The Lost Manor of La Brecquette is perhaps the Island’s most compelling medieval legend. In this December’s edition of Our Island magazine, I told its story.
Today, La Brecquette is a bleak shelf of rock, battered by the Atlantic. The waves roll in from the vast and cold ocean, the void that stretches to Newfoundland thousands of miles west. The Chemin de la Brecquette runs straight towards the sea, then plunges down into it. Only at low tide is the pockmarked and jagged terrain of an ancient landscape revealed.
Yet in medieval times the chronicles record that a great manor house once stood here. It was nestled in a rich and fertile valley of cider orchards, nourished by the gentle brook in the sea-meadow of La Haussière. Then on one fateful night this world was drowned beneath the waves, lost in a sudden cataclysm.
This is the moment when everything changed:
“That was when I saw the great black line on the horizon, unfurling like a scroll, erasing all the stars. A towering ocean wave, the king of tides, was sweeping in at speed towards Jersey. The dreadful wall of black water was five times the height of the tallest man. For an instant, it hung poised, hanging like a curtain over the doomed manor of La Brecquette.
A scurry of lanterns; a frantic welter of men saddling up horses, of servants darting like insects in the courtyard. And then that world suddenly drowned, as violently as a burning brazier ducked into a pond. The water smashed over the tourelle and all the candles went black…
I speak not of the gold, buried long ago like the fruit of those drowned orchards. The treasure still lies deep beneath the earth, waiting to be remembered, waiting to be found”.
In December 2017, the second print run of JERSEY: THE HIDDEN HISTORIES was published by Seaflower Books. It is available widely throughout Jersey, and subject to stock can be found in Waterstones on Queen St., WH Smith on King St, LoveBird Shop at Jersey War Tunnels, the National Trust Bookshop at 16 New Street and at a variety of other Island retailers.
It is also available at Amazon UK in both printed and Kindle varieties.
This month, Seaflower Books also published the latest addition to their Jersey range, CHEERS! by Alasdair Crosby, who also publishes Rural Jersey Country Life magazine. He hosted a very enjoyable launch party for his book on December 7th at Jersey Library!
(c) Paul Darroch 2017