The Carey Tower - Castle Cornet
The place of
Peter Careye's imprisonment
in 1643 was remarkably enough, part of Castle Cornet named
many centuries before as Careye Tower. The Tower has been
known as Careye Tower for centuries. In 1374, Thomelyn de
Appelby, the King's Receiver, and Pierre Guyon, the Serjeant-at-Arms
of the King, in the presence of Colin le Feyvre, Lieutenant
Bailiff, and several Jurats, the King's Prevot, the King's
Advocate (the Procureur) and several other officials, reported
on repairs required to the Castle.
Among those detailed as necessary
is the following:
'Item la reparacon de la Toure Quarré en masonerie
taunt en eignie come pr matir XXij frs.'
(Also the reparation of the Carey Tower in masonry,
both for workmanship and for materials 22 Francs.)
Had this been the only mention of the Tower, it might mean
that the translation should be the 'square tower.' However,
there are other documented reports which provide more definite
evidence and furthermore there are no square towers in the
castle. They were all round.
In 1567, a report on the castle was made to Queen Elizabeth:
A note of the decayed state of Quene's Maties Castell Cornett in Guernsey.
'Item the kepe otherwyse called the Dongian wth the olde
hawll adjoyning to it and the Tower Careye being all rooms used
for storage are so decayed as the hole tymbre of them is failed
and of the old hall the stonework lykewise.'
State Paper Office.
In 1567, Francis Chamberlayn, Governor of Guernsey, in
a 'Certicat,' or report on the castle to Queen Elizabeth,
mentions repairs required: 'to the said Castle frontyng
ageinst the hill and towne of St Piere port, viz, from Careye's
Tower to the highe gate, where the ward is comonly kept.'
Further in the accounts of Sir Thomas Leighton, for repairs
to the Castle in 1577, he mentioned 'the decayed wawles
of the Tower Carry' and later ' worke
done about the Tower Cary, setting up the rooffe, and mounting
The position of the Tour Quarré of 1374, and the
Carey Tower of 1577, in the castle are identical.
The Tower of circular shape on plan,
was originally of four stories, but the disastrous explosion
of 31 December 1672, when Lady Hatton, the wife of the Governor,
Lord Hatton, her mother, and many others were killed, demolished
the top story of the four.
The Tower has clearly been shortened leaving the corbels
on which the upper story was supported still in position.
The lowest storey known as the 'basse fosse' and used as a
place of punishment, is underground, and approached by a flight
of steps. It had been used as a coal cellar by the troops
occupying the Castle, but is practically in the same state
as it was in Pierre's time.
The upper story was the room in which
Pierre Careye and his companions were detained and from which
they attached ropes to the timber framing of the high pitched
roof in order to get down into the room below.