Alderney

 

Map of AlderneyFlag of Alderney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The island was cut off from the land mass of Europe on several occasions over the previous million years, as the sea levels rose when the ice caps of the various ice ages melted and was finally permanently separated about 6 - 7.000 BC, some 3.000 years before the gradually forming English Channel cut off the British Isles from Europe.

 

There is considerable evidence of continuous occupation for at least the last 5 - 6.000 years, from the late Stone Age, through the Bronze and Early Iron Ages, in the form of Neolithic Dolmens (burial chambers) and an Iron Age pottery, dated around 490 BC.

 

The Romans used Alderney as a staging post en route from Brittany to Britain using Longis Bay as their harbour. As Christianity spread across Europe in late Roman times, the islands were attached to “Constantia” (the modern Diocese of Coutances) and legend has it that Christianity was first brought to Alderney by St. Vignalis, about 575 AD from the monastery already established on Sark.

 

Three centuries later Viking raids along the Channel coasts resulted in the French King, Charles the Simple, ceding the province of Rouen to Rolfe the Ganger (Rollo) as ‘Patrician’ or ‘Count’ in 911. Many years later this resulted in the creation of the Duchy of Normandy. William of Normandy, since 1066 William I of England, did not then incorporate the Duchy into the realm of England but retained it as a personal possession, a situation which has resulted in today’s independence of the islands from the British Parliament, whilst retaining allegiance to the Crown.

 

King John, 13th and last Duke of Normandy proper, lost the mainland part of his Duchy to the French in 1204, but retained the Channel Islands and kept the title. The present Queen is still the Duke (not Duchess) of Normandy.

 

Until the mid 18th century, when the first harbour at Braye was built, in historic times almost the entire population lived in the town area, developed from the original ‘nucleated village’ settlement in a hollow around the Bourgage and the old church. There were only the water mill at Platte Saline and few buildings, except for defensive positions, outside this area. The farm buildings were mostly attached to the houses, many of which were built back into the slope of the ground behind them.

 

The Island of Alderney is renowned for its severe tides and its rugged and dangerous coastline. Over the centuries it has proved the undoing of dozens of ships, many well known, some obscure and some whose wrecks still await discovery. Each shipwreck represents a moment frozen in time, but one in particular has provoked world-wide interest - a vessel which came to grief towards the end of the sixteenth century. If preliminary findings are correct, this is the only known wreck of an English warship of the Elizabethan Age, perhaps even one of the ships which fought against the Spanish Armada.

 

 

Capital:                Saint Anne

Government:        Part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey

Area:                   8 km²

Population:           2.400

Currency:             Alderney pound (100 pence)

Internet TLD:       .gg

Dialling code:       +44

 

 

 

Links

 

Alderney in Wikipedia.

Flag of Alderney in Flags of the World.

The website of the philatelic service (Guernsey).

Official website of the government of Alderney.

 

 

 

Stamp catalogue

 

International Year of the Ocean

date:                  10 February 1998

designer:            Victoria Kinnersly

printer:               BDT International Security Printing, Dublin, Ireland

perforated:         13:13¼

size souv. sheet: 190 x 75 mm

remarks:             stamps also commemorate the 21st anniversary of the Alderney Diving Club

                          sheet also contains a label without value, all stamps with text "21 years Alderney Diving Club"

 

1                        souvenir sheet, text "ALDERNEY / DIVING CLUB / UNDERWATER EXPLORATION", IYO and

                          Alderney Past Times emblems

       -                  first atmospheric diving dress, text "Leithbridge Barrel 1715"

       63                diving helmet, text "Deane Open Helmet 1829"

       43                diving helmet, text "Siebe Closed Helmet 1840"

       37                diving helmet, sailing ship Liverpool (wrecked 1902), text "Heinke Closed Helmet 1845"

       30                diver with aqualung, ferry SS Stella (sank 1899), text "Cousteau-Gagnan Demand Valve 1943"

       20                diving helmet, tanker MV Point Law (aground 1975), text "Modern Superlite Helmet"

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel block 4/SG MS A 115/Yvert BF 4)

 

Alderney - souvenir sheet as described above

 

 

UPU 125th anniversary

date:                  4 February 1999

designer:            Victoria Kinnersly

printer:               BDT International Security Printing, Dublin, Ireland

perforated:         13¾

size souv. sheet: 110 x 90 mm

remark:              sheet commemorates the sinking of the passenger ferry SS Stella in 1899

 

2                        souvenir sheet, SS Stella sinking, text "S.S. STELLA / 100 YEARS BELOW / 1899-1999", UPU emblem

                          and text "125th / Anniversary / Universal / Postal Union"

       25                stained glass window with senior stewardess Mary Rogers, Liverpool Cathedral

       £ 1.75          S.S. Stella

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel block 5/SG MS A 124/Yvert BF 5)

 

Alderney - souvenir sheet as described above

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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last revised: 22 September 2008