- Saint Ouen, Jersey
Infobox Channel Island parish
Saint Ouen (
Jèrriais: St Ouën) is one of the twelve parishes of Jerseyin the Channel Islands. It is in the north west of the Island. The parish is the largest parish by surface area, covering 8,341 vergées (15 km².)
It is reputed to be the most traditional of the parishes, being the furthest from
Saint Helierand with much of the territory of the parish forming a peninsula.
A number of the most influential writers of Jersey have been St. Ouennais. George F. Le Feuvre (1891 - 1984), who wrote under the pseudonym "George d'la Forge", was one of the most prolific authors of
Jèrriais literatureof the 20th century. Frank Le Maistre(1910-2002), compiler of the "Dictionnaire Jersiais-Français" (1966), did much to standardise the St. Ouennais dialectof Jèrriais as a literary language. Edward Le Brocq(1877-1964) wrote a weekly newspaper column from 1946 to 1964 recounting the lives and opinions of two St. Ouennais characters, Ph'lip and Merrienne.
The traditional nickname for St. Ouennais is "Gris Ventres" (grey bellies) - a reference to the custom of men from the parish to wear jerseys of undyed
wool, which distinguished them from men from other parishes who generally wore blue.
A number of prehistoric sites are located in St. Ouen, including the
dolmendes Monts Grantez; the dolmen des Geonnais; and the prehistoric site at Le Pinacle, which also contains one of the very few identifiable Gallo-Roman sites to be seen in Jersey, the foundations of a "fanum" (small temple).
Sark was recolonised by St Ouenais.
Helier de Carteret, the seigneur of the parish, received a charter from Queen to colonise Sark with 40 families from the parish on condition that he maintain the island free of pirates. Sercquiaisis therefore a very old offshoot of St Ouennais Jèrriais. The St. Ouennais origins of Sercquiais can be seen in the 2nd and 3rd person plural forms of the preterite. Sercquiais uses an ending "-dr" which is typical of the St. Ouennais dialect of Jèrriais, but generally not used elsewhere in Jersey (nor nowadays by younger speakers in St. Ouen).
In the north west, the
ruinsof Grosnez Castleare a landmark which also features on the Jersey 50 pence coin (see " coins of the Jersey pound").
The Island's racecourse is also to be found at Les Landes.
Saint Ouen is twinned with:
Unlike the other parishes of Jersey, the subdivisions of this parish are not named "
vingtaines", but "cueillettes" (Jèrriais: "tchilliettes"). Vingteniers are still elected, however, in the cueillettes.
Cueillette de Grantez
Cueillette de Millais
Cueillette de Vinchelez
Cueillette de Léoville
St. Ouen forms one electoral district and elects one Deputy.
* [http://www.societe-jersiaise.org/geraint/jerriais/st_ouen.html St Ouen]
* [http://www.jerseyinsight.com/webcam/eltico_out.htm View of St. Ouen's Bay from El Tico Restaurant webcam]
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