Longueville Road

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What's your street's story? - Longueville


Demolition of the chimney of Bagot Laundry in 1977

This article is based on the Jersey Archive Street Story presentation in November 2016, with additional material.

There are three vingtaines bearing the name Longueville – Vingtaine de la Petite Longueville in the Bagot area, Vingtaine de la Grande Longueville to the north of the main road, both of which are in St Saviour, and Vingtaine de Longueville to the east, which is in Grouville.

Rural hamlet

Once a rural hamlet where much of the land was planted to rochards and meadow, most of this area is now part of the outer suburbs of St Helier, with only those parts reaching to Tapon and Radier still showing signs of bygone days with older granite buildings and fields.

The word Longueville is not clearly defined. The book Jersey Place Names states that it could mean the 'long village', although why the area was considered to be long is unclear. Alternatively it may derive from the surname Le Long, but there is no documentary evidence to substantiate this and the earliest forms of Longueville, dating from 1309, are written Loungeville and Lungeville.

The layout of the roads shown on the Richmond Map of 1795 is similar to today, with one obvious difference, in that New York Lane was part of the main Longueville Road. The straight piece of road running from one end of the lane to the other, which is now the main road, was built some time after 1920. New York Lane was referred to as La Grande Route in property contracts before this.

Census records of 1871 describe a large section as Longueville Village, a term not used today, and the occupations of people living there included landowners, farmers, dressmakers, mariners and carpenters.

The area boasts three properties with manor in their titles. Bagot Manor Farm, Radier Manor and Longueville Manor. The latter is the manor associated with the fief Longueville and the Assize Roll of 1300 states that it belonged to the de Barentin family. As well as the house, gardens and colombier, it included a windmill, watermill and a manorial chapel called Chapelle de St Thomas.

Bailiff Hostes Nicolle

Early stories of people who lived at the manor include that of Hostes Nicolle, who, in an account of his death by a chronicler, is recorded as being involved in the hanging of his neighbour, Anthoine, with the purpose of gaining some of his land.

Hostes, who was Bailiff at the time, instructed the arrest of Anthoine for a crime he did not commit. As Anthoine was condemned to be hanged he annouced that Hostes should appear within 40 days before ‘the just judge of all to answer to God and hi8m for the injustice’. Allegedly Hostes fell dead by the wayside on the 39th day. Jersey folklore says that on the day of his death the sound of galloping horses taking the Bailiff on his final ride can be heard around the manor.

Other ghostly stories have been related since, including several which relate to the period when John Harris and bis family lived in the manor for a short time in the 1940s. Among other occurrences, the family’s two dogs displayed very anxious and frightened behaviour in certain parts of the house, for which no explanation was ever found. Mr Harris was responsible for renovating the manor after it had been requisitioned by the German forces during the Occupation. In 1948 he sold the property to Sidney Lewis, who converted it into the Longueville Manor Hotel that is there today.

The Bagot area of Vingtaine de la Petite Longueville was the site of Bagot Manor, pats of which have been developed for housing in recent years. In her book ‘’Old Jersey Houses’’ Vol 1, Joan Stevens explains that originally there was a house dating back to 1500 or earlier, which had a chapel, vivier or pond, and colombier. She also mentions two other houses on this site, one of which dates from the early 18th century and is called Bagot Manor Farm.

The manor is connected to the infamous Jersey banking crash of 1886 through Philiippe Gosset. He was the owner of the property at the time, as well as being manager of the Jersey Banking Company. The repercussions of his misdemeanours in the dual role of manager of the bank and Treasurer of the States were widespread, affecting not only people in Jersey but also those involved in the cod trade in the Gaspé, as one of the larger companies, Robin and CO, had their headquarters in Jersey.

Gosset was arrested on 14 January 1886, along with his under manager, Charles Sorel. Following their traial on 31 March, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment and sent from the island to serve his sentence in Wormwood Scrubs prison. The conviction also resulted in the liquidation of his assets, including Bagot Manor, a cottage and land, which were sold to Joseph Hornby on 26 March 1887.

Advertisement for Sion Hall Hotel

George Bashford

Losing the manor meant an end to the Gosset family’s association with Bagot which went back several generations, the seigneurial rights having come to Philippe through his ancestor, Mathieu. In January 1891 Joseph Hornby sold the manor, cottage and land, to George Bashford, who had already established a nursery and vineries business on the other side of Bagot Road.

George Bashford started out in Jersey as one of the earliest commercial photographers. He took a photograph from Fort Regent in 1866 which showed St Helier Harbour, parts of the town and the Esplanade, with the Clarke shipyard buildings at West Park, which has been claimed to be the earliest surviving photograph of St Helier.

It may or may not be the earliest surviving photograph of this particular area, but it is certainly not the earliest image of the Harbour, which can be seen in photographs taken as much as 15 years earlier

George Bashford was married three times and had a total of eight children. He was in business in Bath Street, opposite another photographer, James Bashford, who is believed to have been his brother. By 1871 George had sold up and started acquiring land in the Bagot area. By the time of the 1881 Census he was shown as a house, land and vinery proprietor at Morley House, St Saviour. This property was across the road from the Bagot Inn on Aubin Road, at the bottom end of Blenheim Avenue. The site was redeveloped some years ago.

Morley House Vineries became the site of Grasett Park, and Bagot Manor Vineries became the site of Miladi Farm and Bashfords. The States acquired the majority of the site in 1967 and 1979 from Bashford's Ltd.

Not far from there, on the corner of Belvedere Hill, was a thriving laundry business of which nothing now remains. Bagot Laundry first appeared on census records in 1901 and was run for many years by its founder, Albert Joseph Turmail. Born around 1874, census records give his place of birth as St Peter Port, Guernsey. In the 1891 Jersey Census he was recorded as an able seaman on a vessel called Century and then in 1901 as 'laundry man, employer' at the laundry.

Albert’s wife Sophia was also involved in the business and they were listed in the 1911 census with their three daughters, Eva, Vera and Madge Madeleine; Florrie, a worker/nursemaid; and five ironers. When it first opened the laundry served the wholke island and a horse and cart was used as transport. Albert soon took advantage of the invention of the motor vehicle by having one of the first on the island as a company van.

Sion House

On Rue St Thomas there is a property which has been a farm, school and hotel. Called Sion House, the building still stands, albeit an extended version which shows traces of its former existence as the Hotel l’Emeraude. It was purchased in 1805 by Elias Neel, who was shown in the 1841 census as a farmer, living there with his wife and ten children. His eldest son Elias, aged 33, was listed as headmaster of Sion House Academy, living with his wife, five children, several assistants and 34 pupils aged from eight to 17.

The school was listed in the 1851 census with 27 pupils aged between nine and 16. By 1861 Elias had become a Jurat, and gave his occupation as Jurat of the Royal Court. Ten years later in the 1871 census he was described as a banker. He was president of the Jersey Joint Stock Bank and was acquitted of fraud in 1873, but Sion House was then sold to Nicholas Vivian.

Nearly a century later Dudley and Louisa Humphrys bought the house and opened it as Sion House Hotel. The name was changed to Hotel l’Emeraude in 1969.

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