Wolf Cave

Useful Information

Location: La Rue de Fremont, JE3, Jersey.
(49.253406, -2.128942)
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologySea Cave
Light: bring torch
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
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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1870 Wolf Caves Hotel erected.
1975 Wolf Caves become licensed pub under the new managers May and Martin Brennan.
2001 Wolf Caves pub closed.


It seems nobody knows how to write this name, and so the cave is called Wolf's Caves, Wolf Cave and Wolf Caves, but also Wolves Cave. Some say they were named at the time when smugglers hid their booty in the cave. To deter others from entering the cave, the smugglers made wolf noises. A silly legend, as the cave is reached by the tide and thus a wet hiding place, and as there are no wolves of Jersey, the sounds would actually have the opposite effect. The French name Loup de Mer or Wolf Fish was used for the Sea Bass and the Monk Fish. So it was probably a good fishing spot for one of those. Or it was simply a Victorian marketing idea, it seems the origin of the name as well as the origin of the trail are lost.

Wolf Cave is a rather large sea cave, 20 m long and 100 m high, like a crack in the rock. It was an amazingly popular attraction during Victorian and Edwardian times. At this time there was a trail down the slope of the Frémont cliff, it was necessary to descend the steepest and highest cliff on Jersey's north coast. Obviously the ladies in the ankle length, wide skirts, and gentlemen attired in suits had to master the perilous descent to Wolf Caves. Then there was an iron ladder which gave access from the cliffside, and even a concrete trail inside. Its unclear who actually built and maintained the trail, probably the owner of the Wolf Caves Hotel, which was erected in 1870. The hotel provided sustenance to returning cliff climbers, so the business depended on the popularity of the site.

The iron ladder was removed by the Germans during the Occupation, later the Wolf Caves Hotel burned down. After the war it was acquired by C Le Masurier Ltd, who built a café. In 1975 under the new managers May and Martin Brennan it became licensed. It was closed when they retired in 2001.

The Wolf Cave was never a show cave, but the trail and the ladder made it accessible, with some effort. Probably that was part of the experience. The owner of the hotel after the turn of the century, J Pinel, did good business. But it definitely ended with World War II. It is difficult to say whether the path fell into disrepair because no more visitors came, or whether no more visitors came because the path fell into disrepair. A trail does not vanish overnight, but after 80 years of neglect the remains are quite unsafe.

Today the cave can be reached only by boat. It's possible to enter when the sea is calm, so this is actually quite rare. There are no boat trips to the cave, you have to hire someone who offers boat tours or rent a kayak.