Historic Jersey buildings
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La Grande Chasserie 
- La Chasserie
Grande Route de St Jean, St Lawrence 
Type of property
19th century house
Part of the property, renamed La Grande Chasserie, sold for £1.5 million in 2018
Families associated with the property
- Rondel: In 1871 Jean Rondel was the owner, farming at La Chasserie. He was living there with his daughter Jane, married to Francois Ahier, and their son Francis. Jean Rondel was still living here in 1881, but he had retired and his son-in-law was farming 11 acres.
- Ahier: Francis Laurens Ahier had taken over the farm from his father by 1891 and was living at La Chasserie with his wife Elize and children Francis John, Eveline and Edith. The same household continued in 1901. Francis Laurens Ahier had retired by 1911 and Francis John was running the farm. His spinster sisters Eveline and Edith were still living with their family. Nothing had changed by 1941, when the three siblings were still living together.
It is believed that the families shown below were also living at this property in 1941, but one or more could have been at the other La Chasserie in the parish
- O'Connor: William Michael O'Connor (1914- ), his wife Barbara Joan, nee Ozouf (1921- ) and their daughter Violet Joan
- Morin: John Francis Morin (1908- ), Adelphone Felecite Morin, nee Rabaste (1910- ) and Madeleine Adele Morin (1929- )
- Falle: John Philip Falle (1886- ) and Alice Maud Falle, nee Coutanche (1898- )
- ARD 1737 - For Abraham Rondel
Historic Environment Record entry
This 19th century farmhouse incorporates in its envelope fragments of a much earlier structure, but the building appears to have undergone numerous phases of 20th century reconstruction. Interior remodelled in 1950s. Shown on the Richmond Map of 1795.
FIve-bay, two-storey house with single storey annex on the west side and new 20th century extension on the east side. 20th century extension at rear. Single storey outbuilding and location of pigsties on north side.
From St Lawrence Jersey - A Celebration of Our Parish
Farming in the late 19th and early 20th centuries - The Ahier family of La Chasserie
1891 - a farmer experiments in Jersey
St Lawrence farmers were among the most progressive of Jersey agriculturalists, as is shown by an article in The Field magazine of 25 July 1891, written by Francis J Ahier and entitled 'A Jersey Milk Record and Analysis of the Year's Milk'. He explained the results of experiments with artificial feed using the cows in his father's herd at La Chasserie - the first time this had been done in Jersey.
1912 - a snapshot of the Ahiers at La Chasserie
Many generations had already farmed at La Chasserie by this time, and the head of the family in 1912, 70-year-old Francis L Ahier, had inherited the 28 vergee property from his father, later adding a neighbouring farm with a further 32 vergees. Five people lived on the farm - Francis, his 60-year-old wife, his two daughters, aged 45 and 40, and his 36-year-old son. Although Francis still worked, his son ran the farm, helped by his older sisters - though their future was less than secure, as they would be expected to leave the family home if their brother ever married and a new mistress arrived at the farm. 
The farm still had many fruit trees for cider making, while there were eight cows, 11 heifers and two bulls, with much of the milk produced made into butter for ramily use and for sale. Working for the family were five journaliers, both men and women, as well as between 12 and 17 Breton workers for the potato digging. These workers would be put up in the ancienne maison, the old farmhouse, long since replaced by a new spacious house for the family itself.
The son had been to school in Jersey and had then gone to Cambridge University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. He had always intended to return to the family farm and make use of his scientific knowledge to improve the cultivation of the farm. Continuing the family tradition of innovation, the son had already put into practice the novel idea of alternating rows of tomatoes with rows of narcissi in his fields. For the first time La Chasserie was a farm with a difference, selling flowers in large quantities as well as the usual farm produce. In August, for example, they had sold flowers to the florists for the Battle of Flowers which was already attracting large numbers of tourists to Jersey since it began in 1902 as part of the celebrations for the coronation of King Edward VII.
Early 20th century, farm also innovative for planting tomatoes with narcissi.
Writing about the Ahier family in 1912 P Galichet describes the Ahier family as being typical of the Jersey farmer, showing a great capacity for work, effective exploitation of the land and an entrepreneurial spirit taking any chances to expand the farm.
Notes and references
- ↑ Renamed recently by new owners
- ↑ This is the official postal address but the property is on a private road north of Fern Valley, off the Grande Route. The border with St Helier runs through the field in the front of the property
- ↑ Francis Laurens Ahier later added a neighbouring farm for another 32 vergees. There was an old farmhouse, where the workers would put up, and a newer farmhouse for the family
- ↑ It appears that this never happened. Francis was still a bachelor, living wih his spinster sisters, in 1941