Start at the ‘Docker’ statue outside Jersey Museum and Art Gallery and walk across to Liberation Square with the large sculpture at its centre. Using the pedestrian crossing, cross over the main road towards the harbour and head towards the Steam Clock.
The impressive granite warehouses opposite the Steam Clock, which now house Jersey’s Maritime Museum, were built in 1899 as part of improvements to the New North Quay. The replacement of sailing vessels with steam-powered shipping led to increased passenger numbers and more cargo being shipped to the Island, and the harbour was expanded to cope with the demand.
From the Steam Clock, walk across to the harbour railings.
Here, the benches are decorated with the names of wooden sailing boats that were built by Jersey’s many 19th century ship-building yards, located along the shoreline from Gorey to St Aubin.
Follow the shared walking/cycle route along the edge of the harbour.
On the opposite side of the road stands Commercial Buildings. This row of merchants’ houses and warehouses, known originally as Le Quai des Marchands, was built in the early 19th century. It was constructed by a group of merchants who lost patience with delays in constructing working piers within reasonable reach of the St Helier seafront and decided to do the work themselves.
They reclaimed a wide stretch of land below the foot of Le Mont de La Ville, on top of which Fort Regent had recently been built. The height of the buildings was restricted so that they did not obstruct the line of fire for the Fort Regent guns.
Follow the route along the length of Commercial Buildings and round the corner towards the old La Folie Inn between the old French Harbour and the English Harbour.
La Folie Inn was one of the oldest inns in St Helier. It was built between 1700-1737 for workers employed in building the new harbour and for seafarers returning from long voyages. The stone-fronted quay was open to the south-westerly gales and provided little protection for the inn, so many people regarded it as a foolish project - hence a folly.
As the harbour developed, the berths on the Town side of La Folie were referred to as the English Harbour. Those on the south were known, in 1765, as the New Harbour and later the French Harbour. In the 18th century, cannon barrels were set into the quayside for ships to tie up to, and two of these can still be seen.
Les Runs à Calfaîtage
Opposite La Folie Inn, the high retaining wall was extended along from Commercial Buildings by William Hinchcliffe. He designed it with 27 openings known as ‘les runs à calfaîtage’. These were used by caulkers to store the tools and oakum (twisted jute fibre), which they used in the nearby shipyards to make the vessels watertight. Four of these storage openings remain, but the others have been filled in.
Continue walking past La Folie and pause by the row of storage huts by South Pier.
This row of single-storey fishermen’s stores, known as Les Barraques, was built by the famous yachtsman T B Davis in 1930. Davis was a wealthy man and a great benefactor. His gifts to the Island included Howard Davis Park in memory of his son, who was killed in the First World War.
In the 19th century, a number of shipbuilders operated in this area, including George Hamptonne, George Deslandes and Thomas Gavey. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, T B Davis over-wintered his racing schooner, Westward, here on South Pier.
Continue walking to view the two monuments on the grassed area opposite where the Rowing Club’s boats are stored.
On the right, the Harvey Memorial was unveiled in 1871 in memory of Captain Henry Beckford Harvey and the crew of the Normandy, which collided with the Mary in dense fog off the Needles on 17 March 1870 and sank with the loss of the captain, 14 crew members and 16 passengers.
Standing next to it, the Westaway Monument was unveiled in 1875 and commemorates the gallantry and courage of John Nathaniel Westaway, a passenger on the Normandy steamship. Westaway was drowned after giving up his seat on the lifeboat to Miss Albina Falle, also giving her his coat as protection against the elements.
Re-trace your steps for a short distance and pass by the granite boat house on the left.
This was built in 1895 and converted in the 1930s to house the Howard D, Jersey’s first motorised lifeboat. This was another gift to the Island by T B Davis in memory of his son, Howard. The Howard D has been restored and is usually moored opposite the entrance to the Maritime Museum. The boat house is now home to the Jersey Rowing Club.
Cross the road opposite South Pier and climb the granite steps to reach Pier Road.
At the top of the steps is a signal lamp mounted on an old cast iron post, originally a street lamp. The post has the Royal Cipher ‘GRIIII’ on the base, dating it to the 1820s.
Turn left and walk along the pavement. Cross over to view the granite memorial on the other side of the road next to another short flight of steps.
POW Camp Memorial
This is the site of the French North African Prisoner of War Camp during the Occupation. These prisoners of war were forced to work on various projects, including the construction a railway bridge that ran over the English Harbour and work in ammunition tunnels.
Climb the granite steps to the right of the memorial and then follow the steps through the play area to reach the entrance to South Hill Gardens.
This early-20th century seaside park incorporates historic military features with stunning panoramic views across the southern coast of the Island. Follow the path around the perimeter of the park for cliff-top views of Elizabeth Castle and the harbours. The uppermost plateau, on which the battery stands, provides 360 degree views of St Aubin’s Bay and Grève d’Azette, Fort Regent and St Helier.
Leave the park and turn right onto the main road, then take the lane directly to the right of the red postbox. This lane is used regularly by walkers.
This quiet, leafy lane runs along the base of the outer defensive wall of Fort Regent. At the bottom of the hill, it crosses over the Snow Hill railway bridge that was built to carry Regent Road across the Jersey Eastern Railway line. The Snow Hill terminus opened in May 1874, and the line was extended to Gorey Pier in 1891.
Cross the railway bridge and walk up Regent Road.
Beau Regard Entrance & Poor Box
You will pass the neo-classical gateway to a house called Beau Regard, now demolished, that once had commanding views over Grève d’Azette. Further on, 17 Regent Road is a late 18th century townhouse with a cast iron poor box to the left of the front door, with a message to encourage passersby to donate for the benefit of the poor in society. Number 16 was the home of Lilian Grandin, Jersey’s first female doctor. Her remarkable story features in the Jersey Peace Trail, available at www.jerseyheritage.org
At the end of Regent Road, a fine set of granite steps leads down to Hill Street.
To the side of the steps, Regency House is a Modern Movement apartment block dating from 1947. Unusually, it was constructed to be earthquake-resistant and was designed in response to a series of earth tremors in the 1930s.
At the bottom of the steps, note the road sign for Ruette de la Comédie.
This reminds us that Regent Road was originally the site of Jersey’s first purpose-built theatre, the Theatre Royal, which opened in 1802.