Gouray Lodge

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Jersey houses

St Martin/Grouville:

Gouray Lodge and Gouray Cottage


B18GourayLodgePlaque.png

A plaque at Gouray Cottage possibly indicating that the Royal Court held sittings here



Gouray Lodge

These adjoining properties were once in the same ownership. Joan Stevens wrote: 'It is said that when Sir Hilgrove Turner' [1] lived in Gouray Lodge, his sisters lived in the cottage, and there is still a door in the garden wall which divided the two properties.

However, not only are the properties on different fiefs, but they also stand in different parishes. The boundary between the Fief de Vauguleme and Fief du Roi must follow the parish boundary between St Martin and Grouville as it runs between the two properties, Gouray Lodge being in the former, and the Cottage in the latter.

Datestone mystery solved?

In the corner of the north wall of Gouray Lodge, which preserves the older spelling of Gorey, is a gable stone from an older house on the site, with the inscription ICH ELP 1682. These initials have not been positively identified. It has been suggested that ELP stands for Elizabeth, or Esther Lempriere, but ICH, although it would refer to Jean or Josue, is a mystery, there being no surname in Jersey records which would match CH.[2]

However, our own research has identified a marriage in St Saviour in 1675 between Charles Hilgrove and Elizabeth Lempriere. Could the carving, which is not shown in the Jersey Datestone Register, either have been misinterpreted, or be an error?

Joan Stevens referred to the Hilgrove family but herself made a significant mistake in the connection between the Hilgroves and the Turners. She wrote: In about 1815 Sir Hilgrove Turner bought the house from Josue Falle; his wife Madeleine Hilgrove was a local woman, and he was Lieut-Governor from 1814-16'. This was one of the author's rare factual errors, in her all-too-infrequent references to the owners and occupants of the houses featured in her books.

The Lieut-Governor between those dates was Sir Tomkyns Hilgrove Turner. He was not married to Madeleine Hilgrove; she was his mother, as suggested by his second forename. For a long time he was also assumed to be Jersey-born, and referred to himself as 'a Jerseyman' when he took office. His tombstone records Grouville as his place of birth, but it has now been established that he was not born in the island, but in Uxbridge.

His mother was undoubtedly born in Jersey, in 1736, and she was the daughter of the Charles Hilgrove and his second wife Elizabeth Bandinel. This Charles was the son of another Charles, and Elizabeth, nee Lempriere, whose marriage we have referred to above in connection with the mystery datestone.

All this lends weight to our suggestion that Charles and Elizabeth are the couple referred to on the ICH ELP 1682 datestone, and that either the Hilgrove family connection with Gouray Lodge goes back much further than 1815, or the stone was brought to the property from elsewhere.

Gouray Cottage

Joan Stevens wrote of this property:'From the road one would never guess that there was a round arch in the south facade of this house, the original way it faced before later alterations had changed it to face eastwards. [3]

'On the roadside is a plaque of Caen stone depicting the arms of William III. Although it is crudely executed it is very like the arms of the same King at Elizabeth Castle, dated 1697.' [4] Stevens speculated that the plaque might have had something to do with Mont Orgueil Castle, but suggested that the Cottage was probably older - 'say 1660'.

In the second volume of her book she connected the house with occasional sittings of the Royal Court when an outbreak of the plague forced them to convene outside of the town of St Helier, noting that no other place where the Court is believed to have sat has such Royal Arms and that there was no proof that there had been a sitting here. [5]

Notes and references

  1. OJH I, 151
  2. OJH I, 151
  3. OJH I, 150
  4. OJH I, 151
  5. OJH II, 127
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