La Hambie Farm

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Jersey houses


La Hambie Farm, St Saviour


LaHambieStS1987.jpg


1987 photograph before the property was divided

This property should not be confused with La Hambie, some distance away in Rue de la Commune, in the same parish

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H20LaHambieFarm.jpg

Property name

La Hambie Farm, St Saviour

Other names

  • La Hambie
  • Maison de La Hambie
  • La Hambie Farm Cottage

Location

Rue de la Hambie

Type of property

Farmhouse now divided into three residential units

Valuations

  • Maison de La Hambie sold for £1,775,000 in 2011

Families associated with the property

  • Falle
  • Buesnel: In 1901 farmer John Gallichan Buesnel (1855-1934) was living here with his second wife Martha Jane, nee Ching (1872-1958). He was previously married to Martha's older sister Mary Ann, who died in 1893. The household comprised children by his first marriage: Roland, Lilian, Olivia, Mabel and Arthur; and by his second marriage: Clarence, Marjorie, Charles, Nellie and Reginald. Also living with the family was John's sister Isabelle (1852- )
  • Pirouet: Recollections of the property were sent to us by Nellie Pirouet, whose grandfather owned it. She says that they never knew it as other than La Hambie. See below

Datestones

  • IB 17 EF♥♥EB 60 - For Elie Falle and Elizabeth Bree, with Elizabeth's father Julian's IB at the top. Elie and Elizabeth married in St Saviour in 1761 and the stone was presumably erected the year before in anticipation of the marriage
  • ACC♥♥MMG 1992 on gable end of Maison de La Hambie (No interpretation for this recent stone is recorded in the Datestone Register)

Historic Environment Record entry

Listed building

The building shown on the Richmond Map of 1795.

Farm house range comprising two-houses. [1] Main farmhouse (La Hambie Farm) two-storey, five-bay; Cottage to east (La Hambie Farm Cottage) two-storey, three-bay.

Old Jersey Houses

Not included

Family memories

From Nellie Pirouet:

This property was owned by my grandfather, James Francis Pirouet, from sometime during WW2 - 42/43 - my dad was 16 then. It was sold after his death by my uncles. The family consisted of my grandmother, Eunice Ophelia Pirouet, nee Le Moignan, and their three sons, Gerald, Gordon Philip and Leslie. My father was Gordon. They originally came from St Peter and moved to Fernside, St Saviour but then the landlady sold Fernside so my grandfather bought La Hambie. My dad had lots of stories of the Occupation and what went on during those years. He used to say that apart from the lack of variety of food, those were the best years of his life.

People all helped each other and there was very little crime. They brought in people from the town for the harvests and paid them with produce. They ate a great many swedes during the war as these weren't rationed, but funnily enough my father loved the vegetable all his life. While they were at Fernside during the war, when they were digging the potatoes, they used to leave a couple of barrels in the fields overnight as there were French forced workers in a shed at what used to be Jones' Garage, just down the road, and they roamed around the area looking for food at night. When the family went back in the morning the potatoes were gone.

My grandfather owned all the fields surrounding La Hambie and had cattle, pigs, chickens, ducks and geese; and grew wheat and other cereals, potatoes and eventually tomatoes. My uncle Gerald moved into what was a sort of annex on the side of the main house when his mother in law (Mrs Le Colombier) died. He had been farming her property across the main road and this had to be sold when she died, as it went to her three daughters. Two of them built bungalows on the corner of the crossroads opposite Mr and Mr Buesnel's property - Mr Anfray the beekeeper is married to one daughter - the other daughter married a Mr Oliver. They were called Mary and Jean. The other daughter, Doris, was married to my uncle Gerald - they had no children. Gerald took over looking after grandfather's cattle and also raised pigs there. He used to collect the swill from various hotels - it was not good meat.

Eventually my grandparents added a bathroom to the main house, but that was many years after they initially owned the property. I remember it being built but I'm not sure exactly when it was - late 60s early 70s? The Pirouets were not sociable people, so even though we only lived up the road at Hambury, I rarely saw my grandparents or uncles, or their families, apart from my cousins at school. After the brothers stopped farming all the land communally - all the family, wives included, planted and harvested the potatoes from all the land together for quite a few years. My grandparents put up oil heated greenhouses at La Hambie and my father build wooden greenhouses at Hambury for tomatoes, and they grew fewer potatoes.

My grandfather had a tomato grader, so we used to go there to pack the tomatoes until my father bought his own machine. Grandfather's grader was in the big barn at the side of the house, past the outbuildings. There was also a walled-in garden which bordered Rue de la Hambie, and a long row of pear trees grew against the wall. I remember receiving baskets of pears every year from my gandparents - not much else though! They weren't Jersey people for nothing!

My grandfather also used to have a threshing machine, and before the boys were married they used to be hired out to do the threshing. The equipment was stored in a big shed the other side of the lane - a sort of dutch barn - this now has two houses built on the site. My cousin, Carol Le Quesne lives in one of these. There was also a big shed - again a sort of dutch barn at the side of the main house past the stables, which was used to store hay and straw and farm equipment. That was next to the pigstyes.

When my grandparents retired, my cousin Leslie was supposed to take over the greenhouses and my grandparents allowed him and his wife to build a house on a corner of their property. It's called L'Arc en Ciel and is opposite Hamlet Farm. Leslie soon took up other employment - I doubt that he was ever very interested in growing tomatoes. I only ever saw my grandmother in the greenhouses with the tomatoes on the rare occasions I went there; neither of my grandparents was interested in me or my sisters, as we weren't boys. L'Arc en Ciel was sold not long ago.

I never liked La Hambie and neither did my father. It was always scruffy and the interior of the house was dark and depressing. It was a cold house. It was also odd because the front of the house faced away from the road (I believe Jersey houses were built to face south to catch the sun) so all you saw from the road was a collection of ramshackle sheds (there was a long shed or two at the back of the house facing the road and it was open fronted and always untidy).

After my uncle moved in it was even worse! He bought a lot of farm equipment and used to go to work for other farmers/growers cutting hay, turning it and finally baling it. He also had all sorts of other equipment, which he used to earn funds, but as it was stored outside it soon got rusty, and as it was in the field behind La Hambie that part of the field also always looked a mess, too.

There was a big reservoir in the field to the left of the front of the house - it wasn't built with concrete blocks - just like a big pond.

Notes and references

  1. Now three
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