La Pelotte

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Jersey houses


La Pelotte


Joan Stevens, in the second volume of her Old Jersey Houses has an intriguing suggestion for the derivation of the name of this house in Rue a Don. She dismisses any link to pelote, French for a ball of wool, and links the name to faire sa pelote, which can mean 'to make one's pile', suggesting that Philippe Payn, who built the house in about 1716, had had a successful business career.

There is a reference in a 1658 contract to Clos de la Pelotte and Petit Jardin de la Pelote. An application for an Historic Building Grant for La Pelotte was withdrawn in 2008.

A gable stone bears the initials PP EA 1716, for Philippe Payne and Elizabeth Alexandre. The couple married in 1692, and are to be found in our tree Descendants of Martin Payn.

It is known that the house remained in the Payn family for at least one or two further generations, but the exactly line of descent has not been determined. There is a record relating to Philippe Payn, Constable of Grouville from 1814 to 1817, which names his father as Philippe Payne of La Pelotte,near Grouville Church, and Marie, his wife, youngest daughter of Elie Falle.

But this Philippe and his father do not appear to be direct descendants of the Philippe who built La Pelotte. He had a son Philippe, born in 1698. The Philippe who married Marie Falle appears in our tree Descendants of Thomas Payn - 2 and he had a grandfather Philippe. However, his grandfather was born in 1708 and his parents were Matthieu Payn (1682- ) and Marie Mattingley. So, there does not appear to be a direct link between the Philippe who built the house in 1716, and the Philippe who was living there about a century later.

Two houses

The property consists of two small houses alongside one another and it is suggested that the one to the west is somewhat older, [1] although neither appears to date from before the early 18th century.

Two interesting finds in the garden are a cannon ball, about the size of an apple, which Joan Stevens says may have been connected with the French landing on the day of the Battle of Jersey in 1781; and a metal spike with the remains of a wooden handle, which she thought may have been part of a halberd, again speculating that La Pelotte was a holding which owed halberd duty - the escort of prisoners from Mont Orgueil Castle to the Royal Court in town.

Notes and references

  1. OJH II, 172
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