Bath Street was formerly two streets, La Rue de Bas at the lower end and Les Ruettes at the upper end. It was given its present-day name because public baths were once located in the street.
It is one of the longest streets in St Helier, running from its junction with Queen Street to Beresford Street, Minden Place and along to the junction with Stopford Road, where it continues as David Place.
Today it is an important shopping street at the Queen Street end. The Odeon Cinema, a protected building, stands towards the David Place end, and opposite this building is a public park, created as a rather belated celebration of the Millennium. Another cinema, West's, stood at the junction of Bath Street with Peter Street until it was demolished in the late 20th century. Today an open public square forms part of the site, with shops and offices on two sides.
To the east of Bath Street between the junctions with Beresford Street and Belmont Road is a largely residential area. This was first developed privately, according to the former librarian of Jersey's Public Library, A S H Dickinson, by a Philippe Ingouville late in the 18th century.
He named Ingouville Place and Ingouville Lane after himself, and Ann Street, which was the eastern boundary of his development, after his wife Ann Martin. Philipps Street at the south was named after his first son who was baptised Philippe. His second son William died in his infancy. Charles Street, which runs from Ann Street to Bath Street was named after his third son Charles. Peter Street, at the southern end, is also believed to have been named after a family member.
Some of the original properties stood for nearly 200 years and became notorious slums. They were eventually demolished in the 1960s and 1970s to make way for modern blocks of housing.
It is not known exactly when the area was developed because Philippe Ingouville emigrated to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada, in the late 1700s. He must have returned to Jersey, possibly to continue to oversee the progress of his development, because he wrote to his mother Marie and wife Ann in Cape Breton in 1789, only two years after his daughter Anne was born in Jersey.
Philippe was the great-uncle of Victoria Cross recipient George Henry Ingouville, whose brother John is said to have been the last representative of the family to live in Jersey before emigrating to South America in 1857.
However, there is an alternative view that the property developer was a George Ingouville, probably Philippe's brother. According to a Jersey Evening Post article on 6 July 2006, George lived at La Fregonniere, which became the Imperial Hotel, a Jesuit seminary and is now the Hotel de France.
Jersey Evening Post
The offices of the Jersey Evening Post, Jersey's main newspaper in the 20th century, were located for many years on the corner of Charles Street and Bath Street, with the printing presses in buildings further back in Charles Street. The newspaper relocated to St Saviour in 1977 but for many years it was the focal point for the community on important occasions such as elections and the annual football match between Jersey and Guernsey for the Muratti Vase. Large crowds would gather in the street to await the results of important elections or to listen to a broadcast commentary of a football match in Guernsey.
A history of Bath Street, from the Jersey Archive
Click on any image to see full-size version
Boots had a temporary shop on the corner of Bath Street and Hilgrove Street during the redevelopment of their main store in 1990
Bath Street businesses
Electrical engineer John Underwood Harper was born in Holbeach, Lincolnshire in 1845 and moved to Jersey, where he married Maria Justine Hunt in 1871. Mr Harper was one of the pioneers of electrical installations in Jersey, and earlier he supplied steam and gas-powered engines, pumps and all manner of hot water installations, variously from 35, 37 and 39 Bath Street.
Arthur Angel's Italian Warehouse
Arthur Angel, born in England in 1824, came to Jersey with his brothers Samuel and Benjamin. Samuel, who was two years younger than Arthur, set up in business at 3 Olympic Place, Bath Street, as a master dyer, and in 1851 he was employing Arthur and two other staff. By 1855 Arthur had gone into business on his own at 9 Bath Street, where he established his Italian Warehouse, which he advertised extensively in the new newspaper Jersey Independent. He offered such delicacies as Dundee Marmalade and 'superior pickles as supplied to Her Majesty (presumably not by Arthur himself). Sadly the business was not a success, because by 1857 it had been taken over by James Wilcox.
Arthur had come to Jersey from Saint Pancras, London, where he was born, via Guernsey, where he supposedly married Matilda Jones in 1845. The couple are said to have had two daughters, Emily and Elizabeth, born in Guernsey in 1846 and 1848. However, the 1851 census shows Arthur living in Jersey with Samuel and described as 'unmarried'. A year later he apparently married again, in Guernsey, to Matilda Davey, and they had four children, including another Arthur (1856-1921).
The family history in online records becomes very confused. Arthur, described as a printer, Matilda, and three of the six children are shown living in Guernsey in the 1861 census, with Arthur's brother Benjamin. There is no sign of Arthur jnr, who is believed eventually to have emigrated to Australia. His father is believed to have returned to England, then gone to the USA, where in 1874 he was said to be serving in the US Navy.
This all seems highly unlikely and the suspicion is that compilers of online trees have located more than one Arthur Angel in various records and assumed that they were all the same person. Wherever he and his family ended up, it is clear that Arthur Angel only traded in Bath Street, St Helier, for a comparatively short time, and failed to make a success of his pickles and marmalade.