La Chasse, St O

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Historic Jersey buildings


La Chasse, St Ouen


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Property name

La Chasse

Other names

Location

Cache de l'Eglise, St Ouen

Type of property

1600 house, with likely earlier origins

Valuations

The property sold for £2,275,000 in 2017

The Bowditch family are recorded at this property in the 1881 census. This photograph, sent by a descendant, is believed to show Elizabeth Elvina Bowditch, nee Chevalier

Families associated with the property

  • De Carteret: Old Jersey Houses indicates that the legend that this was one of the 20 houses known as 'de Carteret houses' is quite possible because it would have been built around 1500 and there are de Carteret arms carved above both the round arches.
  • Le Maistre:Old Jersey Houses says that the property was associated with the Le Maistre family for many centuries and Payne's Armorial of Jersey gives a Sylvestre Le Maistre "of Les Chasses St Ouen" living in 1550. [1] On the Godfray map the name was C Le Maistre, and the house still belonged to a Charles Le Maistre at the beginning of the 20th century
  • Vautier and Le Brocq: There are 1941 registrations cards for Vautier and Le Brocq families at La Chasse, St Ouen, but it is not clear whether it is this property

Datestones

Despite the antiquity of the property. no datestones have been found

Historic Environment Record entry

Listed building


An important house, circa 1600 with likely earlier origins, retaining historic character and notable vernacular features including an internal stone arch, which could be the earliest surviving arch on a domestic building extant in the island, and fine entrance-piers.

Historical association with the De Carteret family. Shown on the Richmond Map of 1795.

All window openings appear to have been remodelled circa 1750 and the ground floor windows enlarged again in the 19th century to almost French-window size. There is a date on the outside of the west boundary wall giving the date of construction of the modern extension as 1996.

Interior notes: Features of the internal stone arch suggest a very early date of circa 1400: these include the very hollow chamfer, the broach or pyramid-stops; as far as is known, very few other Jersey arches have this early feature. The appearance of this internal arch suggests that it was originally constructed with an outer order of voussoirs, as they incongruously exist above the later 17th century present entrance arch. It is possible that this earlier arch was the original outer entrance arch to the building before the present more elaborate arch was constructed.

If the reconstructed west ground floor fireplace served an open hall dwelling the suggested fireplace behind the recently constructed one in the chamber above may have been constructed after the hall was ceilinged to provide a bedchamber in an unused void, probably circa 1660. The house displays Jersey’s vernacular tradition in the use of local materials and details. House with adjoining east dower wing, and west L-shaped wing.

South of the main house on west boundary there are fine entrance piers with vehicular and pedestrian openings constructed in dressed stone, topped by shouldered finials and stone balls, circa 1750. Faithful copies have been made and grace the now main, rear entrance.

Within the west room is a stone fireplace which appears to have been largely reconstructed by the present owners. Its lintel is recent and its corbels and uprights are very roughly worked and unchamfered. Its shoulder stones, however, appear original, circa 1500. There is a reconstructed or recent bread-oven on its north side. A stone fireplace found within the east gable was removed by the present owner; it was said to have been modern.

Within the first floor west chamber above, on the cross wall there is a recent or reconstructed stone fireplace. Its corbels are in a late 17th century style, but there is evidence that an earlier fireplace may have once existed behind.

West adjoining stable-block: within has been recently constructed an open-plan space with the addition of reused old timbers forming a mediaeval-type roof, but the original rafters are still visible - they appear circa 1700.

Old Jersey Houses

Houses named La Chasse usually have a long private drive, but in this case the chase concerned is Chasse de l'Eglise, the road running past the house to the west.

There is believed to be a benitier under the plaster in the main living room.

The two arches are somewhat different, but both of early pattern. The front door arch has double voussoirs, and the chamfer is in the form of a moulded beading. That inside, which used to lead from the entrance hall to the room on th left, has no shoulders, the same effect being created by the top stone of the three uprights being a very long one.

There was a tourelle staircase at one time and, before recent alterations, the typical bedroom corridor along the north wall was clearly distinguishable.

Notes and references

  1. The author notes that there are other houses called La Chasse in the parish 'but this is clearly the one in question, and by far the oldest of them'. Not beyond confusing La Chasse with Les Chasses herself, she is clearly prepared to accept that Payne got the name wrong
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