Les Ruettes

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Jersey houses

St John:

Les Ruettes


This picture of cider making at Les Ruettes in 1958 is believed to show the St John property, but there are other properties elsewhere in the island with the same name

It is one of the many mysteries of Old Jersey Houses why the author chose to feature this archetypal Jersey farmhouse of the mid-18th century instead of many others of equal or greater merit, which she omitted, and also chose to include an image of it half obscured by a tree as one of only ten colour photographs in the second volume

This house on Rue de la Sceletterie, St John, has benefitted greatly according to Joan Stevens, author of Old Jersey Houses from having owners who have had sufficient funds to keep it well maintained, but not enough money to embark on major alterations which would spoil the original structure.

It was the birthplace of brothers Richard Valpy (1754-1836) and Edouard Valpy (1764-1832), both renowned headmasters.

It is a typical Jersey house of the mid 18th century, built for Richard Valpy and his wife Catherine Chevalier, the parents of the brothers. Their ownership is commemorated by a datestone in the facade, inscribed RVP CCV 1756. In common with many datestones, this is not what is often mistakenly referred to as a 'marriage stone' but a stone marking some other event in the life of the occupiers or the house itself, in this case probably the date of completion of the house. The couple were married in Trinity in 1753.

Although generally typical of its period, the house has a number of unusual features, including internal doors and the front door.

The house changed hands six times in 100 years after it was built. Jean de Ste Croix bought it from the Rev Richard Valpy, who, as the eldest son, inherited it from his parents. He was living in England at the time. Jean de Ste Croix sold it to Josue Le Sueur, who sold it in 1811 to Philippe Le Ruez, who married Sophie Rachel du Pont (1800- ), daughter of a French refugee family which settled in Hue Street and then at Vieux Menage in St Saviour.

Mrs Le Ruez created a herb garden at Les Ruettes and offered herbal cures to many people who visited. Her daughter Sophie Elise Le Ruez married Moise Orange (1827-1867), who bought the property from his wife in 1857 after she inherited it.

On his death, it was sold in 1879 to Emanuel Galode, son of Casimir, and then to Sophie Elise Orange (1864- ), who married John Stephen Orange Arthur. The house would then remain in the Arthur family for a century.

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