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Vale is one of the ten parishes of Guernsey. The Channel Islands, which had been under the control of William I, were annexed by the Duchy of Normandy in 933. Today, these islands are the only vestige of the Duchy.

A large portion of the Vale Parish belonged to the fief Saint Michael, which benefitted the Benedictine monks who inhabited the abbey which stood next to the Vale Church from 1032. Tradition, or perhaps it is legend, has it that Robert II, Duke of Normandy and father of William the Conqueror was travelling to England to meet with Edward the Confessor. He got caught up in a storm and found safe harbour in Guernsey. He was so grateful that he gave the land upon which that abbey stood, known as Clos du Valle, to the monks.

In 1061, pirates attacked and plundered the island. The islanders sent a complaint to Duke William who sent Sampson D'Anneville, who, aided by the monks, drove the pirates out. As a result of their service, the monks and D'Anneville were granted land. The monastery's parcel was known as Le Fief St. Michel, and it included the land upon which the castle is situated. The Castle of Saint Michael, which is now known as Vale castle is more than 1,000 years old. It was a functional refuge from pirates. It was first known as "Le Chateau St Michel". Later, it was called "Le Chateau St Michel," and it defended Guernsey, the harbour at St. Sampson, the Braye du Valle, and Bordeaux Harbour.

During 1338 and 1339, a series of raids by the French on the island called the English Channel naval campaign, the French, aided by pirates, captured Guernsey and the castle where they killed the defenders. The French withdrew in 1340. Despite a half dozen more battles for the castle, it still stands, and it belongs to Guernsey.

 

 

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