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Vale, Guernsey facts for kids

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Location of Vale in Guernsey
Location of Vale in Guernsey
Crown Dependency Guernsey, Channel Islands
 • Total 8.8 km2 (3.4 sq mi)
Area rank Ranked 2nd
Population (2001)
 • Total 9,573
 • Density 1,088/km2 (2,817/sq mi)
Time zone GMT
 • Summer (DST) UTC+01 (UTC)

Vale (Guernésiais: Lé Vale; French: Le Valle) is one of the ten parishes of Guernsey.

In 933 the islands, formerly under the control of William I, then Duchy of Brittany were annexed by the Duchy of Normandy. The island of Guernsey and the other Channel Islands represent the last remnants of the medieval Duchy of Normandy.

Much of the Vale parish belonging to the fief Saint Michael, which benefited the Benedictine monks who lived in an abbey that had been built next to the Vale Church from when it was granted in 1032 by Robert of Normandy who had apparently been caught in a storm and his ship had ended up safe in Guernsey. The rights to the fief were removed by Henry VIII when he undertook the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Vale Castle

The Castle of Saint Michael, now called Vale Castle, has an origin going back at least 1,000 years and was used as a refuge against pirate attacks. It was probably started in the late 10th-century. In 1372 Owain Lawgoch a claimant to the Welsh throne, at the head of a free company, on behalf of France, attacked Guernsey, popularly called “La Descente des Aragousais”. Owain Lawgoch withdrew after killing 400 of the Island militia, The poem of the same name refers to the castle as the Château de l'Archange, the location of the last ditch stand against the insurgents.

In 1615 it was the requirement of the island to maintain the Vale castle, as against the Crown which maintained Castle Cornet. It has been a focal point for defence, the latest modifications being undertaken by workers on behalf of the German occupiers.

Modern era

Until 1806 the parish occupied territory on the mainland of Guernsey, the Vingtaine de l'Epine, as well as the whole of Le Clos du Valle, a tidal island forming the northern extremity of Guernsey separated from the mainland by Le Braye du Valle, a tidal channel. Le Braye was drained and reclaimed in 1806 by the British Government as a defence measure. Vale now consists of two non-contiguous territories.

The Vale postal code mainly starts with GY3 with some starting GY8.



The parish was twinned with the Normandy port of France Barneville-Carteret in 1987.

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