Land use for orchards in the late 18th century

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A traditional Jersey granite apple crusher, or pressoir
A map showing land use at the end of the 18th century. Hatched areas around the coast were unenclosed. The black areas are orchards, which covered most of the island, with particularly dense concentration in St Saviour

There is little or no statistical information about farming in Jersey in the 18th century, but experts have been able to calculate from maps of the time how much land was in agricultural use, and particularly how much was planted with apple orchards for cider production.

Writing for the 1952 Annual Bulletin of La Société Jersiaise G H Dury, who was already an established authority on agriculture in Jersey in the early 18th century, explained that the detailed Map of Jersey published in 1795 by order of the Duke of Richmond could be used to make precise calculations about land use. The work involved the laborious process of transferring individual fields, which were sketched on to the 1795 map to a modern Ordnance Survey map.

Dury and his team found that a remarkably high percentage of the total land area (80.5%) was already covered by enclosed fields. Unenclosed land was around the coast, on the northern cliff tops and low-lying sandy land in the west, south and east. A very high proportion of St Brelade remained undnclosed and the further east one moved in the island, the higher percentage of enclosed land was found.

Orchards accounted for 15.5% of the total land area of the island, and 19.1% of enclosed land. St Saviour was by far the most productive parish, with the whole of its land area enclosed and 36% covered in orchards.


Parish Land area Unenclosed Enclosed % of total Orchard % of enclosed
Grouville 4466 357 4109 92 1072 26.1
St Brelade 7177 4557 2620 36.5 287 11.0
St Clement 2250 191 2059 91.5 405 19.7
St Helier 4927 370 4557 92.5 616 13.5
St John 4534 589 3945 87.0 680 17.2
St Lawrence 5288 159 5129 97.0 1216 23.7
St Martin 5242 865 4377 83.5 1153 26.3
St Mary 3746 542 3204 85.5 506 15.8
St Ouen 8415 2861 5554 66.0 252 4.5
St Peter 6446 838 5608 87.0 709 12.6
St Saviour 4972 0 4972 100 1790 36.0
Trinity 7031 1371 5660 80.5 1230 21.7
Total 64496 12700 51794 80.3 9916 19.1
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