The Radio Tower, Jersey
Set on a cliff top overlooking Corbière lighthouse on Jersey’s south-west tip, the Radio Tower provides stunning self-catering accommodation over six floors and boasts a 360-degree view.
Recommended by Avis Furness: “The Radio Tower was built as an observation tower in 1941 by the German occupying forces. In the 1970s a glass windowed room was added to the top and it was used by the Harbours to monitor radio signals from shipping – this room is now the dining and sitting room. It has the most amazing views over the Corbiere lighthouse and St Ouen’s Bay. The tower is easy to reach from the airport, and is on a bus route. There is an excellent restaurant right next door. The building is imposing, slightly brooding in appearance, but the glass room on the roof gives it a rather jaunty air, like a sailor’s cap. It is part of the grim wartime history of Jersey, repurposed to make an amazing holiday place. We visit Jersey every year (sadly, not this year) and although we have never been lucky enough to stay in either of these buildings (also referring to Barge Aground) we have had the opportunity to visit them on one of the open days organised by Jersey Heritage.
Background to the building: Set on a cliff top overlooking Corbière lighthouse on Jersey’s south-west tip, the Radio Tower is a striking observation tower built during the Second World War. In 1941, the German High Command was ordered to convert the Channel Islands into unassailable fortresses. The numerous artillery batteries that were set up needed an effective system of fire control, and so a comprehensive system of naval direction-finding and range-finding towers known as Marinepeilstäden unde Maßstellen (abbreviated to MP) were planned. Only three towers were completed in Jersey, with the Radio Tower known as MP2.
MP towers are unique to the Channel Islands, not being found anywhere else on the Atlantic Wall. Constructed of reinforced concrete, MP2, is 17.8 metres high with walls no less than 2 metres thick. MP2 was originally camouflaged to resemble an 18th Century Jersey granite round tower.
The tower has been sympathetically restored in a German modernist Bauhaus style with a concrete staircase winding through the centre of the building over six floors to a wooden spiral staircase which takes you to the top floor. Original features include observation slots on the seaward side and steel doors on the ground floor.