Map - Alderney

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Alderney

Alderney (Aurigny ; Auregnais: Aoeur'gny) is the northernmost of the inhabited Channel Islands. It is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a British Crown dependency. It is 3 mi long and 1+1/2 mi wide. The area is 3 sqmi, making it the third-largest island of the Channel Islands, and the second largest in the Bailiwick. It is around 10 mi from the west of La Hague on the Cotentin Peninsula, Normandy, in France, 20 mi from the north-east of Guernsey and 60 mi from the south coast of Great Britain. It is the closest of the Channel Islands to the United Kingdom. It is separated from Cap de la Hague by the dangerous Alderney Race (French: Raz Blanchard).

As of April 2013, the island had a population of 1,903; natives are traditionally nicknamed vaques after the cows, or else lapins after the many rabbits seen in the island. Formally, they are known as Ridunians, from the Latin Riduna.

The only parish of Alderney is the parish of St Anne, which covers the whole island.

The main town, St Anne, historically known as La Ville ("The Town"), is often referred to as "St Anne's" by visitors and incomers, but rarely by locals (who, in normal conversation, still most frequently refer to the area centred on Victoria Street simply as "Town"). The town's "High Street", which formerly had a small handful of shops, is now almost entirely residential, forming a T-junction with Victoria Street at its highest point. The town area features an imposing church and an unevenly cobbled main street: Victoria Street (Rue Grosnez – the English name being adopted on the visit of Queen Victoria in 1854). There is a primary school, a secondary school, a post office, and hotels, as well as restaurants, banks and shops. Other settlements include Braye, Crabby, Longis, Mannez, La Banque, and Newtown.

Alderney shares its prehistory with the other islands in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, becoming an island in the Neolithic period as the waters of the Channel rose. Formerly rich in dolmens, like the other Channel Islands, Alderney with its heritage of megaliths has suffered through the large-scale military constructions of the 19th century and also by the Germans during the World War II occupation, who left the remains at Les Pourciaux unrecognisable as dolmens. A cist survives near Fort Tourgis, and Longis Common has remains of an Iron Age site. There are traces of Roman occupation including a fort, built in the late 300s, at above the island's only natural harbour.

The etymology of the island's name is obscure. It is known in Latin as Riduna but as with the names of all the Channel Islands in the Roman period there is a degree of confusion. Riduna may be the original name of Tatihou, while Alderney is conjectured to be identified with Sarnia. Alderney/Aurigny is variously supposed to be a Germanic or Celtic name. It may be a corruption of Adreni or Alrene, which is probably derived from an Old Norse word meaning "island near the coast". Alternatively it may derive from three Norse elements: alda (swelling wave, roller), renna (strong current, race) and öy or -ey (island). Alderney may be mentioned in Paul the Deacon's Historia Langobardorum (I.6) as 'Evodia' in which he discussed a certain dangerous whirlpool. The name 'Evodia' may in turn originate from the seven 'Haemodae' of uncertain identification in Pliny the Elder's Natural History (IV 16 (30) or Pomponius Mela's Chronographia (III 6,54).

Along with the other Channel Islands, Alderney was annexed by the Duchy of Normandy in 933. In 1042 William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy (later William the Conqueror, King of the English) granted Alderney to the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel. In 1057 the bishop of Coutances took back control of the island.

After 1204, when mainland Normandy was incorporated into the kingdom of France, Alderney remained loyal to the English monarch in his dignity of Duke of Normandy.

Henry VIII of England undertook fortification works, but these ceased in 1554. Essex Castle perpetuates the name of the Earl of Essex, who purchased the governorship of Alderney in 1591. Prior to the Earl's execution for treason in 1601, he leased the island to William Chamberlain, and Alderney remained in the hands of the Chamberlain family until 1643. From 1612, a Judge was appointed to assist the Governor's administration of Alderney, along with the Jurats. The function of the Judge was similar to that of the Bailiffs of Guernsey and Jersey, and continued until 1949.

During the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, Alderney was held by a Parliamentary garrison under Nicholas Ling, Lieutenant-Governor. Ling built Government House (now the Island Hall). The de Carterets of Jersey acquired the governorship, later passing it to Sir Edmund Andros of Guernsey, from whom the Guernsey family of Le Mesurier inherited it, thus establishing a hereditary line of governors that lasted until 1825. 

Map - Alderney

Latitude / Longitude : 49° 43' 0" N / 2° 11' 55" W | Time zone : UTC+0:0 / UTC+1 | Currency : GBP | Telephone : -1437  

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Geography and natural history
Alderney aerial-4
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Geography and natural history
Alderney by Sentinel-2
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Geography and natural history
Alderney - Vogelfelsen
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Geography and natural history
Palms in Alderney
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Second World War
Lageplan Konzentrationslager Aldeney B
Alderney--Alderney and Caskets 1890

Alderney and Caskets 1890
Alderney--English Channel

English Channel
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Geography and natural history
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Geography and natural history
Breakwater - Alderney 1
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Panorama of Braye Harbour
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Country - Guernsey

Guernsey (Guernésiais: Guernési) is an island in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy. It lies roughly north of Saint-Malo and to the west of Jersey and the Cotentin Peninsula. With several smaller nearby islands, it forms a jurisdiction within the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a British Crown dependency. The jurisdiction is made up of ten parishes on the island of Guernsey, three other inhabited islands (Herm, Jethou and Lihou), and many small islets and rocks.

The jurisdiction is not part of the United Kingdom, although defence and most foreign relations are handled by the British Government.
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