La Roque Balan

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Named after the nearby rocks, the balancing stone, where on the eve of St Jean the young people danced,

"J’irons tous a la Saint Jean
Dansair sus la Roque Balan",

or more probably, as suggested by Sir Edgar MacCulloch[1] the family that occupied the property in the early 16th century.

A family named Grandmaison occupied the property up to the end of the 15th century, when they left the island and sold it to Phelipot Ballan, fils Collas. In 1555, Collas Ballan was bankrupt and the property was sold by his creditors to Guillaume Le Pelly. Guillaume had an interest in the house as his mother, Jenette Ballan, had probably been brought up there. In 1562 Guillame sold the property to François le Pelley, probably his brother. The property remained in the le Pelley family until 1608, when again it was again the subject of a saisie. In 1608 Pierre Falla, fils Jean, foreclosed on the children of Jean le Pelley, François' son, who was both a verger and parish schoolmaster. On 22 October 1610, Pierre Falla sold the property to Guillaume Henry, fils Pierre.

La Roque Balan remained in the Henry family until 1671 when it was sold by Jean Henry, of Le Grand Tertre, grandson of Guillaume, to Pierre Collas, whose family owned it for 276 years until the death of Miss Collas in 1947.[2]


  1. Guernsey Folklore (1903) by Sir Edgar MacCulloch edited by Edith Carey
  2. Collas, VJ, Some Vale houses and families, Trans Soc Guern, 1960
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