Uncovered peat and line of stones at Les Ecrehous

Uncovered peat and line of stones at Les Ecrehous

I have an interest in the historical land masses and their associated legends, most notable for our area is the forêt de Scissy to which some say Chausey derived its name, and a Cromlech is still visible on the shoreline there today. Legend has it there was a great catastrophe and flooding of lands in 709. There are tales of a land link in Roman times from Cap de la Hague to Alderney where three islands were said to have disappeared named Ramvi, Arona, and Croix.

Accounts say in 565 a plank was used by the Bishop of St Lo, and, or the Archdeacon of Coutances to cross the water seperating Jersey from Normandy and the cattle crossing gave its name to the Bœuftins an area near to halfway between the south east of Jersey and Normandy. St Brolade or Brendan was said to have visited Jersey by foot, and St Samson crossed from Guernsey to Herm by a plank. There are some tenuous links to areas prone to flooding and inundation with St Clement in Jersey and Chausey having an Abbey dedicated to the Saint, who is also associated with Viking settlements there is evidence that sea levels have risen since this time as we see from the Vikining settlement at Saint Suliac on the Rance. In Jersey we have the legend of the lost Manor at La Brecquette which was said to have been washed away in 1356.

Les Ecrehou(s) which derives its name from the Norse words Esker meaning an area of stones as in Sker or Skerries, and Hou for island or land bound peninsula. The area has a limited amount of evidence of former land masses which date to around 6,000 BC and later which I have been recording, and I am still discovering new areas although I keep thinking I have found moat if not all the visible evidence, one never knows what a big storm may uncover. Most of these areas are of a hard grainy base substance, but there are some areas of clay like substance similar to what is found near Seymour Tower and are probably from a time when the area was an estuary. The area of peat pictured at the top has an interesting line of stones alongside is probably natural but they could also be placed by early settlers. This area is not far from a rock known as La Vielle which local experts suggect may be after the local name for wrasse or rockfish, I like to think it might be more La Vieille (spelling) meaning old, and describing an old land mass. Historian Mayeux-Doual states that the cultivated land of the Ecrehou was lost in 1421 and there was land 300 yards to the east of Gros Tete a rock which forms the current north west corner of the reef accesible at low water. It has been said that the top of Maitre Ile was cut down by locals to prevent raiding Vikings using the island as a screen and base to mount raids, this is unsubstantiated and there is no evidence to prove this.

Peat remains similar to what uncovers at St Ouen, and at a similar tidal level

Peat remains similar to what uncovers at St Ouen, and at a similar tidal level

Clay like substance, with either a root or possible a dried crack that has filled with peat material

Clay like substance, with either a root or possible a dried crack that has filled with peat material

Sources of information used from Dr Paul Chambers and Philip Stevens as well as the web, a previous post about the peat at St Ouen and Gorban: https://jouault.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/peat-bed-at-st-ouen-gorban-of-guernsey/

 

Advertisements