La Petite Fosse

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La Petite Fosse, St Ouen


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Property name

La Petite Fosse [1]

Other names

  • Cosy Nook, now known as Edgefield House
  • La Fosse Cottage


La Petite Fosse, St Ouen

Type of property

17th century house with possible medieval origins. The property has been sub-divided into three separate homes


  • La Petite Fosse sold for £495,000 in 2003, £438,000 the following year, and £620,000 in 2010
  • La Fosse Cottage sold for £410,000 in 2005
  • Cosy Nook sold for £310,000 in 2017 and, as Edgefield House, for £860,000 the following year

Historic Environment Record entry

Listed building

An early example of a Jersey house, certainly 17th century but with evidence that it began as a late medieval open hall house - a rare survival. The early 17th century window openings display the type of high quality workmanship more often found in larger high status houses.

Shown on the Richmond Map of 1795. Appears to have begun as a late medieval open hall house. The chamfered window openings have been enlarged by the inclusion of shoulder stones but appear to date to the first quarter of the 17th century and could be as early as circa 1600. Four have accolade lintels and several have feramenta holes. The earliest dated examples of this type are those found on the facade of Portelet Inn, a building thought to have been refronted in 1606.

It is most likely that a matching chamfered archway or linteled entrance with accolade detail has been lost here.

Two-storey four-bay main house with rear, east service wing. Gable elevation has the remains of a medieval chimney standing proud of the gable end.

Central entrance, single pile with mid-19th century extension. The interior is divided by plank panelling into two cells with cross passage. The ground floor north room has a heavily chamfered chestnut beam. This room has a stone fireplace with a later bread-oven inserted to the east, it's remaining corbel has a simple step-mould and it's shoulder stones are very high to the ceiling, the lintel is now gone along with it's hood and a cast iron range now resides within. There is a niche with early internal plaster on one side.

The ground floor south room has a chamfered beam of more regular form and a modern stone fireplace. A narrow doorway with stone lintel leads into the rear extension. This may have been the original entrance into the now lost tourelle, as there is a corresponding doorway in the correct position above.

Doors throughout are four-panel and appear to match the mid-19th century panelling. The first floor north room has a heavy, irregular beam and the remains of a stone fireplace directly above the one below, its masonry is propped up on one side with what appears to be a later 18th century jamb, the other has a shoulder stone, it's hood is also missing.

This house could have originally been an open hall construction later to be ceiled at the same time as the refronting, circa 1620. The later chamber fireplace above does present a problem with this, as there would not usually be a heated chamber above a heated room below.

Cosy Nook: Farm buildings, with circa 17th/18th century origins and 19th century alterations, which retain external historic fabric and character, and a historic roof structure to the west building. The property was previously farm outbuildings/stables, most likely associated with the house to the east. The buildings are shown on the 1795 Richmond Map.

John McCormack, who has researched all surviving buildings on the Richmond Map, suggests that the outbuildings that now form Cosy Nook have 17th century origins, with later alterations in the 18th century and 19th century. It is probable that the rear wall of Cosy Nook (with its lamp niche) could be contemporary with La Petite Fosse.

The western building has small rubble stone construction to some of the walling, and long irregular quoins, which are also often indicative of an early build date. The roof structure of the western building is of a construction style which is seen in the late 17th/early 18th century, but could also date to the late 18th century. Sometimes a roof construction is later than it appears as carpenters often constructed the same basic design throughout their working lives, handing on these designs to apprentices who continued to construct roofs in the same fashion.

The eastern building has clearly been heightened in the 19th century with a new roof and brick chimneys. There are two doorways to the entrance front which suggest that the house once functioned as a pair of cottages. Linear farm range with east house and west stable building. The interior interest is an unusual pointed niche (probably for a candle-holder to illuminate the stair) in the eastern building, and the chamfered beams and roof structure of the western building, which date between the late 17th/late 18th century.

Old Jersey Houses

A surprising example of a house of considerable historical importance which was not included in either volume

Notes and references

  1. A strange name for a house, translating as 'the little ditch', Perhaps, before rural houses had names, it was known as 'the house next to the little ditch', and the name stuck
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