La Rocco Tower - Heritage Holiday Properties - Jersey Heritage

Sleeps 6

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Join your very own guide for a once-in-a-lifetime experience staying overnight at the iconic La Rocco Tower. Completely surrounded by sea twice a day, La Rocco Tower boasts unrivalled views of St Ouen’s Bay.

Accommodating up to six people plus your guide, La Rocco Tower offers a truly unique experience. Standing on a rocky outcrop off the west coast of Jersey, the Tower offers guests the ultimate retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the main land. Located in Jersey’s National Park, half a mile offshore, it’s perfect for anyone looking for adventure.

Each group staying at La Rocco Tower has their own personal guide who stays with you throughout and ensures a safe excursion to the Tower. They will arrange the best access times and ensure you get the most out of your stay. During your stay you can watch the incoming tide from the parapet and enjoy stunning views of the sunset from the roof.

Built in 1796, the Tower has been an iconic Jersey landmark for over two centuries. Spread over two floors with cooking facilities and wood burning stove on the ground floor and the bunk room on the upper floor with a basic chemical toilet. There are six bunks in the upper room for which we recommend you bring sleeping bags and pillows, with a separate room for your guide on the ground level. Whilst the facilities are basic, there is solar power for lighting and the fridge and gas for the cooker. La Rocco Tower has no running water and guests are required to bring their supply of drinking water. Guests are required to carry all their food, clothes and sleeping bags out to the Tower. In addition all waste (including bagged toilet waste) will need to be brought back and disposed of on shore.

Please note La Rocco Tower is only available to rent when the tide and weather allow safe and manageable access. It is not accessible by car and is it not suitable for small children. Bookings are subject to cancellation should the weather conditions present outside of approved operational levels. Please see booking terms and conditions.

 

Images with thanks to:


Paul Marshall Photography

Chris Brookes

and artist Ian Rolls



 

"La Rocco, first restored by the Société and the National Trust in the 1970s, is an icon of conservation in St Ouen’s Bay but has not been available to the public. We are really excited to finally open it up for everyone to enjoy”

Facilities in detail

  • Basic coastal tower property
  • Guide required for all visits and overnight stays
  • Access dependant on weather and tides.
  • 1 communal room with 6 bunk beds - Linen not provided
  • 1 separate bunk area for the guide
  • Basic dry-powder toilet
  • Drinking water not provided
  • Crockery & cutlery provided
  • Wood burning stove
  • Oven
  • Fridge
  • Steep stairs
  • Dogs not allowed
  • No disabled access
  • Not suitable for small children
  • Wi-Fi not available

Pricing

Due to the 6 limited dates of availability to stay this year, and the huge interest already in booking the Tower, Jersey Heritage as part of their purpose to provide as wider access as possible for all, randomly selected Jersey Heritage members via a draw of those who expressed an interest by 7 July 2016.

The lucky winners are allocated a free overnight stay on one of the available dates (excluding the cost of the guide - £175). 

We are not yet taking bookings for 2017 but please do email larocco@jerseyheritage.org to register your details and be the first to know when bookings open for next year.

Availability Book Now

History

La Rocco Tower was built between 1796-1801 and it derives its name from La Rocque Ho or Rocque Hou, meaning rocky islet. It was one of 30 coastal towers proposed by Sir Henry Seymour Conway when he was appointed Governor of Jersey. A programme of construction of round towers around the coast of Jersey began in 1778, but it was not until the French later threatened invasion from St Malo in 1794 that serious consideration was given to building a coastal tower at La Rocco to guard the southern end of St Ouen’s Bay.

La Rocco was the 23rd and last coastal tower in Jersey to be built following the Conway design – also being the largest and most heavily armed of the whole series. It maintained a military role into the mid-19th century, as evidenced by a Royal Engineers report in January 1848 which records that La Rocco Tower and Battery (as it had by then become known) was armed with five 32 Pounder guns.

The tower’s military role declined in the second half of the 19th century until in 1896 La Rocco Tower and Battery was included in a list of War Department properties identified as available for disposal through cession or sale. The States of Jersey eventually bought the site from the Crown in 1923 for £100, for the purpose of providing a landmark for shipping (although there is no evidence that it was ever used as such).

During World War Two, St. Ouen's Bay was considered as the most likely beach for an Allied landing. The German occupying forces constructed a large number of defensive structures throughout the area including the modification and re-use of earlier fortifications, whose strategic position and robustness of construction again proved to be of military value. The Germans adapted La Rocco Tower and installed landmines around the tower for use against the Allies, the explosives being wired to La Braye slipway. The accidental detonation of some of these landmines in 1943 inflicted damage to the tower, particularly the loss of parts of the projecting machicolations and the breaching of the southern part of the gun platform (it is most likely that this damage was caused by an accidental explosion rather than being the result of deliberate target practice by German artillery as is a commonly held belief). The expelled granite masonry is still strewn over the surrounding shale reef to this day.

The physical condition of the tower deteriorated steadily in the following decades and in the late 1960s there was a public appeal to protect the tower. The La Rocco Tower Appeal Committee raised funds to carryout repairs and works began on 5th May 1969.

