Parish of St Saviour
St Saviour is on the west coast of Guernsey between Castel and St Pierre du Bois. It has one of the largest land areas but one of the smallest lengths of coastline, which includes Perelle and a tiny part of Vazon bay.
It is home to Guernsey's main reservoir, the largest area of freshwater on the island which also has designated areas for fresh-water fishing. It was built between 1938 and 1947 (with a break in construction during the occupation) and was made by flooding three valleys and a village
The area of St Saviour is 6.4 kms sq; the population as at 2010 was approximately 2,700. The flag features the parish emblem of the Crown of Thorns and three nails. St Saviour was the second Guernsey Parish to become twinned with a French town following the official signing of the charter of friendship with Montebourg in Normandy July, 1993. Le Trepied is a well preserved dolmen dating from c 3-2000 B.C. During excavations by FC Lukis in 1839, pottery, flint and human bones were uncovered. Le Trepied is associated with fairies and Guernsey folklore, and was believed to be a meeting place for witches. Well into the 19th century locals avoided this place on Friday nights due to the superstitions surrounding the area. La Claire Mare Nature Reserve is owned and managed by La Societe Guernesiaise and is a marshland for breeding and migrating birds. There is a public viewing hide accessed via La Route de la Roque and the lowland is also the site of Guernsey’s first aerodrome.
St Apolline Chapel was founded in 1392 and was constructed entirely of granite, including the solid stone roof. In 1873, Sir Edgar MacCulloch (later to become Bailiff and the author of “Guernsey Folklore”) persuaded the states to purchase St Apolline’s chapel and save it from destruction. St Apolline is the patron saint of dentists and had her teeth and jaws broken so that she starved to death in A.D. 249. A painting of the Last Supper has survived on the south wall which was restored between 1972 and 1978 and is open to the public.
St Saviour's Church dates back to the 12th century and it is the largest of Guernsey’s inland churches. It sits in a valley overlooking the reservoir and a valley and was used as an observation tower by the Germans during the Second World War. A pagan menhir at the northeast entrance of the church has been converted to Christianity by the addition of an incised cross. The church was re-built in 1658 after it was struck by lightning. On the 29th February 1748 parish constables planned to fire the parish gun called ‘La Mignonne’ in the St Saviours churchyard as part of the celebrations of the peace which had been established between England and France. The constables over-loaded the barrel of the gun so that the explosives reached well beyond the touch-hole. A huge explosion destroyed the gun and injured the parish headmaster ‘Le Sieur Daniel Le Prevost’ who was wounded on the hip and his left arm. Another parishioner Charles de Garis suffered a broken leg.
The largest German fortifications on the island are the St Saviour’s Tunnel complex beneath the parish church and the sections of the Mirus Gun Battery. The Germans chose this site for their main ammunition stores on the reasoning that it would be unlikely that the RAF would bomb a church.
Features in St Saviour include:
St Peter Port
St Pierre du Bois