Stp. Talfeste (VALE CASTLE)


Vale Castle Map

Built to command the eastern approaches to the Braye du Valle- the open channel which originally separated the island of Guernsey from the Clos du Valle,  which was not bridged until the early nineteenth century – Vale Castle occupies the site of an Iron Age hill fort.

German Defences



Vale-Castle.jpg (409656 bytes)

The date of the original masonry enclosure remains in some doubt, though believed to be fifteenth century, the present walls being reconstructed two centuries later and during the War of American Independence.

Entrance to castle



Vale Castle Trench to Tobruk Pit

Records show that the castle’s barracks provided accommodation for the Island’s Militia, units of the British line regiments and even Russian troops evacuated from Holland at the end of the eighteenth century.

Trench to Tobruk pit



Vale Castle Trench

As with many of Guernsey’s historic fortified sites, the Germans occupied the castle, constructing concrete positions inside and consisted of two 10.5cm K331(f) in field positions, two MG 34’s, three 5cm mortars, one medium flame-thrower, four large flame-throwers and two 60cm searchlights. Two of the mortars were the captured French fortress type, and were sited on the ramparts of the castle in concrete positions.

Section of trench



German site map

The third German 5cm mortar we believe was sited in a field order position, but this is yet to be confirmed. The castle is circled by trenches, and work has begun to clear the outer field works and bunkers. The public will be able to walk through the trenches and view Tobruk pits, MG positions and a personnel shelter.

German site map from 'Festung Guernsey' book