Clarence Road

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Based on research by Jersey Archive staff

Today it seems extraordinary that a quarry existed in a residential street a few blocks from the centre of St Helier, but the land on which the Jersey Archive was built in Clarence Road was a quarry in the middle orf the 19th century.

Anthony's Quarry

The Jersey Archive was built in 2000 in the former Anthony’s Quarry. The quarry had been bought by the States of Jersey in the 1950s as a site for housing. The quarry is shown on the 1834 Le Gros map of St Helier, with the remainder of Clarence Road (or Clarence Terrace, as it is called then) consisting of a small number of houses with part of the road still bordering an orchard. In 1800 the entire area from Clarence Road to St James Street was covered by orchards.

Clarence Road was named after the Duke of Clarence, later King William IV. It appears to have been constructed sufficiently late in the 19th century not to have had an earlier French name.

The land for the quarry was purchased by Clément Auguste de Quetteville in the 1820s from the Chevalier family. Clément presumably built the quarry to cater for the growth in the number of buildings in St Helier in the first half of the 19th century.

The quarry sat alongside some rather grand properties, including Sussex House and Gardiner House, both of which were built between the 1830s and the 1850s, perhaps using stone from the quarry.

Prosper

The area around Clarence Road would have been a pleasant area of St Helier to live in during the 19th century, with Royal Crescent just around the corner, with its centrepiece the Theatre Royal. The 1851 census shows that this was a prosperous area of the town. Living there were a doctor, a retired surgeon from the East India Company, a fund holder, a professor of writing and general literature, a master sailmaker and a retired Royal Navy Lieutenant.

Many of the inhabitants of Clarence Road had large families, including Philip Harding, a 50-year-old doctor, and his wife Mary, who are listed as having seven daughters from the age of four to 20 all living with them at Sussex House in 1851. Baptism records show that Philip and Mary had an eighth daughter, Kate, in 1848, and after eight girls Mary gave birth to twin sons, George and Robert, in 1849. As the 1851 census does not record these last three children, it is assumed that they succumbed to the high levels of infant mortality in the 19th century.

Further evidence of the prosperity of the area can be found when looking at the names of the individuals living in Grosvenor Terrace. It was built in 1826, but tragedy struck during construction when, in June 1825, a ladder collapsed with 16 men on it.

Solicitor-General

By 1851 the individuals living in Grosvenor Terrace included John Hammond, then Solicitor-General of Jersey. He lived at number 15 with his wife, Jane Penrose Le Breton – the sister of Dean Le Breton, father of Lillie Langtry – and their four daughters and two sons. The household benefited from the services of a live-in cook, a parlour maid and two housemaids.

John Hammond went on to become Bailiff of Jersey in 1858. He was a strong supporter of the Jersey Industrial School and Female Orphans Home as well as a keen horticulturist. In his professional life as a judge he took a keen interest in the prisoners he sentenced and visited them in prison to talk to them about their plans to reform.

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