La Maletiere

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La Maletiere, scene for a parish fete. Picture Jersey Evening Post
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Les Pres Manor, as it is now known

Known today as Les Prés Manor, Malet House, or La Maletière, bears the same name as the Fief of La Maletière. It became a Crown property at the Reformation and rente was paid continuously for eight centuries. Queen's Mill, as it is now known, is dependent on the manor. There was formerly a chapel in the grounds, how demolished, whose name is uncertain.

The manor has Droits de Chasse (hunting rights) and the seigneur was the ony person in the parish allowed to keep ferrets. On 25 January 1568 an ordinance was issued required all other ferrets in the parish to be surrendered in ten days. Commoners were only allowed to keep one dog, and when mature its leg had to be cut so that it could not chase rabbits and hares. There were threats of severe fines and public whippings for contraventions of these rules.

Thouse has a fine old stone turelle staircase, the upper flight or flights of which have been removed at some point. There is a 1635 sundial and, rare for Jersey, a cellar under one wing.

Datestones

A datestone in the south facade is dated 1631 and engraved for Jean Payn and his wife Marie. Uniquely in Jersey it also has the initials of their three sons (not the daughters.

The tradition has been continued by the present owners Charles Alan Le Maistre and Edna Mabel Matthew, with a stone erected to mark the restoration of outbuildings in 1995, containing their own initials, and those of their five children, boys and girls. CALM 1995 EMM PLM CLM JLM CLM PLM. The Le Maistres erected a simpler stone, 19 CALM EMM 89 six years earlier to mark the restoration of the press house.

Le Couteur

It is believed that a new house was built in 1635, retaining some of the features of the earlier property.

It was inherited towards the end of the 18th century by the Rev Francois Le Couteur, then Rector of St Martin. He famously owned private cannon, which he took to La Rocque on the day of the Battle of Jersey. After inheriting La Maletière he moved in and became Rector of Grouville. The Rev Le Couteur was a man of many parts, being an agricultural expert and also the originator of plans for a road network in the island, which were eventually adopted in full by General Don.

Le Couteur died in 1808 and his family went bankrupt not long after and the property was sold to Jean Cooke, a shipbuilder who was the son of Richard Cooke and Elizabeth Mallet. He could not reverse the fortunes of La Maletière and sold it for a profit to Pierre Le Maistre in 1841 and moved to St Helier.

The property has remained in the Le Maistre family ever since.

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