Leda House

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Historic Jersey buildings

Leda House, St Lawrence

Annie Laurens.jpg

Annie Laurens, wife of the photographer Philip Morel Laurens, outside Leda House

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Property name

Leda House


Rue de La Fontaine St Martin/Chemin des Montagnes, St Lawrence

Type of property

18th and 19th century houses in a rural setting


Sold for £990,000 in 2020

Families associated with the property

  • Morel
  • Laurens


Leda House was the home of prominent 19/20th century photographer Philip Morel Laurens, who took this photograph of the house. In later life he farmed at the property, which he inherited from his mother, Mary Morel, who raised him alone after her husband died when Philip was two

Historic Environment Record entry

Listed building

A good survival of a nicely proportioned and well executed mid-19th century rural house, with an early 18th century house, retaining historic character and features. An older structure behind the 19th century house is dated to circa 1700, based on a carved gable stone. Its windows have been enlarged with granite.

Simple fireplaces on the ground floor, one with a bread oven and slightly concave fireback. Several niches. A tourelle staircase may have been removed as the house was extended northwards. Double door at top of stairs would have led to the three bedrooms, now a single attic space. Three-bay, two-storey house with 20th century extension to west. Earlier three-bay, two-storey granite building detached to west.

Old Jersey Houses

The Richmond map shows no building here at all, and this must be one of the rare errors in this otherwise excellent survey.

A portrait of Thomas Morel (1841 datestone) painted in Italy hangs in the house, and shows him holding an envelope addressed to Dlle Mourant, St Laurens, Jersey - his fiancee. The owners also have a picture of his shop, the Leda. They also have a silver watch, thought to be about 1770 in date, which belonged to him and perhaps to his father before him.

Behind this 1841 house there is a far older structure. Its windows have been enlarged, though happily with granite, and there are simple fireplaces on the ground floor, one of which has a bread oven beside it.

It seems possible that there was a tourelle here before the addition of the northern rooms. At the top of the wooden stairs there is a double door which led to the three bedrooms. Though simple and rather rough, it seems to be the lineal descendant of the double stone doorways found in stone tourelles.


Notes and references

  1. Last number no longer visible. OJH suggests possibly 1700, but datestone register claims 1709
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