Cap Verd

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Cap Verd in 1936

The main recent claim to fame of Cap Verd, as it is called by Joan Stevens in Vol 1 of her Old Jersey Houses is that the Underground hospital was built during the German Occupation underneath its land.

Oldest house?

However, the house itself, although it underwent many alterations in the latter part of the 20th century. is very interesting and, as Joan Stevens wrote somewhat mysteriously in Vol 1 of her Old Jersey Houses: Although there is probably no such thing as 'the oldest house in the Island', if there were one, this would be it.

At the time the book was written in 1965, the name of the property had changed to Chantry Cottage, but it has since reverted to Cap Verde - there seems to be some dispute over the spelling of the house name and Rue du Cap Verde off which it is located. In the 19th century it was known as La Vallée, and Joan Stevens uses the spelling Cap Verd. However, there is also a question mark over her assertion that it was named after a boat - it seems more likely that it was owned by a merchant or ship owner whose vessel traded with the Cap Verde Islands, which would support the modern view that there is an 'e' on the end of the name.

The property has a magnificent tourelle staircase, a Jersey round arch, benitiers upstairs and downstairs, Mrs Stevens describes the ground floor benitier as 'perhaps the finest we have in the island' and historian Edmund Toulmin Nicolle described them as 'holy water stoups' and suggested 1500 as the date of the house.

Mrs Stevens, however, in the chapter in the book on benitiers, dates the lancet shaped example to 1250-1300, without referring further to this estimation in her article on the house.

It belonged to the Gibaut family for a long time and Jean Gibaut, one of its owners, was Constable of St Lawrence from 1551 to 1558. His descendant Philippe Gibaut lived there in 1658. It was sold to the Bichard family in the 17th century and they retained it for over two centuries.

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