Elizabeth Castle

Lé Châté Lîzabé


    A great day out! Take the Castle Ferry or walk across at low tide. Elizabeth Castle is the perfect place to spend a day exploring Jersey’s history.


    Opening Times Icon

    Opening Times

    Open daily from 17 March until 1 November - 10am to 5.30pm

    Admission Prices

    Members Adult (16+) Child (6 to 16) Senior (65+) Student (16+) Family Ticket (2 adults 2 children)
    Castle and Ferry FREE £15 65 £11.20 £14.40 £11.20 £49.40
    Castle only FREE £12.70 £8.25 £11.45 £8.25 £37.70

    Free admission to the Castle for children under 6 years old

    PRE-BOOKING

    There is no requirement to book if your group is below 6+ Adults / Seniors
    . 15% Group Booking discount is applicable to pre booked groups of 6+ or more Adults or Seniors (or combination of)

    Discounts

    15% discount for pre booked groups of 6 or more adults or seniors. Please book in advance here

    10% discount for non pre booked groups of 6 or more adults or seniors (at VSA discretion)

    Students and children – no group booking discount

    Jersey Heritage welcomes the following Reciprocal Agreements:

    • Museums Association Members
    • International Council of Museums (ICOM) members
    • Alderney Society / Museum ticket holders
    • National Art Pass Elizabeth Castle / Mont Orgueil / Jersey Museum
    • Friends of Manx National Heritage
    • Réseau des Musées de Normandie – Muséopass Card

    Our disabled visitors pay the normal admission rate and we are happy to offer free admission for up to two carers.

    Heritage Pass

    Unlimited access to 4 must see attractions for the price of 3


    Location Icon
    Jersey heritage accredication

    Location

    St Aubin’s Bay, St Helier, JE3 3NU or Castle Ferry Kiosk, Les Jardins de la Mer, West Park, St Helier, JE3 3NU For more information call +44 (0)1534 723 971 (Castle) or Telephone +44 (0)1534 634048 (Castle Ferry Kiosk). PLEASE be aware that the Elizabeth Castle Ferry Kiosk is at the Westpark Slip directly across from the Grand Hotel.


    Free admission to the Castle for children under 6 years old

    DISCOUNTS

    15% discount for pre booked groups of 6 or more adults or seniors. Please book in advance here

    10% discount for non pre booked groups of 6 or more adults or seniors (at VSA discretion)

    Students and children – no group booking discount

    Jersey Heritage welcomes the following Reciprocal Agreements:

    • Museums Association Members
    • International Council of Museums (ICOM) members
    • Alderney Society / Museum ticket holders
    • National Art Pass Elizabeth Castle / Mont Orgueil / Jersey Museum
    • Friends of Manx National Heritage
    • Réseau des Musées de Normandie – Muséopass Card

    HERITAGE PASS

    Unlimited access to 4 must see attractions for the price of 3

    INFORMATION FOR VISITORS – COVID-19

      • As part of the Government of Jersey’s contact tracing measures, you will be asked to provide a name and telephone number. This information will be used if it is later discovered that a visitor or staff member on that day had COVID-19. All records will be used only for this purpose and will be destroyed once the possibility of contact transference is over.
      • A mask must be worn on the Castle Ferry
    PRE BOOKING

    Pre-booking to visit Elizabeth Castle is only required for groups of six or more (adults or seniors) or school groups. Our group visit form can be found here.

    About Elizabeth Castle

    Built on a rocky islet in St Aubin’s Bay, Elizabeth Castle has defended Jersey for more than 400 years. You can take the amphibious Castle Ferry or walk out along the causeway at low tide.  Elizabeth Castle is the perfect place to spend a day exploring Jersey’s history. Climb the battlements dating back to the 1590’s, when Sir Walter Raleigh was Governor of Jersey from 1600 until 1603.  Explore the grounds which gave refuge to King Charles II during the English Civil War and uncover the bunkers which were re-fortified to command the sea approaches to Jersey during the German Occupation in World War II. Marvel at the hermitage where St Helier is thought to have lived around 550 A.D.

    Top five things to do

    1) Enjoy exploring all the hidden rooms, passageways and bunkers.

    2) Take in the breathtaking views around the bay and the south coast of Jersey from the top of the Mount.

    3) See the St Helier Hermitage and take a stroll to the end of the breakwater, which extends 1.5 miles out to sea.

    4) Download the Elizabeth Castle App from Google Play or the Apple App Store and enjoy a guided tour of the Castle.

    5) Take a tour of Elizabeth Castle with our of our volunteer guides

     

    Elizabeth Castle is an island fortress built across 24 acres and 15 centuries.

