Sous Les Bois

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Sous Les Bois

This was a de Gruchy property in the 17th and 18th centuries. There is a gable stone inscribed TDG 1683 for Thomas de Gruchy, and a gatepost inscribed TDG 1743.

The property appears to have been inherited by Marie de Gruchy (1779-1863), who married Philippe Larbalestier, also of Trinity, in 1809. Their daughter Susanne, born in 1815, married John Le Cocq, perhaps in Guernsey.

The 1861 census shows them living at Sous les Bois with widowed Mary de Gruchy and their children. Ten years later John, a mason, and Susan are still there with children John (27), Susan, Charless and Mary, and 75-year-old Marie Larbalestier, described as John's aunt. It is perhaps more likely that this was a census transcription error and it was his mother-in-law Marie, still with the family.

A second household at Sous les Bois had Thomas Perree as head with his wife Jane Le Cocq and their five children.

By 1891 John Le Cocq, now widowed, is still at the house, with his son John as head of household, married to Ann. The three of them were still there ten years later, and the 1901 census shows a Larbalestier family living close by at Les Puits. They were Philip and Adelaide and their children Philippe, Ernest, Stanley and Nelson.

By 1911 the son Philippe , who had just married Annie Eleanor Nicolle, had move into Sous Les Bois, where they farmed and raised their family.

In 1941 when identity cards were issued to all islanders in the second year of the German Occupation, Philippe and Annie had four children, Philip Ernest (1912- ), Annie Eleanor (1915- ), Phyllis (1918- ) and Eileen Maud (1923- ). There is a suggestion that the property was taken over by the Germans later in the Occupation, but we have not been able to substantiate this.

National Trust

The property is now owned by the National Trust for Jersey, having been given to them by the Larbalestier family. Unfortunately there is no information about the property on the trust's website.

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