History by Nick Jouault
Some years ago I looked rather unsuccessfully into the history of this property as a Ralph Thompstone had lived here with his aunt. Ralph had been at Victoria College with my uncle, Richard Jouault DFC (1920-1942).
I recently had the chance to look around the building and became a bit more intrigued about its past, so the following is a work in progress:
La Ferrière consists of a large three-storey Victorian house and adjoining converted farm buildings. There are a number of datestones to be seen, mostly on the farmhouse.
- Damaged keystone from former arch, TME 1661. Thomas Mourant married Elizabeth Ahier St Saviour on 24 January 16378
- 1732 above door east side, northern end.
- Above the main garden gate – IMR.MF.1755 Jean Mourant married Marie Falle (St S) on 10 January 1720
- I M 1835 on northern end of old farm building and in a similar style 1841 on west facing farm building.
Godfray Map of 1849
On the Godfray map is shown R (Robert) Brown (1792- ) born in St Helier, who was involved in many property transactions, but as yet I am not aware what his trade or business was. In 1851 he handed over his affairs to his brother Daniel (1802- ), a baker, and Daniel was living at the property which was then called Hillsborough House, in 1852. Daniel sold it to Jean Le Gallais, son of Nicolas, of St Helier, a silversmith. It is presumed this is when the name La Ferrière, which means a smith in French, originated.
Two weeks after the sale Daniel purchased a property from Jeanne Wimbée (1805-1870) wife of Julien Jouault (1895-1879), my great great granparents. As Julien was a French national he was not allowed to have property in his name, although later he did become a British National and returned to France.
It is said that Jean Le Gallais had La Ferriere built, but I do wonder if it was actually Brown who did so. It would appear that Le Gallais did not live here until after 1861. The following are listed in the census: Edgar Bayley (54) England, late Captain 12th Regiment, wife Elizabeth K Bayley (47), daughters: Georgina (19), Fredrica (17), Charlotte (15), son Boné (14).
At the farm were Thomas Baudains (39) widower, son Thomas (10), daughters Jane (9), Ann (7).
The building certainly looked new when Le Gallais was pictured there with his son Theodore (1853-1903), who went on to become Receiver-General, and his nephew Henri Le Bailly, his daughters Rebecca and Naoemi. Rebbecca married a Canadian, the Rev Josiais Jesse Roy (1849-1931). Rebecca died in the 1880s and her sister went on to marry her brother-in-law. Jean died in 1872 and although I think the family continued to own La Ferrière, the daughters remained in Canada, and Theodore lived in St Helier.
Jean Le Gallais and family
In the 1881 census are listed Army Major Henry Charles Spearman, born Baden, Germany, 1836, died Battersea, 1891, and his family. The farm was occupied by Francis C Mourant (33) born St Helier, and family, a farmer of 24 acres.
In the 1891 census John Claudius Raven (59), born Jersey, a retired Army Officer, wife Isabella (McPherson) (49), of NSW Australia, and children born Victoria, Australia. By 1901 they were living at Beverley Lodge, Colomberie. At the farm were Francis C Mourant (44) and wife Jane (49).
In the 1901 census, Thomas Payn (54), retired Magistrate-Barrister, and his wife Jeanne Payn (61) were at La Ferriere and at the farm were F C Mourant (53) and wife Eliza (59).
The 1911 census recorded Marie Warin (41) married, French, and Aline Gaudefroy (67) her mother, widow. At the farm were Walter Le Gros (40) born Clairfield, St Saviour, his wife Jane (34) born Les Fontaines, St Martin, daughters Irene (7), and Marjorie (4).
There is also mention of a Charles Jones of La Ferrière, whose his daughter Catherine Elizabeth (1830- ) married Naval officer Charles Burney and their son, Sir Cecil Burney (1858-1929) became Admiral of the Fleet.