520: Mabon, Rector of St Martin and Dean of Jersey, travels to Jerusalem where the Holy Sepulchre is seen as the inspiration for the remodelling of the chapel
  • 1533: The chapel is remodelled with a crypt on the east end and a rotunda known as the Jerusalem Chapel, and contemporary written reference the Chapelle de Notre Dame de La Clarte, Our Lady of the Light. The chapel becaomes a popular place for pilgrimage
  • C1543: On Mabon's death the property passed to Amy and Falle, two priests, and later transferred to the Crown at the Reformation
  • 1563: The mound and chapel recorded on Popinjay's map
  • 1595: The mound and chapel recorded on Norden's map
  • 1606: The mound and chapel recorded on Mercator's map
  • 1607: The property is sold into private ownership, initially to Thomas Tanner
  • 1610: The mound and chapel recorded on Speed's map
  • 1638: The use of the chapel in the 17th century remains unclear, but may have been used as a dwelling and there is evidence of repairs from the date of 1638 painted on the ceiling vault. Various alterations to the property thought to have taken place at this time
  • 1696: The mound is recorded on Coronelli's map
  • 1708: Attempt to demolish the structure halted by the Royal Court
  • 1728: Belfry destroyed by lightening
  • 1749: A further attempt to demolish the structure halted by the Royal Court
  • 1759: Major-General James d'Auvergne purchases Hougue Bie
  • 1792: D'Auvergne gives Hougue Bie to his nephew Philippe (1754-1816). (Duke of Bouillon)
  • 1792-93: Philippe d'Auvergne undertakes extensive works at the chapel to create his Prince's Tower, a place of resort for him from his main residences elsewhere in Jersey. It was also a strategic part of the Island-wide signalling system
  • 1795: Richmond map shows mound with rectangular chapel, on small plot surrounded by roads to south, east and north. No indication of development
  • 1804-1810: D'Auvergne laid out grounds ornamentally around the mound, and undertook substantial planting
  • 1816: D'Auvergne dies, bankrupt. The site is sold to General Gordon, Lieut-Governor of Jersey until 1821, who used it as an occasional residence
  • 1821: General Gordon relinquishes use of the site
  • 1822: Prince's Tower is no longer a private residence. Early use of the site as a pleasure ground
  • c1823: Gate lodge built in north-east corner of the site. A rustic thatched cottage and ticket office with tearoom and and residence for keeper and family. Watercolour depicts tower with flag and signalling mast, young maturing trees on slopes and surrounds below, including conifers and cypresses
  • 1820-30s: Engraving of tower with trees maturing, taken from gateway, with rustic thatched ticket office to left, including verandah, and drive into the site
  • 1830s: Facilities at the site are improved as a result of its popularity. Prince's Tower Hotel built, incorporating rustic lodge; two-storey with banqueting facilities and stables. A well dug with toilet on the east side of the mound
  • c1845: Rustic lodge rebuilt as two-storey house with gothic windows, housing hotel bar and bedrooms. Bowling alley in separate building. Prince's Tower regarded as an ornament in the hotel grounds and gradually became ruinous.
  • 1857: Rook The Channel Islands: The tower 'is so completely encircled by trees that till quite close it can hardly be discerned, except just its summit with a flagstaff rising from it'.
  • Late 19c: Chapel used as a museum of ecclesiastical objects. Render stripped around this time
  • 1870: Engraving of tower, mound and hotel with carriages from SW shows many maturing trees around and on the mound with shrubs towards the top. A carriage route encircled the mound linking to the hotel
  • 1919: La Hougue Bie purchased by Societe Jersiaise
  • 1924-25: Prince's Tower demolished, along with the other later additions to reveal the earlier church as part of the extensive restoration works carried out by the Societe. First excavations at the site commence; discovery of the passage grave.
  • 1925: Monument restored to allow public access, including the concrete tunnel within the original excavation trench, and the trench backfilled. Caretaker's lodge built
  • 1931: Western chapel rededicated by Bishop of Winchester
  • 1940-45: German Occupation uses the site as a strategic defence point and adds various structures. German features include the main shelter, machine gun posts and slit trenches in the grounds
  • 1974: Mourant's excavation of the mound
  • 1967: New museum constructed, using some elements from the demolished Prince's Tower and hotel
  • 1991-95: Excavations followed by restoration of the site
  • 1998: Demolition of concrete tunnel and excavations associated with it
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