The restoration was a great example of the Island community pulling together to save its built heritage, and through the campaigning efforts of the Association of Jersey Architects with the National Trust for Jersey, and with the help of funds raised by public donation, La Rocco Tower was finally restored by 1972.

Pricing

Due to the 6 limited dates of availability to stay this year, and the huge interest already in booking the Tower, Jersey Heritage as part of their purpose to provide as wider access as possible for all, randomly selected Jersey Heritage members via a draw of those who expressed an interest by 7 July 2016.

The lucky winners are allocated a free overnight stay on one of the available dates (excluding the cost of the guide - £175). 

We are not yet taking bookings for 2017 but please do email larocco@jerseyheritage.org to register your details and be the first to know when bookings open for next year.

Book Now

Booking Form

The Jersey Heritage Lets office is open Monday to Friday, 9.00am – 5.00pm.

If you are staying at one of our properties and have an urgent enquiry, please call the site supervisor number you have been sent with your confirmation form.

How many does this property sleep? La Rocco Tower sleeps up to six guests in one large bunk room plus a separate area for a guide. You will need to bring your own bed linen and sleeping bags.

Can I hire the property for one night? Yes, most guests only hire the Tower for one night. At the time of booking you will be advised on the tide and when the Tower is accessible.

Does Jersey Heritage arrange the guide? Yes, once you have enquired about a date we will find a guide to suit your dates.

My friend is a La Rocco guide; can they take me to the Tower? Yes, often people know a guide who is willing to take them on an overnight stay at the Tower.

How do I collect the keys? On the day of booking your guide will collect a safety bag from Jersey Museum which includes the keys to the Tower along with a first aid kit and some essential items.

What time can I access La Rocco Tower? Access times are very dependent on the tides. Your guide will advise you on your meeting point and time prior to your booking. We also suggest booking your travel times around the low tide to ensure you are able to get to shore.

Can I invite friends to the Tower? Only those listed on the booking form are allowed to stay or visit the Tower. Due to the short time the Tower is accessible; no additional guests are allowed to visit the Tower.

Does the property have parking? There is public parking next to the guide meeting point.

What are the bathroom facilities? There is one chemical toilet in the Tower. All waste (including bagged toilet waste) will need to be brought back and disposed of on shore.

What heating does the property have and does it have a fire? La Rocco Tower has a wood burning stove which heats the property.

Are dogs allowed to stay in the property? Dogs are not allowed to stay at this property.

Is there an outside area?  There is a battery at the base of Tower as well as the roof which can be accessed.

Can you drive to and from the Tower? No, the Tower is only accessible by foot on a low tide. Guests will often have to walk through gullies and rock pools to access the Tower

How do I get to Jersey? Jersey is within easy reach of the UK and Europe by air and by sea. During the summer Jersey is served by over 40 departure points across the British Isles, including both scheduled and charter flights. From London airports there are up to 12 flights a day to the Island, with journey times of less than one hour. If you wish to bring your car to the Island, fast ferry services leave from the south coast of England and northern France from St Malo.

Can I hire a car in Jersey? There are several companies you can hire a car from on the island, either before hand or on arrival. Guests staying with Jersey Heritage qualify for a discounted rate with Avis via their website when booked directly.

Is it easy to travel around Jersey? The Island is nine miles long by five miles wide and is easy to navigate by car or bike. There is also a good public bus system which operates throughout the year.

Can I hire a bike in Jersey? Jersey is great location for cycling with dedicated cycle tracks winding through the island, green lanes and open coast roads.

What currency is accepted in Jersey? Both Jersey and Bank of England notes are legal tender in Jersey and circulate together, alongside the Guernsey pound and Scottish banknotes. Some retailers also accept Euros.

Due to the 6 limited dates of availability to stay this year, and the huge interest already in booking the Tower, Jersey Heritage as part of their purpose to provide as wider access as possible for all, randomly selected Jersey Heritage members via a draw of those who expressed an interest by 7 July 2016.

The lucky winners are allocated a free overnight stay on one of the available dates (excluding the cost of the guide - £175). 

We are not yet taking bookings for 2017 but please do email larocco@jerseyheritage.org to register your details and be the first to know when bookings open for next year.

For our more basic, coastal tower properties we recommend all of the above as per our self-catering items, with some additional extras.

Food provisions – Our Coastal Towers are a great base for your next adventure, but no explorer can venture out without suitable provisions. We do not provide any food or refreshments at our Coastal Towers.

Sleeping bags, pillows and camp beds – Some of our coastal towers do have beds, so to ensure a comfy night’s sleep please ensure you bring along any bed linen you will need.

Toilet roll – Whilst most of our Coastal Towers are located near a public toilet, for which we supply a key where necessary, an essential part of our packing should include toilet roll for when nature calls!

Find out more about what’s happening at Jersey Heritage during your stay here, or Jersey Tourism for a full of Island activities. If you have a question for our team about booking your stay, please email us.

Please click here to download our terms and conditions.

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