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The Channel Islands are the oldest possessions of the present ruling house of Great Britain, having passed to the English Crown through William the Conqueror. When Normandy was regained by France, Ihe Islands chose to remain with England, and though Jersey had been attacked and invaded by the French, the population has remained loyal to England—a fact the more remarkable since the language used is that of France. The words, “From the fury of the Normans, good Lord, deliver us ! ” were added to the Litany, and the stoutest resistance was made to all attacks. A day’s sail, more or less, according to the state of the weather, down the river Solent from Southampton, past the Isle of Wight, and out upon the everturbulent Channel, brings the Caskets into view—the fatal reef upon which innumerable lives and vessels have been lost. It was here that Prince William, the only son of King Henry 1., was drowned, after whose death the monarch never smiled again; here a Russian line of battle ship went to pieces ; and here, also, the English man-of-war Victory was lost, with 1100 lives. Three lighthouses, a short distance apart, throw out warning rays for the benefit of the mariner, who passes the reef with a shiver as he remembers its dangers. The sea around the islands bristles with projections of rock, upon which it dashes in the fiercest of white breakers ; add to these the perils of wily currents, and it will be understood that the safe arrival of the steamer at St. Peter’s Port, Guernsey, is a matter of relief and congratulation. St. Peter’s Port is the only town of importance on the island, and it contains a population of about 16,000, two-thirds being females, which is the case with all the population of the islands. It is built on an embankment, rising 200 feet above the level of the sea, and its steepness has necessitated a curious succession of long stairways, with cross-lanes meeting at the landings, and leading up narrower steps. There are an old and a new town, and while in the old town the houses are almost entirely of granite, in the new town they are stuccoed with tinted creamcolor or bi-own. Unostentatious competence, if not wealth and good taste, are visible everywhere.—“ Picturesque Europe.”

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Bibliographic details

THE CHANNEL ISLANDS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 52, 24 January 1880

Word Count

THE CHANNEL ISLANDS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 52, 24 January 1880