PHOTO TOUR

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Hougue Bie (pronounced 'hoog bee')

Hougue Bie is undoubtedly one of our local treasures. A mound standing 14 metres high covers an important Neolithic tomb dating back to about 3,500BC. A later addition to this important site was the building of a 12th century chapel (shown in the photo below left).

The name of the site is a bit of a puzzle. It's possible that the word 'hougue' is derived from the old Norse 'haugr' meaning a mound. You can read about our Viking connections here. (Press the 'Back' button on your computer to come back here). As far as the word 'Bie' - this may possibly be a shortening of the name 'Hambye'. A legend connected to this site suggests that the Lord of Hambye in Normandy may have been buried here. You can read about Hambye the dragon slayer by clicking here.

We know that the Neolithic people were not very much smaller than us and yet the entrance passage (above right) is low. One theory is that it was deliberately constructed this way in order to make people stoop in reverence as they entered this important tomb.

 

An easy climb takes you to the chapel on top of the mound. The original building was added to in about 1520 and some ceiling paintings from this period still remain.

From the top of the mound there are some pleasant views of the surrounding countryside and towards the sea.

The occupying German forces began to construct a command bunker at La Hougue Bie during their occupation of the island in 1940-45 and the underground tunnels are on view to the public.

 

This site is owned today by La Société Jersiaise and they have turned La Hougue Bie into a museum dedicated to Jersey through the ages.

On site is an excellent Archaeology and Geology Museum.

The little hut on the right is part of a replica Neolithic village and forms the focus of special family days, organised by the museum staff, when the public can take part in activities like pot making and corn grinding using Neolithic hand-mills ('querns').

 

 

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