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St Sampson's

The parish of St Sampson's is divided into two sections. The main part of St Sampson's lies on the East coast of Guernsey but there is another smaller part on the west coast. The parish includes Guernsey's second biggest port and a large shopping area. The shopping area is often called 'the Bridge' but do you know why?

On the northern edge of St Sampson's there used to be a tidal channel called La Braye du Valle. At low tide you could walk across to an island called Le Clos du Valle. Very like Lihou island now but much bigger. There was also a bridge so you could cross over at low tide. In 1806 the British government decided to drain the tidal channel and fill it in so the island was easier to defend.

The eastern end of the channel became St Sampson's harbour and the western end is now Grand Havre bay. We call the roadway across the end of the harbour at St. Sampson's 'The Bridge,' to remember the bridge that linked the two parts of Guernsey at high tide. 'The Bridge' is now Guernsey's main industrial port as well as a harbour for pleasure boats.

St Sampson's Church is thought to be the oldest in the island. The church stands near the spot where St Samson of Dol landed from Brittany to convert the islanders to Christianity in 550AD. Before the Braye du Valle was filled in, the church stood on it's shores. If you're ever rich enough to have a £20 note, look out for a picture of St Sampson's Church on the back.

St Sampson's is also home to Delancey park and it's prehistoric burial chambers. The park used to be home to a 30 metre high granite memorial to Admiral James de Saumarez. He was Guernsey's great naval hero over 250 years ago. Learn more about Admiral James de Sausmarez here. The memorial was demolished in world war two and replaced with a plaque. However the Admiral de Saumarez Trust are in the process of designing a new monument. What do you think the memorial should look like? See the proposed new memorial here.

St Sampson's is home to Belle Greve Bay and part of Grand Havre. Guernsey candles, Guernsey Freesia Centre, the Guernsey Bowl and Oatlands are just some of the attractions on offer. Many industrial buildings, channel television and BBC Guernsey all have premises in St Sampson's. It is also home to the island prison.
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  100k v. 1 16 Feb 2011, 13:53 katie Beavan
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  154k v. 2 26 Apr 2010, 14:14 katie Beavan