Vraic marks

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Vraic marks in St Ouen’s Bay, by Nick Jouault

At the start of the 19th century we see mention of marks for vraicking. These were usually known rocks that when uncovered meant that everyone could start collecting vraic. This enabled everyone to gain equal access, in that it allowed those from the inland parishes time to reach the beach area. I have tried to find the areas mentioned in the laws and these photographs record what I have found.

  • At Grouet at Petit Port there is no visible mark, but I presume La Mare Bleue rock is one of the dark ones, most probably the one near the sea.
  • La Vielle Chaussée has recently been made into a mooring. As with other marks, this has a steel peg. These were usually bits of drive shafts from old lorries etc.
  • La Mare de L’Equipante which is also known as La Merq de la Charrierre, is situated below the slip at La Pulente. There is also a rock to the north of it with the remains of a peg.
  • Le Bunion de Haut to the south east of La Rocco. There is a line of boulders to the south of here, but they may be part of German defences that were placed along the bay and the remains of wooden posts are still visible just above this area.

I am not sure of which marks are what in this area from Secrets to L’Etacq, so I could be wrong with this. In the law of 1829 in this area we have mentioned La Rangée du Nord du Hurel, Fosse au Bas, Les Laveurs, Charrière du Hurel Vautier and Le Hout.

At Le Havre du Pulec and Le Havre de dehors vraicing was allowed when the water was level with the foot path which takes you to Little Cômier.

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