St Ouen lies in the North West of Jersey and is the largest parish on the Island at around 5.79 square miles. St Ouen is the furthest parish from the capital of Jersey, St Helier and is also considered to be the most traditional of the 12 parishes. St Ouennais carries the traditional nickname of ‘Gris Ventres’, or ‘grey bellies’ due to when men of the parish used to wear jerseys of undyed wool to distinguish them from the usual blue jerseys that men from other parishes usually wore.
St Ouen is a treasure trove for a rich literary history due to many of Jersey’s most influential writers living there. George F. Le Feuvre, who wrote as George d’la Forge was one of the most prolific authors and due to this became known as ‘Jerriais literature’ of the 20th century. Frank Le Maistre, who compiled the Dictionnaire Jersiais Francais to standardise the Saint Ouennais dialect of Jerriais also live in St Ouen.
St Ouen has a character of its own from all of the offerings of nature from beaches to oceans to hills to cliffs to forests to historic monuments and tourist attractions – there is always something to do in the Island’s largest parish. There are a number of prehistoric sites such as ‘dolen des Monts Grantez’, ‘dolmen des Geonnais’ and ‘Le Pinacle’ which is a small temple. The famous ruins of Grosnez Castle, that feature on the Jersey 50 pence coin, is a testament to Jersey that many historic sites have stood the test of time and remained unblemished and intact. Attractions in St Ouen include:
- Grosnez Castle