Saint Brelade is the south-western parish of Jersey. Its population is around 9,560, and it borders only one other parish, Saint Peter. The parish is the second-largest parish by surface area, covering 7,103 vergées, which is 11% of the total land surface of the island.
Its name is derived from a 6th century Celtic or Welsh "wandering saint" named Saint Branwalader or Saint Brelade (also Branwallder, Broladre, Brelodre, Brélade), who is said to have been the son of the Cornish king, Kenen. He is also said to have been a disciple of Samson of Dol, and worked with this churchman in Cornwall and the Channel Islands.
St Brelade's Church is situated at the western end of St Brelade's Bay, an unusual situation being comparatively distant from historic centres of population. The small Fisherman's Chapel alongside contains mediaeval frescoes which survived the Reformation. According to folklore, the reason for the siting of the parish church is that originally parishioners intended to build the church inland, much nearer to the homes of the congregation. However les p'tits faîtchieaux (the little people) who had their temple in a nearby dolmen were disturbed by the construction of the foundations and, every night, would undo the construction work and magically transport all the tools and materials down to the shoreline. Eventually the humans gave up and built the church where the fairies had indicated.
St Brelade has some of the most popular bays in Jersey, with St Brelade's Bay, Ouaisné, Portelet and parts of both St Ouen's Bay and St Aubin's Bay falling within the parish boundaries. The town of Saint Aubin was originally a fishing port and historically the main centre of population in the parish, but residential development at Les Quennevais has shifted that centre of population.
Jersey's prison is situated at La Moye, and the island's desalination plant is nearby.
The lighthouse at La Corbière features on the Jersey £5 note and the Jersey 20-pence piece.
The traditional nickname for St Bréladais is carpéleuses (caterpillars).
The parish is divided into vingtaines for administrative purposes as follows:
- Vingtaine de Noirmont
- Vingtaine du Coin
- Vingtaine des Quennevais
- Vingtaine de la Moye
St Brelade is divided into two electoral districts: No. 1 district (Vingtaines de Noirmont and du Coin) elects one Deputy No 2 district (Vingtaines des Quennevais and de la Moye) elects two Deputies.
The parish had 12 Constables during the 20th century:
St Brelade is twinned with:
- Jersey Folk Lore, John H. L'Amy, Jersey 1927
The parish has a small collection of oil paintings on display in the Parish Hall, featured in the Your Paintings project.
Click on any image to see a full-size version
Defenders of the Honorary System; Edmund Blampied
Capt Gideon Le Bas, 1844; Philip Ouless
Seascape with two women; Francis Le Maistre
Jersey seascape; Francis Le Maistre