La Rocque Tower

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La Rocque Tower, Grouville No 1


This tower, which is in private ownership, was one of the first of Conway's coastal towers to be constructed, probably in 1779


La Rocque Tower, otherwise known as Grouville Bay No 1, lies on the shoreline at the southern end of the bay, one of a chain of eight defensive installations along its length.

As were many of the island's coastal towers, it was converted for their own defensive purposes by the Germans during their Occupation of the island.

HER statement

Along with all Jersey's other coastal towers and historic fortifications it is a listed building, described as follows in the Jersey Heritage Historic Environment Record website:

"One of the most important historical military sites in Jersey, showing a range of fortifications in close proximity - an early Guard House and Magazine built in 1691 (later extended), La Rocque Tower (Grouville Bay No 1) built 1779-80, and the remains of an 18th century paved battery and boulevard (all that is left of Boulevard de la Rocque).
"The 1940s German installations are of historic interest only, as an example of the reuse of an existing strategic site for military purposes in the 1940s, and as part of the wider network of German defences.
"La Rocque Tower is of significance as an example of the unique form of coastal defence tower developed by Sir Henry Seymour Conway. It is one of 23 Conway towers built in Jersey between 1778 and 1801. The Tower is of the standard Conway pattern. [1] It is round and tapered, built of regular squared and well-tooled blocks of granite, with some brick dressings. The upper floors are punctuated with musketry loopholes, with dressed granite doorway raised at first floor level. There are four machicolations at parapet level. Roof platform with masonry parapet.
"Shown on the Richmond Map of 1795."
  • History of La Rocque Tower: A detailed history of the tower has been written for Jerripedia by Giles Bois. The article is accompanied by the author's extensive collection of historic photographs of the tower and many he has taken more recently

Notes and references

  1. As our detailed history of the tower indicates, as a prototype for the other towers, La Rocque Tower has a number of distinct features
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