La Vieille Maison, St Aubin

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Jersey houses

St Brelade:

La Vieille Maison


This four-storey property on the Bulwarks at St Aubin is not the oldest property there, dating from 1687, but certainly one of the finest

La Vieille Maison - literally 'the old house' - was built for Pierre Le Bailly, as evidenced by a stone PLB 1687. 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, a Huguenot refugee from Normandy, whose family became influential in St Brelade. Pierre died in 1726 and his wife Marie in 1738. They must have moved elsewhere in their adopted parish because the deaths of both were registered in St Brelade.

The fourth story, almost unknown in a property of this age, is actually misleading, because it was added in the 20th century. As Joan Stevens remarks in the second volume of Old Jersey Houses, an earlier upwards extension of rough granite under a thatched roof was replaced by granite so well matched to the lower storeys that it is not possible to notice that it is a later addition.

The house was known for a period as Villeneuve, after its 18th century owners. 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.

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