Devil's Hole, Jersey JE3 3BF.
|Guided tours:||self guided|
|Address:||National Trust for Jersey, The Elms, La Chève Rue, St. Mary, Jersey JE3 3EN, Tel: +44-1534-483193. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|1851||ship wrecks in front of the cave.|
|1951||devil statue stolen by pranksters, but returned.|
|1957||devil statue stolen and burned.|
Devil's Hole is a sea cave located at the northern coast of Jersey island. It is not easy to visit the cave, as it is full of water and rocks create dangerous waves. It may be entered at low tide for a short time, but fortunately all this is unnecessary. There is a viewing platform above the cave, which can be reached at a comfortable 15 minutes walk from the parking lot at the Priory Inn. The sea cave is a 100 m long through cave which ends in a huge shaft with a diameter of 30 m and a depth of 60 m.
The cave was originally named Le Creux de Vis or Spiral Cave. Other names are Le Creux de la Touraille (The Hollow of Touraille) or Le Creux Terrible (Terrible Hollow). In 1851 the French cutter La Joséphine wrecked right in front of the cave, and the figurehead was washed into the cave. The ship was on its way from Cherbourg to St Malo, when it got lost in a thick fog. The crewmen clung to a rock, one who tried to swim ashore for help drowned. The owner of the Priory Inn at the top of the cliffs, Nicolas Arthur, became aware of it. With the help of a friend he managed to rescue the other four, which were still clinging to the rock. The both were awarded silver medals and certificates by the French Minister of Marine. He also salvaged the figurehead of La Joséphine and a local artist named Jean Giffard sculpted the transformed the torso into a wooden devil with horns, and so the cave became known as Devil's Hole or Le Trou au Diable. The wooden statue, placed at the pothole, was stolen by pranksters in 1951, but later returned. In 1957, it was again stolen but this time it was burned. Today a bronze sculpture is placed in a pool on the way to the cave.
The water floods the cave at high tide and the waves create an eerie sound, that's why the cave is often called a Blowhole. While it has the right form for a blowhole, it actually isn't according to our definition of a blowhole, as it does not blow, it just makes sounds. Nevertheless, follow the link to the definition of a blowhole if you want to know more. Some say the shipwreck of a French ship is actually not documented, that the cave was named to make it more spectacular for tourists, inspired by the strange sounds of the cave.
The site was a quite popular tourist destination during Victorian times. At that time there were ladders down into the pothole, and it was possible to see the cave, at low tide it was even possible to enter for some distance. The ladders existed for some time, where replaced by a staircase in the 20th century, but finally it was removed. Today the trail ends with an outlook at the rim of the pothole.