Wolf Caves

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The perilous descent to Wolf Caves
Another view of the cliff face leading down to Wolf Caves
Wolf Caves Hotel in 1910

Descending the steepest and highest cliff on Jersey's north coast in 21st century shorts and trainers would be a daunting prospect for the fittest, but Victorian ladies used to follow the paths and boardwalks down to Wolf Caves and back up again in the ankle length, wide skirts which were de rigeur at the time.

And both they and their male companions, attired in smart suits, would not have been seen out-of-doors without wearing a hat.

The name is variously found written Wolf's Caves, Wolf Cave and Wolf Caves. According to the sign over the hotel in the early 20th century, it should be Wolf Caves, but there is actually only one cave at the bottom of the cliff, so Wolf Cave would be more accurate.

The descent below Frémont was amazingly popular in Victorian and Edwardian times. The attraction was the large cave, up to 100 metres high and 20 metres deep, and today only accessible by boat on a calm day. Originally there was an iron ladder which gave access from the cliffside, but this was removed by the Germans during the Occupation.

At the top of the cliffs the Wolf Caves Hotel was conveniently located to provide sustenance to returning cliff climbers, although the title was somewhat grand for what was, in the early years of the 20th century, essentially a large pavilion with a corrugated iron roof. The first building was erected around 1870 and did good business after the turn of the century under the proprietorship of J Pinel.

During the Occupation the hotel burned down and the site was acquired after the war by C Le Masurier Ltd, who built a cafe, which became licensed premises in 1975 under the management of May and Martin Brennan, until it closed its doors in 2001.

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