Marais à la Coque

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The lavoir at Marais à La Coque

Jersey has a number of surviving douets à laver, or lavoirs, which were constructed as communal washing places, either for the use of an individual family or a group of neighbours. One at St John is carved with the initials of those who were permitted to use it in 1813.

The grandest of all is at Marais à la Coque in Grouville. Owned by the parish, it stands on what was previously Crown land at the junction of Rue du Marais à la Coque and Rue Malo. The lavoir has a hand-operated pump which supplies a granite trough, and a large washing area. Alongside is a more modern pump on a granite platform 1.5 metres high, which is reached by steps on either side.

The name is frequently misspelled "cocque". The derivation of the name coque in this context is uncertain. The word means either 'shell' (oeufs à la coque are eggs in their shells) or a small loop or bow of ribbon used in making hats: marais is French for marsh.

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