The parish of Grouville shares, with the neighbouring parish of Saint Martin, a dedication to Saint Martin of Tours. The ecclesiastical parish and parish church are dedicated to "Saint Martin de Grouville" to distinguish them from the parish of Saint Martin (historically 'Saint Martin le Vieux'). The Church of St Peter la Rocque was built in the 19th century.
The name 'Grouville' may derive from:
- the small community established in what is now the parish by St Gerou (also known as Gervold or Geraldius), an ecclesiastical troubleshooter in the employ of Charlemagne in the 9th century AD;
- 'Gros Villa' (great farm)
- Geirr, the Viking leader after whom the Island may be named.
The Royal Bay of Grouville gained its royal epithet when it impressed Queen Victoria during her visit in 1846. The bay is popular with tourists for its broad sandy beach and shallow, warm water. It is also the main oyster producing area of Jersey, and was also formerly noted for the gathering of vraic (seaweed) for spreading on fields over the winter before planting potatoes the following year. Parishioners also used to burn vraic, giving rise to the traditional nickname of les Enfuntchis (the smoky ones, or the dim ones, in Jèrriais) shared by the Grouvillais and their neighbours in Saint Clement.Inland, the parish is also home to Jersey's most noted archaeological site at La Hougue Bie, now a museum run by the Jersey Heritage Trust. A prehistoric artificial mound covers a passage grave aligned for the equinox. A mediaeval chapel, Notre Dame de la Clarté, built on the Neolithic mound, was converted in the 18th century to a folly-like residence, the Prince's Tower (demolished in the 1920s).
La Rocque was the site of the landing of the French forces on 6 January 1781. The skirmish at La Platte Rocque was ancillary to the Battle of Jersey.
The Royal Jersey Golf Club, Gorey Village, and Queen's Valley (now flooded to form a reservoir) are situated in the parish.
Grouville is divided for administrative purposes into vingtaines as follows:
- Vingtaine des Marais
- Vingtaine de la Rue
- Vingtaine de Longueville
- Vingtaine de la Rocque
Grouville forms one electoral district and elects one Deputy.
The offshore islands, Les Minquiers, between Jersey and France, are part of the parish of Grouville.
Some of the important places in the parish
- Grouville Common
- Grouville Marsh
- Grouville Fountain
- Grouville School
- Marais à la Coque
- Route des Cotils
Grouville is twinned with:
- Portbail in France
Home for girls
In around 1854 Abraham Le Sueur, Rector of Grouville, founded a female orphans home. Inb 1862 the establishment, also known as the Home for Girls, moved into purpose-built premises on land opposite Grouville parish church.
At some date the home began to accept young boys with their older sisters. It continued in operation while the island was under German occupation during the Second World War. The home closed in 1959 and the girls were transferred to the Home for Boys, which became a mixed institution, subsequently renamed Haut de la Garenne.
Part of the Grouville premises were then used to rehouse the Junior Training Centre, formerly part of the Westaway Creche in St Helier.
The Grouville building was eventually demolished to make way for a housing estate
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A view of Grouville from the parish church to Mont Orgueil Castle in the distance