Quite simply the most impressive site on Jersey. A 20-meter long passage leads to a largish central region, from which 2 side chambers and a rear 'terminal cell' join. Four small standing stones (called 'betyles') were found in the chambers. Although much smaller, perhaps these held the same 'purpose' as the central stone at Bryn Celli Ddu? Excavation in the 1920s revealed the remains of at least 8 individuals. Also found in the tomb was a quern (mill grinder), found buried upside-down beneath the upright slab at the entrance to the terminal cell.
At the equinox, the sun shines down the passage and illuminates the terminal cell. La Pouquelaye de Faldouet is also aligned to the east.
In the 6th century an attempt was made to Christianise the site and in medieval times a chapel was built on top of the mound. During the German Occupation of Jersey, a command bunker was built in the grounds as part of Hitler's extensive fortification programme.
There is a smallish but excellent museum showing many finds from the area, including a few prehistoric sites that have been relocated here. There's also a shop, but its a beautiful and not over-visited site to visit.
As this book was going to press, the tumulus which bore the now demolished Prince's Tower in Jersey, and which is known as "La Hougue Bie," was opened by the Societe Jersiaise, under the supervision of my friend Mr. E. T. Nicolle.
The legend concerning it was that it was once the lair of a devastating dragon. A gallant knight, the Seigneur of Hambie, crossed from Normandy to slay it. He succeeded after a desperate fight, but was murdered by his treacherous squire. The latter returned to the Seigneur's beautiful wife, and married her on the strength of his lying statement that he was solemnly enjoined to do so by his master, whom, he said, the dragon had killed. The false squire was later unmasked and executed.
The tumulus, which is forty feet high and one hundred and eighty feet in diameter, has been found to contain a covered way, four feet high and five feet wide, leading to a central chamber seven feet high, thirty feet long, and twelve feet borad, the length of the whole structure being about seventy feet.
Further particulars as to this magnificent discovery are not yet forthcoming, but it is evidently a sepulchral chamber, which, judging by the numberous other megalithic remains in Jersey, is of neolithic age. It is exactly the kind of relic of an earlier race which would give rise to the legends which form the nuclei of so many of our fairy-tales.