Fort George is an area that stretches from the steep Val Des Terres, which cuts south west from St Peter Port, to the cliffs that overlook Havelet Bay. Paths cut along either side of it, with the path along the sea front leading through the Bluebell Wood.
History of Fort George
Work on building the former garrison of Fort George began in 1780 and took 32 years to complete, at which point it housed troops who were stationed on Guernsey to defend against Napoleonic invasion.
According to Thomas Bellamy’s Guernsey Pictorial Directory and Stranger’s Guide,
It will admit about three thousand men, and has thirty-four pieces of cannon, four mortars, and a caronade. Most of the batteries are erected in a form for repelling the enemy at sea, and some of them are very formidable. From the ramparts or parade ground there is one of the most extensive and diversified prospects in the island; and underneath the former are spacious casemates, which in case of a siege can be converted into barracks. It was completed in the year 1812, at a national cost of 200,000l., but was commenced immediately after the breaking out of the American war, in 1782.
Very little evidence of the area’s former use can be found today, aside from the remains of the Clarence Battery. The rest of it was destroyed by an RAF airstrike in 1944, the day before the Normandy landings, and it remained derelict for some time until, in 1958, being sold by the War Office to the States of Guernsey for £25,000.
According to the book Guernsey, by GWS Robinson:
A committee of the States recommended in 1960 that most of the site be sold off for high-class residential development; this sparked off a controversy which roused high feelings at the time. A petition attracted over 10,000 signatures; but the contractors offered over £100,000 and the development has gone ahead.