My guide to Le Hocq. The name Le Hocq comes from the Jèrrias word for a headland or cape. Situated in the parish of St. Clements the seafront stretches from Green Island right around to the Rocqueberg or Witches’ Rock. The beach has a number of natural freshwater springs and some fine sandy stretches popular with swimmers and paddle boarders.
When the tide goes out it reveals a rocky landscape great for shrimping and winkle picking. Be careful though the tide changes very quickly and can catch you unawares. Early photographs of the beaches at Le Hocq show the slipways busy with horse drawn carts collecting vraic or seaweed, used as manure or a soil improver, and essential for the growing of Jersey Royals.
Le Hocq Tower
On the edge of the seafront is the fortified Le Hocq tower, built around 1708, one of a series of protective towers that were constructed to defend the islands against French invasions. The tower subsequently has been used by amateur radio enthusiasts and is now a day marker for passing sailing vessels. Just under the tower is a very popular roadside kiosk serving snacks and drinks. Overlooking the beach is a gravel terrain where locals play boules or petanque.
The Jersey Eastern Railway
Situated close to the road are St. Clement’s Parish Hall with plenty of free parking and toilets while further inland you can find the Le Rocquier school. The Le Hocq pub is just a stone’s throw from the sea. The Le Hocq Inn is the most southerly public house in the British Isles and has an illustrious history. When Jersey had its own railways, Le Hocq was the site of three hotels the last which eventually became the pub today. The Jersey Eastern Railway ran from Snow Hill in St. Helier to Gorey for over fifty years. It finally closed on the twenty first of June 1929.
Its hard to believe there where extensive gardens with a maze modelled on Hampton Court. The hotels put on lavish entertainment such as firework displays by Professor Motram a renowned pyrotechnic pioneer, there were concerts and even a collection of exotic animals know as Wombwell’s Menagerie including leopards, bears and wolves. Today Le Hocq Inn is a lot less flamboyant but well worth a visit serving food and locally brewed beer all year round.
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