The History and Archaeology of Jethou
The island of Jethou lies east of Guernsey and south of its immediate neighbour, Herm. With an area of just under 0.2km2 around 49 acres Jethou is the smallest of the inhabited Channel Islands. From the sea it may look like a lump of wet rock and the isolation, bareness and inaccessibility suggests it is inhospitable. It has been said there is little of historic interest but that is ….. because nobody has ever looked.
Jethou first enters into written history with its acquisition in the 11th century by Restauld from Duke Robert of Normandy. In more recent times it has been a game park for Governors of Guernsey, a place of quarantine against the plague, a source of stone for building projects and a holiday resort for tourists. It was the place where Jean Allaire hoarded his riches, the site where Colonel Fielden tried and failed to evade customs, the writing place of Compton Mackenzie and the setting for no less than three works of popular fiction. Jethou has a story to tell.