Victoria Tower

Arsenal Road, St Peter Port, GY1 1HG

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Victoria Tower is a monument erected in honor of a surprise visit by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to the island in 1846. While it was brief - they were only on the island for 2 hours it was the first visit to Guernsey by a reigning monarch.

A granite stone was laid marking where the Queen Victoria stepped ashore at St Peter Port Harbour and the tower was commissioned to commemorate the visit.

Architect William Colling was appointed the following year and the tower was built on the site of the L'Hyvreuse Windmill, itself built on the site of a standing stone, La Pierre L'Hyvreuse. 

The foundation stone was laid on 27th May 1848 and was funded by public subscription for £2000. A time capsule which included coins from Guernsey and England was laid in the foundations.

The tower is built largely of red granite and includes different types of stonework and architectural features which were designed to represent the Queen, her empire and her achievements.

On 14 August 1859 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited the island again and after an island tour came to inspect the tower.

A public garden around the tower was later created, in which were placed two cannons captured from the Russians during the Crimean War these now sit on the ramparts of Castle Cornet. Years later, other guns were displayed in the garden, including four 13.5 cm K 09 German guns, two of these were scrapped in 1938, with the remaining two buried as the Second World War approached in 1940, so that the invading German forces would think the island was not fortified. The two German guns that were buried were excavated in 1978 and are back on display in the garden

Victor Hugo and his long term mistress and secretary, Juliette Drouet would meet secretly in Victoria Tower. It is said that the lovers carved their initials somewhere in its walls - though no one has ever found them - and that Hugo wrote a few verses of La Fin de Satan, while at the top of the tower.