Grand Hotel du Calvados

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The Grand Hotel du Calvados stood in the Royal Square next to Hutchings Bookshop. It closed after a fire in 1885 and the building was bought by the States in 1897 from Charles de Gruchy for extended public offices
The Grand Hotel du Calvados was the venue for orchestral concerts in the early 20th century
27 Hill Street, where the hotel was later located
A view of the hotel from Church Street apparently taken before the fire

The Grand Hotel du Calvados stood in a very prominent position in St Helier, on the corner of the Royal Square and Church Street. It also stretched to the next corner, of Church Street and Hill Street, although it probably ran behind the Union Hotel, which was also situated on Church Street.

The Grand Hotel du Calvados was a French-run establishment, although the site on which it was built was in Jersey ownership. It was sold by Charles de Gruchy to the States in 1897. By then at least the Royal Square end of the building was derelict, after a disastrous fire on 30 November 1885, and this section of the building was demolished soon afterwards. The hotel, however, appears to have continued to operate from the remainder of the site, because there was an advertisement (reproduced right) for an orchestral concert in 1904.

In 1930 the States took the decision to construct an extension to their offices at this end of the Royal Square, demolishing all the buildings which had been acquired over the previous 50 years.

Advertisement for the Grand Hotel du Calvados when Mr J Pouchelon was the proprietor

Other locations

After the fire the hotel moved to premises which stretched across the substantial block from Hill Street to Queen Street. In his 1977 Buildings of the Town and Parish of St Helier, C E B Brett records that 27 Hill Street, was 'said to have been built as the Calvados Hotel, though it looks more like a mid-Victorian banking house'.

This is clearly the same building that is shown in the advertisement above, though the date of this is unknown. It seemed strange that in the wake of the fire the hotel would have moved from the large premises in Church Street to a much smaller building in Hill Street, but the discovery of a further postcard indicates clearly that the hotel stretched from Hill Street right through to Queen Street - a relatively narrow but long site. It seems certain that this was the location of the hotel after the fire forced it to move from the Royal Square.

There are also suggestions that the Hotel du Calvados also occupied other premises, perhaps in the wake of the fire, or possibly as annexes when the hotel was in its heyday. Various locations in Hill Street, Mulcaster Street and Halkett Place have been suggested.

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