Royal Crescent

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Jersey houses
St Helier:
Royal Crescent


The history of this substantial early 19th century terrace in St Helier was inexplicably omitted from Old Jersey Houses, although the second volume of the work includes a photograph

Royal Crescent in 1832

Completed in 1828, this striking terrace had at its centre, the outstanding Theatre Royal, after which the whole building was named. The theatre burned down in 1863 and was replaced by an equally impressive Methodist Church, which was demolished in 1969 to make way for a parking area - arguably one of the greatest acts of desecration of a landmark St Helier building in an era when nothing of historical value was appreciated by the planning authority.

Amateur architecture historian C E B Brett, who produced a survey of St Helier buildings of merit for the National Trust for Jersey in 1976-77, described the crescent as 'rather neglected and disregarded, would be treasured in many another town'.

"Set back from the road, it consists of two tall terraces, each of nine three-bay three-storey houses, all either stuccoed or rendered, with Georgian glazing complete, constructed on a very slight and elegant curve."

He suggested that the terraces 'could sparkle if well repainted in a single unit'.

"Inglis wrote in 1835 that the Crescent was 'inhabited chiefly by the English .... considerably improved in its appearance by the Theatre, which forms the centre of the arch, and whose pretty Greek porticos an agreeable relief to the plainness of the buildings that flank it."

It seems that nobody has ever really loved Royal Crescent.

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