    With the introduction of gunpowder and cannon, the old medieval castle of Mont Orgueil on Jersey’s east coast was no longer up to the job of defending Jersey. A new castle was needed and the chosen location was a small island know as The Islet, about half a mile out to sea and connected to land at low tide by a causeway. The new Elizabeth Castle would protect St Helier and offer a safe anchorage for merchant vessels.

    Elizabeth Castle is divided into four parts. The oldest part is called the Upper Ward, below which is the Lower Ward, which includes the Parade Ground. From here, you can access the Breakwater and Hermitage Rock. Lastly is the Outer Ward, which you enter through the Main Gate.

    Fortification of the site began between 1550 and 1551, when a gun platform was built on the highest point of the island. Forty years later, Queen Elizabeth I sent her military engineer, Paul Ivy, to oversee the construction of the Upper Ward. Sir Walter Raleigh, Governor of Jersey from 1600 to 1603, later named the new Castle after Her Majesty; Fort Isabella Bellissima, or Elizabeth Castle.

    Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, the Castle was extended and developed. In the 1640s, when Jersey was drawn into the English Civil War, a fortified windmill was constructed beside the Green to better defend the Lower Ward.

    The Castle was eventually built over two small islands that were joined together in 1668, when the Curtain Walls were extended to enclose the tidal ditch that separated them. During the first half of the 18th century, the Lower Ward was remodelled with the building of a new Soldiers’ Barracks and Officers’ Quarters.

    At first, the tide that surrounded the Castle seven hours out of twelve was seen as its strength, but events later proved it to be a weakness. When the French invaded Jersey on 6 January 1781, the troops garrisoned at the Castle could not take part in the defence of St Helier once they were cut off by the tide.

    So, a new fortification was built on the Town Hill overlooking St Helier – Fort Regent. Elizabeth Castle continued to be a military garrison until 1923, when it was sold by the British Government to the States of Jersey. It was fortified once again by the German Forces during the Occupation of 1940 to 1945.

    Walking Times and Ferry Sailings

    Ferry sailings, and walking times are subject to weather and tidal conditions.  Please review this excel spreadsheet (using the tab on the bottom for the month of your visit) for a rough guide on expected delays and suspension in the ferry service due to tidal conditions, if you are in any doubt please contact the Castle Ferry team 01534 634048.  Unless indicated in the spreadsheet, the ferry operating times are between 10am and 5pm with the last ferry leaving the Castle at 5pm.   A mask must be worn on the Castle Ferry.

    Do your Own Tour

    Download our FREE app to your tablet or phone to meet some costumed characters from the past, and enjoy fascinating stories from the Castle’s rich history.

    You can also download our free Occupation Castle and Georgian Castle tours here, supported by the One Foundation.

     

    Free Walking Guide

    First Tower to the Elizabeth Castle Ferry.  This short walk of under one mile, brings together a huge slice of social history. Within a mile, we will go from the serenity of sailing ships to the immediacy of air travel, and the revolutionary steps that took place in between.  Find out more about this walk and our other Island walks here.

     

    Guide Book

    Guide book is available from the castle or the publications section on the website.

     

    Visual Story

    Download our Visual Story for Elizabeth Castle. This is a helpful guide to what to expect on a visit and has been produced in consultation with Autism Jersey.

     

    Facilities and Access

    Payment: On arrival or at the Ferry Kiosk by contactless payment only (not Diners Card or American Express)

    Organised groups: 15% discount for groups of 6 or more adults or seniors. Please book in advance by completing the form here.

    Entrance and parking: The castle is reached on foot along a causeway from West Park slipway in St Helier. Visitors can either walk at low tide or catch the Castle Ferry (small charge applies) at high or low tide. Paid public parking is available in Patriotic Street, the Waterfront or in parking bays off Victoria Avenue.

    Buses and cycle routes: All bus routes terminate at Liberation Station which is a short walk away. Jersey cycle route 1

    Refreshments: A café is on site.

    Gift Shop: Jersey Heritage gift shops, selling gifts, souvenirs, books and toys are located at Elizabeth Castle and in the Castle Ferry kiosk.

    Access arrangements: Unfortunately most the site is not suitable for people with mobility impairment.  There are two wheel chairs available for use on site.

    Push Chairs:  Two push chairs are available on site for free use (no booking, first come first serve basis).

    Dogs: No dogs allowed, except guide dogs. Read our policy here.

    WIFI:  Available on site

    Coming from Jersey Harbour?  DO NOT FOLLOW THE SIGNS FROM TOWN DIRECTING YOU THE ELIZABETH FERRY TERMINAL.

    Access Statement

    Read the statement for Elizabeth Castle (.docx version)