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The Channel Islands

History

The Channel Islands are rich in archaeological sites from the Stone Age onwards. The Romans used the islands as trading posts, and they were part of Normandy until 1066, only becoming English when William of Normandy (aka 'William the Conqueror') was crowned king. For centuries the islands were used as sparring grounds, but in 1483 England and France agreed that the territory would remain neutral in the event of war.

Then, in 1939, this happy-go-lucky resort suddenly found itself the only British soil to be occupied by German forces during WWII. This incredibly harsh period of Channel Islands history can be seen in numerous, poignant sites, including the many highly visible German fortifications. The postwar years have seen the fishing, tourism and farming industries decrease, to be replaced by the big bucks of offshore banking. Finance houses have replaced greenhouses, and today the sector employs the biggest chunk of the workforce.