La Chaumiere du Chene

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Jersey houses

St Peter:

La Chaumiere du Chene


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La Chaumière du Chêne is east of Rue des Vignes, St Peter, about a third of a mile north of the junction with Mont des Vignes, in the Vingtaine de Saint Nicolas. The land, which is on both sides of the road, is extremely uneven with hollows and a small valley.

De Carteret

This may be the house where Sir George de Carteret lived during his childhood. He owned a large tract of land in the area, but it is not entirely clear whether he lived at La Chaumiere du Chene or The Elms, further south on Mont des Vignes, now demolished, which remained in the hands of Le Montais family until 1890. Historian George Balleine believed that Sir George was born at one or other of these properties.

Joan Stevens also wrote, referring to the Elms:"This may be the house where Sir George Carteret spent his childhood, though a nearby house to the north, La Chaumière du Chêne, is also possible and almost certainly belonged to him at one time".

Both properties passed from the de Carteret family to Jurat Clement Le Montais, who died in 1650, and who had married Sir George's sister Rachel in 1636. Payne's Armorial of Jersey says that Clement's son Elie "purchased from his uncle Sir George Carteret, Bart, an estate at Mont des Vignes in the parish of St Peter on 10 October 1666, which has ever since continued in the possession of his descendants".

There is one inscribed stone visible at La Chaumiere, with CLM R, believed to refer to Jurat Le Montais. When his funeral took place at St Peter 'he was given much ceremony and many salutes of gunfire'; this Chevalier attributes to his relationship to Sir George.

Occupants of the property in the late 20th century recall a granite fireplace in the main bedroom, which had been covered, but was believed to have the date 1651 inscribed. The front door arch was inspired by two decorated arches at St Ouen's Manor, which are not seen elsewhere, giving credence to the de Carteret link.

Le Montais

Balleine in All for the King mentions a house sold by Sir George to his sister Rachel, widow of Jurat Clement Le Montais, on Mont des Vignes, and this could have been La Chaumière du Chêne in view of its initialled stone CLM with R underneath, even though Balleine suggests neighbouring properties. Clement Le Montais (1600-1650) married Rachel De Carteret in 1636.

When the Jurat’s funeral took place at St Peter “he was given much ceremony and many salutes of gunfire”; this Chevalier attributes to his relationship to Sir George.

The front door arch was inspired by two decorated arches at St Ouen's Manor, which are not seen elsewhere, giving credence to the de Carteret link. Joan Stevens’ Old Jersey Houses refers to a granite fireplace in the main bedroom, which had been covered, with the date 1650. The same source refers to an “interesting inventory of the effects of Clement Le Montais fils Clement of 1775” which “almost certainly refers to this house”.

There was an older house on the property of La Chaumière du Chêne, in the valley to the east of and below the main house, but it fell into ruins in the 20th century. Roger De Carteret wrote that this house was of sufficient substance to have a share in the “commune” at Beaumont and that he had heard it suggested that this could even have been Sir George's boyhood home. He noted that on a list of the Beaumont tenants dated 1798, there are two separate entries for "Jean le Montays, Gent", and one for “Mr Edouard le Montays pour deux maisons", possibly la Chaumiere du Chene and the second house.

Renouf

Henry Renouf purchased La Chaumière du Chêne around 1817-18 (he bought two houses, one from Jean Le Couteur and one from Philippe Blampied), together with some adjacent land in 1820 from Philippe Vincent, son of Philippe, (adjacent on the north and west sides to the land of Philippe Le Brun and on the south to the land of Jean Le Brocquet and the heirs of the late Jean Le Montais) and in 1825 some more land from the children of the late Jean Le Montays. He is the owner on the 1848 Godfray Map. On the 1851 census he is described as a “landed proprietor of 11 acres”.

Henry Renouf was farming there until the late 1850s, after retiring from the merchant navy before 1841, returning to the sea for a few months in 1844. There are a couple of outbuildings that were built around that time. The Renoufs would have grown apples to make cider (Henry is described as a "grower" on his son's marriage certificate in 1852).

By the 1861 census Henry had moved to end his days in Georgetown and in the mid-1870s Charles John Renouf, his eldest son, took over the farm, having inherited it, and was running it at the time of the 1881 census, with his wife, his son Ernest and two servants from France. It was around this time that he became bankrupt and proceedings were conducted in the Royal Court. Later in 1881 his wife Mary Ann Blampied died and the following year his son sold the property to Thomas Le Boutillier on his behalf, as he no longer had legal capacity.

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