La Vieille Maison, St B

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Historic Jersey buildings

La Vieille Maison, St Brelade


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Property name

La Vieille Maison

Other names

  • Villeneuve


Le Boulevard, St Aubin

Type of property

Harbourside merchant's house [1]


No recent transactions

Families associated with the property

  • Le Bailly - La Vieille Maison - literally 'the old house' - was built for Pierre Le Bailly, as evidenced by the datestone. This was probably Pierre Le Bailly (1640 -) who married Marie Le Brocq (1644- ). They had four children baptised in St Brelade between 1692 and 1697 - Marie, Jean, Pierre and Jeanne. The Le Baillys were new to St Brelade when the house was built, having moved from either St John or St Mary. Their stay in the house was not to last very long, because Pierre sold the house in 1705 to Jean Villeneuve
  • Villeneuve - A Huguenot refugee from Normandy, whose family became influential in St Brelade. Pierre died in 1726 and his wife Marie in 1738.



Historic Environment Record entry

Listed building

One of the finest dated merchants houses on Le Boulevard. Built in 1687 for Pierre Le Bailly, with original exterior and interior features, in a prominent location over St Aubin's harbour. Known as Villeneuve when it was bought by Jean Villeneuve, a Huguenot refugee, in 1705. Shown on the Richmond Map of 1795.

Former merchant's house, now townhouse set back behind high granite wall and front garden. Four storeys, four bays.

Reputed to have well head and trough in rear yard. High frontage wall of granite with panelled pedestrian door with round head and latch with brass knob and hinged peep hole.

The fourth floor is a 20th century addition and the roof would already have been raised when the thatched was replaced. [2]

Windows on front façade have heavy glazing bars, not original to the house but possibly early Georgian. Staircase thought to be original dark oak with simple panelling. Twists around the whole height of the house, each flight resting on the full height newel. Heavy turned balusters with turned finials. Five very simple stone fireplaces.

Old Jersey Houses

The fourth storey has been remade recently, with the granite so well matched that it is not possible to notice the addition. It woud originally have contained low rooms under a steep roof, perhaps thatched.

The front windows have heavy glazing bars, but can hardly be contemporary with the 1687 datestone, though they could be very early Georgian.

One of the bedrooms has a woodlined recess, which may have been a powder closet, contrived at a later date.

There was a considerable amount of 18th century penelling in the ground floor rooms, but it was found to be in bad condition and had to be removed.

In a tiny back yard there is a pump, a stone trough and a well 15 feet deep, and therefore below sea level.

Notes and references

  1. Built against the steep hill behind the Boulevard, before a jetty was constructed, the house, and its neighbours, would have been at the water's edge, the high tide covering what are now the front gardens.
  2. The fourth floor was undoubtedly a 20th century addition but, contrary to the opinion expressed by the author of Old Jersey Houses that the granite is so well matched that it is not possible to notice the addition, there is a clear difference, which can be seen in the large picture at the top of the page. Close examination suggests that the property originally had just two stories - three would have been very unusual in the 17th century - and has been heightened twice. The granite on the facade of the first two stories is noticeably much paler than that used on the upper floors. The shade of red granite on the top floor has clearly been chosen to be as close a match as possible for the third floor below. The granite work across the third floor is not only a different hue to that below, but also of a much smoother finish. The stonework on the top storey matches the third in colour, but the granite blocks have a similar rough finish to the two bottom stories. The proportions of the facade have also been spoilt by the use of five layers of stones between the second and third floors, and only four between first and second and third and fourth. There have clearly been two laudable attempts to continue the original style when extending the building, but they have not been entirely successful.
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