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Arts and crafts in Guernsey

Guernsey (including Castel, Forest, St Andrew, St Peter Port, St Pierre du Bois, St Sampson, St Saviour, Torteval and Vale)It has a population of around 65,000 and covers approximately 7,800 hectares. Here is a list of nearby or neighbouring counties: Jersey.

County flag of GuernseyThe island of Guernsey is located in the English Channel, approximately thirty one miles from the French coast and was formed when sea levels rose after the last ice age. Evidence of early human habitation on the land that today forms the island includes earth works and dolmens from the neolithic period. The islands name is derived from Old Norse and along with Jersey, whilst not part of the United Kingdom, Guernsey became a British Crown dependency during the centuries following the Norman Conquest. The economy is largely based around financial services and tourism and whilst visitors can see post and telephone boxes familiar in Britain they are painted blue rather than red. The island has its own parliament called States of Guernsey and as part of a currency union with the UK, issues its own designs of notes and coins which though only legal tender in Guernsey can be exchanged in the UK for British pounds. The capital Saint Peter Port is a picturesque harbour town, with narrow cobbled streets and old buildings that have been redeveloped as restaurants and shops. Although English is the most commonly spoken language in Guernsey, the French language was widely used during previous generations and a small percentage of the population can still speak Guernesiais, which has Norman French roots.

The history of Guernsey has been shaped by its location, being the site of conflicts over the centuries between England and France as well as occupation by Germany during the second world war, leaving behind fortifications that can still be seen today. Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery has exhibits which reflect this long history, along with a collection of paintings and has run exhibitions of contemporary work by local artists. Set within Saumarez Park, The Folk and Costume Museum has a collection designed to help visitors learn about the lives of islanders during Victorian times and has also run demonstrations of local crafts. The historic house of Sausmarez Manor is noted for its fine architecture and set among impressive gardens where visitors can see and purchase the work of many contemporary artists at the ArtParks sculpture park. Home to French writer Victor Hugo when he lived and worked on the island between 1856 and 1870, Hauteville House has been preserved with interior furnishings and decor from that time. Events on the island include the Guernsey Eisteddfod which hosts a range of cultural and performing arts activities including music, drama, arts and crafts. Other attractions include the Guernsey Tapestry, Candie Gardens, Castle Carey and Castle Cornet, which overlooks the harbour. In addition to enjoying the fresh local seafood, visitors to Guernsey could also take a trip to other nearby channel islands such as the car free Sark and Herm, known for its beautiful sandy beaches.

Fanny Davies

(Born 1861 in Guernsey in Guernsey), Music

Fanny Davies was a British pianist born in Guernsey, giving her first performances at the age of six in Birmingham. She was particularly admired in Schumann, Brahms and Beethoven and was also a very early London performer of the works of Debussy and Scriabin.

Denys Corbet

(Born 1826 in La Turquie Vale in Guernsey), Painting, Poetry

Denys Corbet was born at La Turquie Vale, Guernsey. He was a poet, naive painter and a school master. He mainly wrote in the Dgernesiais language which was used in Guernsey. Two examples of his poems are LTouar de Guernesey and Les Feuilles de la Foret. He is also known as a naive painter of cows and rural life.

Paul Jacob Naftel

(Born 1817 in Guernsey in Guernsey), Painting

Paul Jacob Naftel was a self-taught watercolour artist and was the only Guernsey born professional painter of the 19th century.