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On the coast

Edwardian gentlemen carried the ladies through to the caves at Plemont, a sandy beach on the north coast of Jersey. It has the most accessible large caves in Jersey and has long been a popular spot for holidaymakers to visit during an island tour

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360-degree panoramic view

Sand eels

Adjacent to the Plmont headland to the west is La Grève au Lanchon - a fine sandy beach of which the main attraction was until 1939, the sand-eels (du lanchon) that were caught in nocturnal fishing expeditions. Tourism replaced fishing: from Victorian times the caves, easily accessible at low tide, have attracted both locals and visitors alike, and were a magnet for the island's elite on a fine, sunny day. They would descend the steps and bridges from the top of the tall cliffs, dressed in their Sunday best, and the ladies would be carried on the men's backs through the pools which form in the sand in front of the caves.The beach is also popular with surfers when the sea is rough, and at other times it provides a safe, protected beach for a day out in the sunshine.

There was a guardhouse on the neck of the peninsula, with a drawbridge.

Holiday camp

At one time there was a hotel at the top of the cliff, and then a holiday camp was built on the headland. Now that has been demolished and the headland has been restored to its natural state.

1893 holiday photograph next to the cave entrance

1890 carriage outing

We do not know the date when this photograph was taken, but it was clearly in the days when schools required their pupils to wear school uniform even when out for the day with their parents. Perhaps that's why the young lad was looking so miserable![1]

Click on images below to see larger pictures

This 1931 photograph was entitled Sea Nymphs

Four pictures of plemont copied from 1904 stereoviews. Since the first parties of islanders and holidaymakers started to explore Jersey in horse-drawn carriages and charabancs in the 19th century, Plemont has always been a popular place to halt, clamber down the rocks, and explore the caves and rock pools. There are many much better quality pictures of Plemont on this page, which is completely covered at high tide and today is popular with surfers, but these have a certain fascination having been taken by an amateur photographer well over 100 years ago.

A group of early French holidaymakers pose for a photograph in the cave
Plemont cave photographed between 1874 and 1876 by E Ogier

Notes and references

  1. Jerripedia editor Mike Bisson recalls that when he first went to Victoria College in 1960 he was required to wear his uniform on the bus to piano lessons in the evening and also on family outings, although he thinks that this probably only applied to school days and not weekends
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