La Caumine a Marie Best
This was originally the St.Peter’s Guardhouse, first recorded in 1665, when the defence of the bay was shared between the parishes of St.Peter and St.Ouen. This building was reconstructed in 1765, with a vaulted stone roof, to serve as a powder magazine and guardhouse. Apparently it replaced one that had earlier blown up!
On the 1817, Samuel John Neele map of St.Ouen’s Bay, the site was called The Middle Battery. It was one of five batteries along the shore, stretching from the Du Parcq Battery in the north to the Half Moon Battery in the south.
Mary Anne Best was the daughter of an English soldier and a local woman, Marguerite Carrel. She died in 1832 aged 41. It is believed that she moved her family here during a small pox epidemic that was ravaging the island. When she died, the building fell into disuse.
After the First World War, the bay became very popular, both as a weekend retreat and as a place to pursue the fashionable sport of surfing.
Lieutenant Colonel J.A.Hilton acquired the guardhouse and the northern part of the site in 1932. In 1975, his widow, Mrs Marie Hilton gave it to the National Trust for Jersey. Painted white to act as a navigation aid, the little house gets its name from the lady who lived there after it had fulfilled its military purpose.
Among the plants that grow here are Common Thrift, Jersey Thrift and Alderney Sea-Lavender.