Elizabeth Castle dates back to the 16th Century when the power of cannon fire meant that the existing stronghold at Mont Orgueil was insufficient to defend the island and the Port of St Helier was vulnerable to attack by ships. Sir Walter Raleigh named the Castle after Queen Elizabeth I, who was the reigning monarch of England around the time the Castle was built. Raleigh live at the Castle during his time as Governor of Jersey, from 1600 until 1603. King Charles II also sought refuge at Elizabeth Castle during the English Civil War. During the seven year war (1756 – 1763) the Castle was used as a prison in which French prisoners were held. On January 6, 1781 French soldiers led by Baron Phillipe de Rullecourt landed in St Helier and the Governor of the island Moise Corbet, surrendered but the Castle garrison were determined to hang on and their courage was justified when the French were defeated at the Battle of Jersey.
Jersey was occupied by German troops throughout most of the Second World War from June 1940 until May 1945.
The Castle and Museum is not open all the year round and currently opens from April to November. Tourists to the island are advised to check before planning a trip.
Getting onto the island from the mainland involves a 15 minute ferry ride or a walk along the causeway at low tide but both journeys are subject to good weather conditions and the Castle and Museum is sometimes closed in bad weather.
- Address: Castle Ferry Kiosk, Les Jardins de la Mer, West Park, St Helier, United Kingdom, JE3 3NU
- GPS: 49.176006,-2.125694
- Phone: 0044 (0) 1534 723 971
- Part of UK: Channel Islands
- Sat Nav Postcode: JE3 3NU
- Entrance Fees: Yes
- Disabled Access: Not suitable for people with mobility impairment
- Visibility from Road: Good - From across the bay
- Image Credits: Header Image: