The construction of the castle was undertaken following the division of the Duchy of Normandy in 1204. Philip II of France seized the Duchy of Normandy from King John. The Duchy remained disputed territory until 1259 when the English sovereign surrendered his claim to the Duchy except for the Channel Islands.
Jersey was on the doorstep of a belligerent enemy, against which substantial defensive fortifications would be required. Huge cargoes of building materials arrived from England and a circuit of walls and round towers evolved. The Castle served as a base for the largely English garrison.
Mont Orgueil was to be superseded by Elizabeth Castle off Saint Helier, the construction of which commenced at the end of the 16th century. Walter Raleigh, Governor of Jersey in 1600, rejected a plan to demolish the old castle to recycle the stone for the new fortifications.
Ιn the late 1700s the castle was stated to be in a ruinous condition and subsequently was abandoned as a prison, because Elizabeth Castle had been built and the castle was neglected and not needed any more. In 1730 the building was repaired and parts of the castle were adapted for guarding.
During the Second World War German occupation, the occupying forces garrisoned the castle and added modern fortifications camouflaged to blend in with existing structures.