Guernsey or Bailiwick of Guernsey is a dependency of the British crown, the second largest of the Channel Islands.
- Located 30 miles (48 km) west of Normandy, France.
- It is roughly triangular in shape: With Alderney, Sark, Herm, Jethou and associated islets, it forms the Bailiwick of Guernsey.
- Its capital is San Pedro Port (Peter Port).
- Scarce water supplies supplemented by seawater distillation.
- In the south it rises on a plateau about 300 feet (90 meters), with jagged coastal cliffs drained mainly by streams that flow north into deeply incised valleys.
- Dairy farming with the famous Guernsey breed of cattle is largely confined to the highlands in the south.
- The north is low with small outcrops of sturdy rock that form hills (hougues).
- The bottom floor is of blown sand, raised beach deposits and the fillings of old lagoons.
- Commercial gardening is mainly concentrated in the north, where greenhouses produce tomatoes, flowers and grapes, mainly exported to England.
- The population is primarily of Norman descent with a mixture of Breton. Peter Port and St. Sampson are the main cities.
- Rare snows and severe frosts.: * Annual temperature range of only 17 ° F (9 ° C).
- Annual precipitation 30 to 35 inches (750–900 mm).
- Known as Sarnia by the Romans.
- Documents from the 11th century show that the main landowners were the lords of Saint-Sauveur (hereditary vicomtes de Cotentin), the vicomtes de Bessin, the abbey of Le Mont-Saint-Michel and the Duke of Normandy.
- After the separation from Normandy in 1204, the Channel Islands were put in charge of a warden and sometimes given to a lord.
- From the late 15th century, with Alderney and Sark, it was submitted to a captain, then a governor, a position abolished in 1835.
- Never dominated by any large landowning family, and the initial growth of commerce in Peter Port, with subsequent smuggling and industrial development in the 19th century, weakened what remained of the power of the feudal landlords.
- During World War II, many of its residents were evacuated to England before the Germans occupied the island (July 1940 to May 1945).
The French novelist Victor Hugo stayed on the island from 1855 to 1870. Here he finished writing Les Misérables in 1862 and, four years later, Los Trabajadores del mar, a novel dedicated to the island and its sailors.