Bulwark House

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Historic Jersey buildings


Bulwark House, St Brelade


H20BulwarkHouseStAubin.jpg


The gable of Bulwark House, as seen from Bulwark Hill



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Property name

Bulwark House

Location

MNont du Boulevard, St Aubin

Type of property

Substantial 18th century town house

Families associated with the property

  • Briard: The property going since 1910 under the description of "Bulwark House" was originally two 18th century houses. They were bought therefore in two separate transactions, the first being in 1905 and the second not long afterwards, the first having been by Ernest Briard (1859-1906). [1] His widow, Maud Irene de Gruchy (1865-1953), united the two properties to produce the current Bulwark House. Her family, brought up partly at the Briard`s other home Waldegrave, and partly at Bulwark House, consisted of Pyllis (1887-1963), Victor (1888-1914), Laurence (1890-1955), Violet (1894-1950) and Jack (1900-1919), of which all but two predeceased their mother. Phyllis married in 1914 and settled with her husband, Conrad Oxland, in Canada. Victor Briard was educated at Victoria College and then at Felsted, Norfolk, from which he went on to Sandhurst. Gazetted 2nd Lieutenant 6/2/1909 and Lieutenant on the 24th November that year, in the Norfolk Regiment, he represented the Army at Hockey and was an outstanding sportsman. He had the ill-fortune to become the "First Jerseyman to be killed in the First World War", losing his life at Elouges, Belgium, covering the retreat from Mons. Laurence Briard, who entered the Indian Navy (Royal Indian Marine) left Jersey, never to return, having fallen out with his mother, whilst Violet died prematurely after a routine operation, in which the surgeon left within her a surgical swab. Jack was commissioned in the 1/35th Seikh Light Infantry, in the Indian Army, but died, having received a severe shrapnel wound to the head, in the Khyber Pass, during the retreat from Afghanistan. He survived until the column reached Peshawar, in modern Pakistan. Fortunately, their mother was known from childhood as an indominable character, and `soldiered on`, engaged in an active bridge-playing social life and travelling extensively. [2] She left the Island in 1940 rather than accept German rule. On her return, she found the house had been used as a barrack, that her furniture had vanished [3] and that the property was badly damaged, so Bulwark House was sold in 1946
  • Robert Edward Osborne-Smith, was living here when his will was registered on 2 July 1948
  • The house was requisitioned from A Ereaut on 7 February 1942

Datestones

  • Restd 1910 MIB - Indicating that the house was restored in 1910 by Maud Irene Briard, née de Gruchy

Historic Environment Record entry

Listed building

A substantial property, originating in the early-mid 18th century (c1721), in a prominent location overlooking St Aubin's bay, retaining historic character and features. Shown on the Richmond Map of 1795. Originally three properties, combined early 20th century

Old Jersey Houses

The property is not included in either volume

Notes and references

  1. A partner in his family firm, Messrs. Orange and Briard (Estd. 1837), agricultural exporters, but formerly one of Jersey`s two leading firms in the Pacific trade. Ernest Briard, a Captain in the Jersey Militia Artillery, died suddenly, when on holiday with his wife in Cannes, where he was buried in the English Cemetery
  2. At a cocktail party, someone she met said, on parting, "you must visit us in India". They were quite astonished when Mrs Briard turned up a few months later--to stay a month!
  3. At a party a few years later, she spotted her desk! She informed her hostess, who was most dubious about it until a secret compartment revealed Mrs Briard`s papers. The desk was re-homed
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