The parish of Grouville in the south east of Jersey stretches from La Rocque to Gorey and almost as far inland as Five Oaks.
It is dominated by a wide sandy coastline along the Royal Bay of Grouville, the prefix Royal being added in 1859 by command of Queen Victoria who was so impressed by its beauty when she visited the island.
It is divided into four districts (or vingtaines), De la Rue, La Rocque, Les Marais and Longueville. The parish also extends 15 miles offshore to include a group of rocky islands, The Minquiers, known locally as the 'Minkeys'.
Originally named Grosville from a combination of the French word 'gros' (meaning large) and 'villa' (Latin for a farm with a large amount of land attached), the area was probably dominated by one landowner. The parish church, therefore, was dedicated to St. Martin, Bishop of Tours, whose diocese included Brittany just across the water in France.
It is the parish with the largest area under cultivation for growing Jersey tomatoes and Grouville Bay oysters are now farmed in the bay for the first time in more than a century. They are served at some of the island's better restaurants and if you like oysters they are highly recommended.
Landmarks and places of interest
The Church of St Martin de Grouville was built in the 11th century. The oldest section is the nave (the area of a church reserved for worshippers), whose walls were built from rough stones gathered from the nearby beach. The chancel, chapel and tower were added in the late middle ages. It is one of only two churches in the island with a white spire which was rendered with cement in 1788.
The churchyard contains a memorial to the British grenadiers who died attacking the French rearguard at La Rocque during the invasion of 1781.
Grouville Common, once a favourite site for duels, runs along the top of the Royal Bay of Grouville. From 1843-78 it was also the site for the annual Jersey Races where Liile Langtry was a regular visitor both as race-goer and later successful horse owner.
Grouville Mill, the oldest of Jersey's windmills , now a shipping mark and private house. The sails were removed and a concrete observation tower added during the Second World War.
La Hougue Bie is one of the most historically important Neolithic burial chambers in Europe. Dating from about 3500BC, a medieval chapel and during the Nazi occupation german fortifications were later additions. Well worth a visit.