27th May 1111
St Brelade’s Church is consecrated
Although the church at St Brelade had to wait until the early 12th century before it was consecrated, there is much evidence that the building itself had existed for some years before that date. Like many churches, it has grown considerably over the years, with the chancel being the oldest part, and the tower somewhat younger. Most of it is built from local stone, hauled up from the beach, and the mortar was made using limpet shells, which had first been boiled.
A folklore connection
St Brelade’s church is one of many sites associated with island folklore. Specifically, it was said to have been moved by fairies during its construction. Originally, work had begun around a mile away at Les Quennevais, but once the foundations had been dug, the workers downed their tools and went home for the night, only to discover the next morning that they had been moved to the church’s current location.
They gathered their tools and returned to Les Quennevais, but the same thing happened the next night. It was clear the fairies weren’t going to allow them to build the church where they wanted, so they gave in. Instead of bringing their tools back to the original site, they transported the stone to the current location, which is why St Brelade’s church is situated so close to the sea.
Whether or not you believe in fairies, it’s more likely the church was built at its current location because there was already a place of worship on the site. The smaller Fishermen’s Chapel, the walls of which are thought by some historians to date from the 6th century, sits right next door and, like the walls of the parish church, were constructed in part using limpet shells.
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Other events that occured in May
Daniel Brevint, Dean of Lincoln, is born in Jersey
- Daniel Brevint was son and grandson of Channel Islands clergymen (his father in Jersey and his grandfather in Sark) and became Dean of Lincoln.
- Read more…