Les Buttes

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Jersey houses

St John:

Les Buttes


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The name of this property recalls the siting of a mediaeval archery butt in the area. As Joan Stevens remarks in the first volume of her Old Jersey Houses, these butts were always situated on flat ground near the parish church. They are believed to have been immediately opposite the church, on an area later used for Militia drills, at the end of what is known as Rue des Buttes. Part of this was occupied by the Great Eastern Hotel at the end of the 19th century, and is now the site of the parish war memorial.

Fireplace

The house Les Buttes is somewhat further down the road. It dates back probably to the mid-17th century, but the present house is not nearly as old, although it does incorporate elements of the earlier structure. Among these are a magnificent fireplace with ADC 1669 carved on the lintel, together with a floral design. This, and other datestones at the property represent examples of how these stones are not always an absolute guide to who lived in a property.

The fireplace at Les Buttes
All that remains of a cross which once stood at Les Buttes

ADC also appears elsewhere on the property. Two corbels in the north of the house show ADC IDG 1681, supposedly for Abraham de Carteret and Jeanne de Gruchy, although there is no record of such a marriage, and also no record of an Abraham de Carteret born this early. The first was baptised in St Brelade in 1689, the son of an unknown father and mother Sara, whose surname was not recorded. Perhaps, as Joan Stevens suggested, ADC represented Amice de Carteret (a more common name in the family in the 17th century, but she wrote: 'the wife's name has not been traced, but we may suggest her initials to have been JDG'. There is, however, no marriage on record of an Amice de Carteret to anyone who would fit these initials. There are further references in Old Jersey Houses to Abraham de Carterets who must have been born before 1689, suggesting that there are baptism records missing.

Stevens suggests that Les Buttes belonged in the 17th century to the de Carteret family which owned St John's Manor, and was used as a residence for a son during his father's lifetime. The property then passed to the Le Couteur family in about 1700 and Jean Le Couteur (1718-1794), who was Constable of the parish, lived there until he sold the house in 1793 and moved to Belle Vue at St Aubin.

Another stone at the property is inscribed AH 1707, which Stevens interprets as Hue, because the field opposite the house is Clos de Hue.

A later datestone at the west end of the house is inscribed 18 TFL HGB 24, representing Thomas Falla and Harriet Gibaut. She was the daughter of Moses Gibaut, also Constable of St John, and Ann Poingdestre. The property remained in the Falla family until well into the 20th century.

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