Megalithic Traces

A Jersey Heritage pamphlet lists the 12 best known Megalithic Sites in the Island. Société Jersiaise’s website records a cycle route linking 11 sites, which it owns, of which 10 are included on the Heritage pamphlet. The route has been accepted as a European Megalithic Cultural Route.

I have been asked to help develop the route, specifically mapping a variant suitable for off-road bikes. The route envisaged won’t so much be off-road, as not exclusively on road.The proposed off-road route will not only link the best known sites, but also less well known and more inaccessible locations. For further information on such sites see Prehistoric Jersey and Nick Aubin’s article in the 2018 annual bulletin of the Société Jersiaise, “The Neolithic Passage Graves of Jersey;Locating the Lost Sites”. This post focused on such sites is very much a work in progress.

Anne giving scale to Les Cotils Farm Menhir, St Helier, described in Prehistoric Jersey as a “possible Menhir, which now serves as a gatepost”.
La Blanche Dame Neolithic Diorite Menhir, An un-sign posted site, to get to it you need to go through gaps in two hedges.
Large Stone on les Huriaux, Grouville. The Place Name means high or rocky ground. Nick Aubin suggests the number of stones may be the remnants of a former Megalithic structure. The possibility is given credence as the site is on the same ridge as the Passage Grave at Mt Ubé some 700 metres away.
Another large stone in the wall round the corner from Les Huriaux, in Rue de Genestet, St Clement.

More large stones not far away, at la Rue de la Houguette, St Clement. Again Nick suggests they may be the remnants of a significant Megalithic structure. Again, once it is brought to your attention, you look for and see the stones in the walls bounding the road, imagining them as remnants of the deconstructed Megalithic structure . The Place Name Hougette may also be significant. Hogue in Jersey French is a mound or tumulus Prehistoric Jersey lists six dolmens with Hougue Place Names.

Les Huriaux, la Blanche Dame, Mt Ubé and la Rue de la Houguette are relatively close to each other. It is hard not to link them as traces of a Neolithic sacred landscape.

La Hougue de Vinde , Noirmont, St Brelade, hidden amongst the trees. A damaged site which may have contained a cist. The relict mound is within a ring of stones set on edge, Anne, Nicky Mansell and me give scale.
With Anne and Nicky I suggest the location of the Dolmen de Beauport , St Brelade, on private land, without an obvious access route
Anne at La Hougue de Platons, St John. Originally a low mound edged with stones. The site is owned by Société Jersiaise. It is the one site listed on their cycle route, but not on the Heritage pamphlet of the best known sites, presumably because it is difficult to find , without a signpost to it and only accessible by a path across private land. When excavated it was found to contained a capstoned cist , which was moved to Hougue Bie.

My experience is that finding the less well known sites, the Megalithic Traces, is more exciting than visiting the better known and more visited locations. More anon…..

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