Hill Street is one of the oldest roads in the town of St Helier, and has probably the largest list of former names to prove its antiquity. At one time or another the street was known as Rue des Trois Pigeons, Rue de Haut, Rue des Forges, Rue du Pied de la Montagne and Les Calvin.
Hill Street today runs from Snow Hill to the junction with Church Street (the corner of St Helier Parish Church), where it becomes Mulcaster Street and continues to the Weighbridge. It starts as an open area with a wide pavement on one side and a grassy bank on the other, leading to Snow Hill car park, which used to be the site of the St Helier terminus of the Jersey Eastern Railway, but soon narrows as it passes through two lines of largely old buildings, now providing office accommodation.
Throughout the 20th century Hill Street was synonymous with the island's legal profession, most of the main lawyers' practices being situated there. The enormous growth in the size of these practices means that they have almost all moved away from Hill Street into large office blocks elsewhere in the town and only three or four of the smallest practices remain in their traditional home.
Otherwise Hill Street is home to a variety of small finance centre operations, recruitment agencies, and, at the Snow Hill end, bars and take-aways which provide refreshments for the office workers in the vicinity.
The road has long been a one-way traffic route, flowing from east to west, and is still a busy artery carrying traffic from all parts of the town and its periphery towards the Weighbridge, where it divides to head east through the Tunnel or west along the Esplanade.
As today's English name, and the former Rue du Pied de la Montagne suggest, the road runs at the foot of Mont de la Ville (Town Hill) on which Fort Regent was built in the 19th century.
Hill Street businesses
Bellingham's started as Jersey's first travel agent, at 6 Mulcaster Street, in the early years of the 20th century, and then moved to No 1, on the border with Hill Street. We have found no other record, apart from this advertisement (date unknown) to confirm that they moved again to Hill Street, before moving to the corner of Queen Street and Bath Street in the 1950s. It is possible that they believed Hill Street to be a 'posher' address than Mulcaster Street after their move from No 6 to No 1.