Dan the history man: Guernsey has a unique place in the world
‘GUERNSEY has charted a path which has given it the best of all cultural influences that have found their way to her shores,’ according to historian and presenter, Dan Snow.
Speaking at the OGH for the culmination of the Heritage Festival, Guernsey’s new history ambassador believes the island has a rich and diverse cultural heritage that should be preserved.
Recognisable from his broadcast career on the BBC, the historian has joined forces with VisitGuernsey to help publicise the spring Heritage Festival and the wider history to be discovered in the island.
‘Our history and heritage completely moulds us in to what we are today. It begs the question how could you understand the island you live in today if you don’t understand what has gone into creating the island in the first place. We need to learn from our history in a world where we make our own and this is no less important on an island – in fact, you have so many differing influences that still survive in systems and structures but also in the people and culture.’
Mr Snow recorded a podcast as well as some video segments for his online channel while in the island.
While here he visited many of Guernsey’s historic sites and those located on Herm.
‘It is so interesting to see the remains for Second World War fortifications, the Atlantic Wall, but Victor Hugo’s house is equally fascinating in a different way. Then, of course, there is the Little Chapel but, I have to say, the most beautiful part of your island is the stunning natural beauty and history you see within that – the trees, the cliffs, the bays – it is all stunning.’
Although Mr Snow does feel that the to-and-fro of the Bailiwick between the hands of the French and British has most wholly shaped the island in its current form.
‘The medieval French and the ever-expanding British orbit has undoubtedly shaped the island more so than any other period I have been able to see. The wars over Castle Cornet, the French-spoken legal system yet everyone speaks English. That period has given Guernsey a unique place in history.’