Historic Jersey buildings
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Rue de La Frontiere, St Mary
Type of property
Early 17th century house with a rare tourelle staircase. Monstrous dormers, barely mentioned in the HER record, and totally out of keeping with the original structure, spoil this otherwise extremely attractive, early Jersey property
Sold for £2,450,000 in 2005
Families associated with the property
- Le Cornu: The 1901 census shows farmer Edward Le Cornu (1857- ) living here with his wife Louise Margaret, nee Henwood (1860- ), sons Charles (1883- ), Herbert (1885- ), Raymond (1888- ), Ernest (1891- ) and Peirson (1895- ) and daughter Louisa Rosamund (1900- )
- ERN ARN - For Edouard Renault
Historic Environment Record entry
La Sergente displays Jersey’s vernacular tradition in the use of local materials and details, and retains some important historic features including a rare tourelle stair, round arched doorway with shield datestone, and accoladed windows.
The early 17th century house was built in 1610. A grand house of the time which reflects the status of its original owner. Rooms added to the north in the 18th / 19th century.
J McCormack in Channel Island House ascribes an early 17th century date and records the façade as original to that period. Features of the house support this dating - the arch shield with initials carved in relief being indicative of the early 17th century, no windows being chamfered after circa 1650, and the first decade of the 17th century seeing the introduction - for a short period - of accolade lintels.
Shown on the Richmond Map of 1795.
The 1849 Godfray map has the proprietor as Sorsoleil, who was a gunsmith, which accounted for the large windows in what were his workshops in the outbuildings (now demolished).
On the west chimneystack there is a sundial, in white stone with a copper arm, but it bears no date.
South-facing two-storey, five-bay house with original tourelle and later room extensions to north. Replacement pitched slate roof with dormers extending over rear extensions; brick chimneys to main house and north-west outshot.
Window openings vary in size (possibly tailored to provide visible expression of the importance of the room; with evidence of lengthening of original 6-stone windows). To centre bay is round-arched doorway; the keystone with shield bearing initials carved in relief
The interior has been modernised but retains historic stonework of note - the tourelle staircase (one of only 30 examples surviving in Jersey) and the original north wall of the 17th century house. The tourelle, rounded to the interior, has wide stone steps - wedge shaped forming a fine central column formed at their intersection. There is an original stone doorway at first floor.
At ground floor, under the steps, is an original larder/scullery with stone recesses.
Old Jersey Houses
The tourelle has been engulfed in the addition of rooms to the north of the original house. The steps go to the first floor, and half way up to the attic, and are then finished off in wood.
There is no marriage in the St Mary register, which started in 1647, which support the initials on the datestone and it is likely therefore that the marriage took place before that date. The Extente of 1607 says that Edward Regnault was Chief Sergeant of St Mary Parish; evidence suggesting that the house was built by Edward in the early 17th century. The house is called La Sergente because of its feudal tenure - the Sergent being a feudal officer.