Historic Jersey buildings
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Manor House Farm 
Rue de Bas, St Lawrence
Type of property
A large Victorian house built in 1875, but the property has a much longer history. One of its fields, Clos de Horman, is recorded as being held by Guille Hamptonne in 1490.
No recent transactions
Families associated with the property
- Hamptonne: The Hamptonnes were the dominant family in St Lawrence for several centuries and held the fief Luce de Carteret, in St Peter and St Brelade, as well as the smaller fief es Hastains in St Lawrence.
It has been established that the Chapelle de St Eutrope, previously believed to have been at Hamptonne (La Patente) was actually on their Manor House property. Its existence is confirmed by the field name Jardin de la Chapelle, a benetier or piscina built into an outhouse, and a Clos de la Croix.
Le Val Hubaut, another part of the property, was mentioned in the Rapport des Commissaires in 1515 in connection with Nicolas Hamptonne, son of Guille. An early carved window lintel built into the north wall of the new house bears the Hamptonne arms.
The Constable of St Lawrence, Edouard Hamptonne, got into financial difficulties and sold the property in 1601 to his cousin Edouard Bisson, Constable of St Brelade at the time. He then established his family in St Lawrence and was later Constable of that parish. His great-great-granddaughter Susanne, wife of Jean Helier Dumaresq, died without heirs and Manor House passed to her sister Sara's son Richard Le Feuvre, who was also a Constable of St Lawrence. He died in 1803 and in 1810 his son sold it to Francois Carrel, who in turn sold it to Pierre de Caen, who also sold it, in 1845, to Henry Coutanche, who died in 1895.
It was the latter who built the present house, probably on the base of an existing building.
- Le Feuvre
- De Caen
- Coutanche: In 1901 farmer Henry Coutanche (1846- ), whose father built the present house, was living here with his wife Alice Mary, nee Hamon (1864-1950) and their children Alice (1884- ), Henry (1888- ), Anne (1889- ), Arthur (1890- ), Ethel (1893- ), Maud (1896- ), Albert (1898- ), Herbert (1900- ) and Lionel (1901- )
In 1941 Alice Mary was widowed and still living here with daughters Anne, Ethel, Maud and Violet. Also in the household was Kathleen Monica Coutanche (1921- )
- Bastard: In 1941 Walter Bastard (1887- ), his wife Mary Jane, nee Etiemble (1900- ) and their son Walter (1925- ) and daughter Gladys May (1926- ) were living at Manor House Farm
Historic Environment Record entry
1875 house with associated 19th century farm outbuildings incorporating fragments of older buildings, on a site dating back to the medieval period as the manor of the Fief ès Hastains.
The site has an interesting history dating back to the medieval period, and was the former manor house associated with the Fief ès Hastains. It is recorded to have been held by Guille de Hamptonne in 1490 - the Hamptonne family association further indicated by an early carved window lintel (now on the north wall of the Victorian house) bearing the Hamptonne arms and initials EH. The initials are believed to represent Edouard Hamptonne
The rolls of the Fief ès Hastains show that the seigneurial court took place at the Manor House as recently as 1846, although by then ès Hastains had become a sub fief of Meleches.
The 1795 Richmond Map shows an earlier arrangement of buildings on the site, one of which may have been the medieval Chapelle de St Eutrope - suggested to have been located at Manor House Farm due to the adjacent field names of Le Jardin de la Chapelle and Le Clos de la Croix. It is possible that the chapel may have been one of the detached rectangular plan buildings on an east-west alignment shown to the south of the site on the 1795 map.
It should be noted that there has been progressive land slippage in this area, and physical evidence of these buildings may have fallen down the slope into the adjacent gully. It was noted during a site inspection in May 2009 that a fragment of an octagonal granite shaft had been recently recovered from the gully. There are also earlier re-used architectural elements around the site - such as a re-used benitier and chamfered windows.
The site of 1875 house matches with the north end of the western wing of the earlier building. The internal detailing of the semi-basement level of the house also suggests that the present Victorian house was built on an older base. The present house is recorded to have been built in 1875 by Henry Coutanche, and is of architectural significance for its composition, appearance, use of materials and quality of craftsmanship.
The house is of the traditional Jersey five-bay arrangement, but with a more unusual three storeys - the lowest level in the form of a semi-basement of plinth-like appearance that projects forward of the walls above.
The façade is notable for its high quality ashlar stonework and timber Doric porch with triglyph frieze - accessed via a flight of granite steps. The windows are timber sashes (reported to be of Canadian pine) with margin lights. The semi-basement is treated differently with a rendered finish in imitation ashlar.
The slate roof has a pair of finely dressed ashlar chimneystacks with decorative cornice.
The interior of the house is unusual in that the constructional details, fixtures and fittings in the semi-basement suggest that it is likely to survive from an earlier period than the 1875 house above. In particular, there is a stick baluster staircase with fielded panels of 18th century style, a granite salting-trough apparently in situ, and granite fireplaces - one of which retains early iron hinges for a cooking-pot arm at the side of the embrasure.
The interior of the 1875 house retains its original Victorian layout and most of its original fittings. The entrance hall contains a mahogany staircase, a moulded pilaster archway (painted to mimic marble), and four-panel doors with moulded architraves and skirting (all painted with graining). The rooms retain their original fireplaces - made of marble at ground floor and of timber at first floor - panelled window linings, and some arched niches and integral cupboards.
To the front of the house is a garden, partially bounded by a granite wall on its west and north sides, and with a freestanding pair of dressed granite entrance gate piers on its south side. There is a cedar tree in the garden, said to have been planted the same year the house was built.
There is a range of 19th century rubble granite outbuildings forming a double courtyard to the east of the house, which are illustrative of traditional farming activities in the island. The buildings on the north side of the site include a two-storey combination building - a style of farm building distinctive to Jersey - with pierre perdu finish and engraved lintel dated 1876 above the cart entrance. The interior retains its original floor beams and joists.
Flanking this building is a granite pigsty and a small single-storey building - reputedly used for storing vraic. At the centre of the farm group is a two-storey granite building containing a cider house and stable, and incorporating architectural fragments from earlier buildings. Of particular note on the north elevation is a small chamfered first floor arched head window - possibly a re-used medieval benitier - and an external flight of granite steps with a curious pair of integral rabbit hutches.
The interior retains original features of interest - including an apple crusher with inscribed 18th century date, and a cider press - the tops of the vertical bars being visible through the floor above. The upper floor of the building has unusual waney-edge tie beams.
Forming a cattle yard to the south of the cider house is a pair of lean-to granite buildings - a cowhouse (milking parlour) and shelter shed - each with its original roof timbers, and elements of reused masonry from older buildings. Adjoining to the rear of the cowhouse is a taller cart shed with a hayloft above, and a washhouse with pair of original coppers and water pump at its north end.
Old Jersey Houses
The family information and references to Chapelle de St Eutrope above come from the entry in Vol Two
Notes and references
- ↑ The name given in the HER record