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St Saviour's

St Saviour's is on the west coast of Guernsey between Castel and St Pierre du Bois. It has one of the largest areas but one of the smallest coastlines which include Perelle and a tiny part of Vazon bay. It is home to Guernsey's main reservoir, the largest area of freshwater on the island.

St Saviour's is one of Guernsey's most rural parishes with lots of farms and some of Guernsey's cattle herds. St Saviour's currently has a population of 2696 people. Did you know that there is also a St Saviour's parish in Jersey? People from Saint Saviour's were traditionally nicknamed ''fouormillaons'' in Guernesiais. Fouormillaons means ants. Why do you think people from St Saviour's had that nickname? Perhaps it is because they are very sociable.

St Saviour's has a tiny section of coast which includes Perelle and a small section of Vazon bay. Perelle has a pebbly beach with dramatic rocks and views over Lihou island. It is a popular hangout for experienced surfers. Huge waves crash out at sea on Dom Hue islet. Perelle has a village centre with a petrol station and food shop, self-catering apartments, a hotel and clusters of traditional houses. Further up the coast between Vazon and Perelle is the Victorian barracks, Fort Richmond.

St Saviour's is home to the States of Guernsey reservoir, which provides a water supply to most of the island. The reservoir is where Guernsey stores most of its fresh water. It was built between 1938 and 1947 (with a break in between during the occupation). It was made by flooding three valleys and a village. Have you ever walked around the reservoir? It is 2 and a half miles all the way around and it takes over about an hour and a half. Water is pumped, before being stored, tested and sent out through the pipes around Guernsey. There is woodland around the edge of the reservoir with a nature reserve and an area for fresh-water fishing.

St Saviour's church dates back to the 12th century. It sits in a valley overlooking the reservoir. The church was re-built In 1658 after it was struck by lightning. The people in the church at the time were thrown to the ground. No one was seriously hurt but some worshippers were so badly shocked they were unable to walk home. Part of the tower collapsed, the spire was lifted up 5 metres into the air and the smallest of the bells crashed to the ground and was broken. During the second world war the Germans used the church's tower as a lookout post. They cut peep holes in the tower so they could see out across the countryside. St Saviour's church is now well known for it's beautiful stained glass windows.

St Apolline's Chapel was the one of the first ancient historic monuments in Guernsey. Lots of tiny chapels were built in Guernsey in the 13th and 14th centuries, this is the only one still intact. This tiny chapel was built by Nicholas Henry in 1392 near his manor of La Perelle and dedicated to St Apolline (the patron saint of dentists). St Appoline had her teeth and jaws broken so that she starved to death in A.D. 249. A painting of the Last Supper has survived on the south wall. It was restored from 1972 - 78 and is open to the public. Only about 15 people fit in the chapel at one time. Christian services are still occasionally held there.

Near the coast road at Perelle there is an ancient monument call Le Trepied passage grave. Arrow heads, vases and human bones were found at this tomb in 1840. There is a lot of myth and legend surrounding this site. The tomb used to be known as a midnight haunt of witches in the 17th century. Other legends say that these witch meetings were attended by the devil who used to sit in the middle of the stones.

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  106k v. 1 16 Feb 2011, 13:53 katie Beavan