Historic Jersey buildings
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La Preference Cottage
Rue du Hucquet, St Martin
Type of property
Country cottage, now demolished
Sold for £782,000 in 2006
Families associated with the property
- Chaplin: James Alexander Chaplin was living here when his will was drawn up in 1965
Historic Environment Record entry
The 1795 Richmond map shows a single south-facing building on the site, with its west gable to the roadside, and an area of garden around it surrounded by orchards to the north, south and east. This has been identified as La Preference Farm – from which the archway and chamfered window on the present buildings originate.
La Preference Cottage began as outbuildings added to the rear of the older farmhouse sometime in the 19th century. When the larger Victorian Gothic house (later La Preference Children’s Home) was built nearby in the second half of the 19th century, it is understood that the old farmhouse was demolished, leaving the outbuildings in place.
The 1935 OS map shows a U-plan complex, apparently associated with the mid-Victorian house. Also shown is a 19th century walled garden – part of which survives. The farm outbuildings were converted into accommodation in 1947.
The major remodelling included the incorporation of a granite archway and chamfered window from the old farmhouse site, and the insertion of numerous large picture window openings. There was further conversion work in 1976 – including the addition of large dormers and further remodelling of the interior with tie beams removed and floor levels changed, a new staircase added etc.
La Preference Cottage is of little architectural or historical interest with the exception of the reused decorative fragments from the old farmhouse site. The stone archway on the south front has roll mouldings, a keystone with inscribed shield, and unusual shoulder stones (described in Old Jersey Houses as like a Dutch girl’s cap. One explanation for this unusual shape may be that the archway began as part of a double archway and that the upturned shoulder stone originally linked to a larger adjacent carriage arch. To a degree the archway is a concoction as there are extra base stones added below the chamfer stops.
On the east gable is an eight-stone chamfered window - again presumably taken from the demolished property.
There is a walled garden to the east of the cottage of 19th century date – and would seem more likely contemporary with the Victorian Gothic house than the earlier farm.
The original stone walls survive on the east and west side of the garden, with a brick gateway on the east, and later concrete block buttressing on the west side, with a shorter wall on the south side. The north wall has been demolished and rebuilt, and there are no surviving Victorian garden structures or planting features within the garden.
Old Jersey Houses
There is a brief item in Vol 1, which is covered in the HER entry above
Notes and references
- ↑ Although the stone has been interpreted as IC RB by Old Jersey Houses, copied by the Datestone Register, this photograph appears to show it as IC PB. These initials do not correspond to any marriage in our database, however