Chestnut Farm

From Jerripedia
Jump to: navigation, search


HouseIcon.png


Jersey houses


Chestnut Farm, St Helier


ChestnutFarm14a.jpg




A former farmhouse on the outskirts of St Helier, best known for its prominent triple arch


Chestnut Farm at the top of New St John's Road, Mont à l'Abbé, in St Helier has a very unusual triple entrance arch which, because of its prominent location, near to the junction with Queen's Road, is very well known to islanders. This picture, taken in 1905, appeared on a prominent auction site in the summer of 2016, and was then featured on a Facebook site devoted to old photographs of Jersey, accompanied by the predictable 'wailing and gnashing of teeth' and comment suggesting that a wonderful view had now been ruined. But a look at the property today in the image below shows that remarkably little has changed in the intervening century. Certainly the road has been surfaced with tarmacadam, and there is usually more traffic than encountered by the Street View camera; the road has been realigned and vehicle access to Grande Route du Mont à l'Abbé on the left of the archway blocked. Behind the camera much has changed, but in front, Chestnut Farm remains largely unaltered externally, and it's arch, the central part of which dates from the late 17th century, is much as it was in 1905, except that today's gates are remarkably ugly and afford less of a view of the farm than those in the other photographs on this page.

Property name

Chestnut Farm

Location

Mont-a-l'Abbe, St Helier

Type of property

Farmstead now divided into separate residential units

Valuations

No 3 Chestnut Farm sold for £890,000 in 2008, and only £875,000 five years later. No 1 sold for £640,000 in 2017

Families associated with the property

  • Le Geyt dit Le Maillier At the time the property was owned by the Le Geyt family it was not called Chestnut Farm. It was nameless in their time (up to 1812), as were many rural Jersey properties. The next owners, Bailhache and de Quetteville, had no name for it, but when the late 19th century chestnuts had grown, the then owner, a Mr Le Brun, called it, by 1900, Chestnut Farm. There is another Chestnut Farm at Ouaisne, which has no connections to the Le Geyt dit Maillier family but received its name from its own chestnuts.

Datestones

The central arch has 1698 on the keystone

Historic Environment Record entry

Listed building

Historic farm group, which sits on a junction between La Grande Route du Mont a L'Abbe and St John's Road, developing since circa 1400, is a fine example of Jersey architecture. It encompasses a rare survivor of a Medieval hall and notable farmhouse range of 17th/18th century origins. Also of particular note is a unique triple entrance arch of circa 1600 origins, a rare ash-house and a bake house.

The converted 19th century outbuildings on the west of the site are also of historical interest and included for their exterior character and group value only. The farm group was extensively renovated in the late 20th century but retains historic features from each stage of its historic development.

Shown on the Richmond Map of 1795. Renovated in the 1990s, when the main house was divided into three dwellings and the farm buildings converted to residential.

The group comprises a south-facing, four-bay, two-storey farmhouse (now 3 Chestnut Farm) with a three-bay wing to the east (now Les Arches, 2 Chestnut Farm), linking to an earlier three-bay, two-storey house to the east (now 1 Chestnut Farm). Parallel to the north are three single-storey detached outbuildings including a converted ash-house and bake house with stone chimneystack to the east gable. Attached to the west is a two-storey wing (now No 4 Les Hirondelles) connecting to a two-storey converted outbuilding range (now 1 and 2 Les Marronniers) that runs north-south along La Grande Route de Mont a L'Abbe.

At the northeast of the site are pigsties. The farm group is fronted by a garden with, at its apex, a triple arched granite gateway. The associated buildings and structures are of significant group value.

Old Jersey Houses

"In the house, the windows are quite asymmetrical and uneven in size, and very small. One, the smallest of all, still has its iron bars. There is also a fireplace on the first floor, this whole section of the building being now [1]used for storage. The round arch is wide, and its proportions appear wrong, but one steps down to enter it, so the appearance is deceptive. The left hand section of the house is also of some age, with at least one very ancient ceiling beam, concave and in the untouched shape of the tree from which it was hewn. The central portion is much later, but links up the two other wings, both older than itself. There is good reason to believe that this property was home to the Le Geyt dit Le Mailleur family from as early as the 15th century. It remained in their hands until 1812.


Pre-restoration photographs

These pictures were taken by Guy Dixon on a visit to Chestnut Farm in 1996, before a major restoration project meant that some of the original features were lost for ever

The east section, long thought to be the oldest part, now disappeared
Although very difficult to read and impossible to make out in this photograph, this archway bears an inscription thought to read MLG with an afterthought by a sharper tool, -t LM, which Guy Dixon thinks was probably for Mathieu Le Geyt dit Le Maillier. He has concluded that the stone was probably erected by Matthieu Le Geyt (1465- ) who owned the property from about 1515-1520, which would make this the oldest engraved arch in Jersey[2]

Notes and references

  1. 1965
  2. As the term was obsolete after 1690, the afterthought will have been a 17th century one to an already oldish MLG. To be now that faint, and the letters larger than 17th century fashion dictated, I think we have a 16th century engraved stone. The two Matthieus Le Geyt who owned the property prior to the 18th century were Matthieu (1465- ) who should have inherited about 1515-1520 and Matthieu (1627- ) who might have been expected to own the place in about 1670.
Personal tools
other Channel Islands
contact and contributions
Donate

Please support Jerripedia with a donation to our hosting costs