Jersey Heritage has brought back to life one of Jersey’s most loved historical buildings, La Rocco Tower, converting it into a Coastal Tower Heritage Let. Built in 1796, the Tower has been an iconic Jersey landmark for over two centuries, with many Islanders having grown up looking out to it from St Ouen’s Bay.
Now, 220 years later and thanks to on-going fundraising efforts, dedication and a contributing grant from The Tourism Development Fund, Jersey Heritage has been able to carefully restore La Rocco Tower to give guests the opportunity of an unforgettable overnight stay. Sleeping up to six adults along with a Jersey Heritage accredited guide, guests will experience a once in a lifetime 24 hours at the Tower. Completely surrounded by sea twice a day, a stay at La Rocco Tower is both challenging and special. Image thanks to Paul Marshall Photography.
Jersey Heritage Director Jon Carter explains: ‘La Rocco, first restored by the Association of Jersey Architects and 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. Income from these wonderful sites generates a considerable sum for further conservation work on Jersey’s heritage buildings and we hope Islanders and visitors will support this new project’’
La Rocco Tower is still a work in progress, with experts working through the night to ensure it is ready for the first guests to stay on 23 July. Due to its unique position, the Tower can only be accessed by visitors twice a month depending on the Spring tides.
Once contractors reach the Tower the sea then engulfs it for another 12 hours. Jersey Heritage Property Manager Chris O’Conner, who is overseeing the restoration work, says: “La Rocco Tower has been taken from a neglected state and, through combined efforts, been transformed into a truly distinctive and exciting Coastal Tower Heritage Let. We look forward to hearing its new stories from visitors for years to come.”
Due to the limited number of dates available to stay this year, and the huge interest already shown in booking a stay at the Tower, Jersey Heritage (as part of their purpose to provide as wide access as possible for all) is launching a draw for five of the six available dates in 2016. The Trust will randomly select from a list of Jersey Heritage personal members and patrons who have expressed an interest in staying this year. To express their interest, an email with subject heading “La Rocco Tower Draw” should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 7th July and include the name, contact phone number and membership number of the person entering. The lucky winners will be allocated a free overnight stay on one of the available dates (the cost of the guide will need to be met by the winner).
Ahead of the draw, and rather uniquely, to support the fundraising efforts for future projects, Jersey Heritage will be auctioning the first overnight stay in an online eBay auction which launches at 7pm on Thursday 23 June. The auction can be found at: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/-/201608942809 and closes at 7pm on Thursday 30 June. The highest bidder will win the opportunity to be the first person to choose their favoured date from the six available in 2016.
“Making access as affordable and fair as possible, whilst at the same time supporting conservation costs, is a daily challenge at Jersey Heritage. For the launch of La Rocco Tower and to address the considerable demand, we are going to try something different for its first year of availability,” explains Commercial Operations Director Jeremy Swetenham. “We hope that the combination of randomly selecting winners from interested Jersey Heritage members and patrons, and an auction for the first choice of stay, will give us the best chance of achieving both of these aims. With the summer upon us there is no better time to become a member of Jersey Heritage!”
Membership information here.