Le Vieux Magasin

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Jersey houses


Le Vieux Magasin, Grouville


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We are puzzled by the suggestion in the HER record, albeit supported by the name Vieux Magasin, which means 'old shop', that this house was previously a shop. This old photograph, which we have not been able to date, shows the property pretty much as it is today, with a shopkeeper and his family standing outside, but the shop is the next-door property behind them, run by A A Guernier. He was Auguste Aimable Guernier, and owned the shop from the late 1920s until at least 1941. There are further historical pictures below and a more recent one which shows that the shop has been demolished to provide access to the back of this row of houses

Property name

Le Vieux Magasin

Other names

  • Grouville Stores and Post Office

Location

Rue a Don, Grouville

Type of property

18th century house opposite the parish church

Valuations

No recent transactions

Families associated with the property

Datestones

Neither of these stones is listed in the Datestone Register

  • IPP 1790 - Probably for Jean Pipon
  • ITZ - Probably for Jean Touzel

Historic Environment Record entry

Listed building

A good example of 18th century house, previously a shop, in a prominent location opposite the parish church. Surviving original features. Early 18th century core, refaced in 1790. Previously a shop.

Shown on the Richmond Map of 1795.

End of terrace, two-storey, four-bay. Pitched pantile roof, 2 granite chimneys at ends, drip stones.

20th century entrance porch to southeast with corridor lean-to to first floor. Central entrance with hallway now open to east room. Passage wall in west room rebuilt with steel beam supporting original beam, internal window.

Granite fireplace with timber lintel in ground floor and first floor west rooms. Original beams running north/south above ground floor and roof truss exposed in first floor east room.

Old Jersey Houses

Not included

Notes and references

The property in 2011. The ground floor of the adjoining house, previously Grouville Stores and Grouville Post Office, has been demolished to provide access to the back of the terrace. The photograph below only shows the edge of Le Vieux Magasin, to the right of Grouville Post Office, and there is what could be a shop sign
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The emergence of more photographs has enabled us to piece together more information about the properties from Le Vieux Magasin on the right of the row to Central House, which at one time was Central Hotel, at the far end. An account for Grouville Stores and Post Office in 1899 shows that the Post Office was here before the turn of the century. In 1899 it was owned by Charles Romeril Gruchy, married in Wales to Elizabeth, nee Roberts. The account was signed by their daughter Jessie Irene, one of ten children. The couple's first seven children were born in Wales, and the last three in Grouville, from 1894 onwards, suggesting that they may have taken over the Post Office about then.

The 1901 census shows the family still living here (Charles described as a guano merchant) but by 1911 the shop had been taken over by George Frederick Poole (1864- ), his wife Delicia (1868- ), assisted by their daughters Gladys (1893- ) and Ada (1895- ). They also had two further daughters, Amy (1908- ) and Edna (1910- ).

The 1891 census shows the shop run by Elias Rive (1842- ) and his wife Mary (1842- )

No shop is not mentioned in the 1881 census but Ann Le Vesconte(1856- ), who was living at Central Hotel with her parents, retired farmer Philip and Sophie, was described as a grocery shopkeeper and her brother Francis as publican.

In 1871 and before it is very difficult to ascertain who was living where, because all the properties in this area are either described as 'near the church' or 'on Rue a Don'. Even the Rectory, on the opposite side of the road is described in this way.

And the situation is further confused by the absence of any record in the later censuses of the two properties between the post office and Central Hotel.

We have not been able to discover when Auguste Aimable Guernier owned the shop. We initially believed that the pictures showing him outside the shop with, what we assumed to be his wife and daughter, were taken before the photograph below of the whole row, but that is dated 1905. Auguste Aimable Guernier was born in Normandy in 1878, the son of farm labourer Desire Aimable Guernier and Louise Augustine Bion. They married in France in 1876 and had three children in Portbail before moving to Jersey, where they were recorded in the 1891 census in Grouville. The following year their fourth child was baptised in Normandy. Their son Emile Maurice was born in St Saviour in 1896 and the last child, Aline Armandine, also in St Saviour in 1898.

Auguste Aimable married Eugenie Francoise Boulaire at St Peter in 1907 and the 1911 census shows them at Belle Vue Stores, St John, with their one-year-old son Maurice. Auguste Aimable was described as a bootmaker, baker and grocer. Maurice was born in St Saviour and the couple's next three children were born in St John in 1913, 1915 and 1919. We have not found where their last child, Roselle, was born in 1923, but by 1941 the family was living at Grouville Stores: Auguste Aimable, his wife Eugenie, and daughters Marguerite and Roselle Marie

Depending on whether the pictures of Auguste Aimable outside Grouville Stores show him with Marguerite or Roselle, the pictures must have been taken in the late 1920s or early 1930s. It is interesting that although the two pictures of Mr Guernier and his daughter appear to have been taken at the same time, one just has his namew above the shopfront, the other has the Grouville Stores sign at first floor level.

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