Manoir du Fief ès Neveux
The name Fief es Neveux is derived from the Le Neveu family, and this is believed to be the correct spelling, although Joan Stevens uses 'neveu' and 'neveus' in Vol 1 of Old Jersey Houses.
Records of the fief can be found as early as the 1331 Extente, when Jourdain Denize was the seigneur, and it remained in the family until the 20th century. When it was sold the house was said to date from 1581, but no evidence of this was found by Mrs Stevens and at the time she wrote her first book. The second volume, in which she appears to accept the 1581 date, refers to four datestones:
- IDN FLCMN 1581 for Jacques Denize ( -1609) and Francoise Le Cheminant
- IDN MDSC 1670 for Jean Denize (1647-1726) and Marie de Ste Croix (1650-1684)
- IDN AF 1771 for Jourdain Denize (1743-1827) and Ann Fiott (1739-1805)
- IDN MGB 1825 for Jourdain Denize (1765-1827) and Marie Gibaut (1789-1860)
She writes that the first three were retrospective stones commissioned by the Jourdain Denize of the 1825 stone, but the Jersey Datestone Register says that all four were commissioned in the 20th century by John Esnouf Denize, the last member of the family to own the property, who also added his own stone on a lintel now incorporated into the kitchen:
- JESDN 1932
There is a large slate gravestone in the back garden commemorating members of the Denize, Du Bois and Poingdestre families that was moved from St Lawrence Churchyard during his lifetime.
This information contradicts the view expressed in St Lawrence, Jersey - a Celebration of our Parish that the last Denize owner was Edouard, who died at the end of the 19th century, and was the only member of the family to have served as Constable of St Lawrence.
Another owner of the manor can be identified as another Jourdain Denize, who is said in the St Lawrence millenium book to have entertained Charles II at his home in either 1646 or 1649 when, according to family tradition, after the King hosted a party in one of the Denize fields, which became known as Clos du Ray, he gave Jourdain the right to call his house a manor. This is open to question, however, because the house was probably known as Le Manoir du Fief es Neveux long before Charles II visited Jersey, as the principal house in the fief, occupied by the Seigneur.
The St Lawrence book also refers to the division of the Denize family into two branches, known as Denize de Haut and Denize de Bas. The former lived in the manor, the latter in a farm in Rue de Haut, which was known variously as Midbay and, before 1880, Les Peupliers, after the poplar trees planted by Philippe Denize.