Moulin Nicolle

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The derelict mill before it was renovated to create a bar and restaurant
The mill in the 1890s

Moulin Nicolle (or Moulin de Bas) in Vallée des Vaux was redeveloped as the Harvest Barn inn and restaurant. It has a long history and was considered to be Jersey's longest-surviving mill building by Joan Stevens in her work Old Jersey Houses.

Referring to its round arch, she wrote:

"It is a standard 17th century arch, with one extra stone to the right, making a total of ten stones, instead of the more usual nine."

The arch may have been a later addition to a building which had been standing and serving as a mill much longer, because Thomas Nicolle, after whom it is believed to be named, was living in 1576, when he drew up an inventory of his goods which referred to 'the fulling mill'

History

Historian Philip Ahier wrote a detailed account of the mill's history in his 1981 work The Historical Hotels and Inns of Jersey

"Thomas Nicolle must have received permission from the Crown to build his mill, as that was the only authority which could grant such concessions. Curiously enough, it was situated in the Fief of Mélèches, where the Mill of Malassis was already in existence. During the course of its existence, Le Moulin Nicolle was a malt mill (Moulin à Brés), fulling mill (Moulin à Foulon) and flour mill.
The rounded arch in 1950
"In the early part of the 17th century it belonged to the Le Geyt family. On 17 April 1639 Jean Le Breton, who had a share in the inheritance of Jean Le Geyt, leased the mill to Thomas Regson for 40 crowns; then came the stormy days of the Civil War. In 1648 Thomas Regson was compelled to give up working the mill by Sir George Carteret, who controlled the island from 1643-1651. Sir George then leased the mill to a Jean Chevalier, commencing on 24 August 1648. The annual rental was 12 bales of fulled cloth. This was noted in a document dated 3 May 1726, wherein it was also stated that Jean Chevalier had 'renounced the payment of the rentes'.
"By 1733 the mill had passed into the ownership of George Bandinel, but had now become a flour mill. A dispute which was obviously about the terms of the lease, between George Bandinel, who was the Constable of St Martin, and Nicholas Chevalier, was settled by the arbitrator Francis Le Maistre. The outcome was 'The rente is not payable in kind; the mill having been turned into a flour mill, it was agreed tht the rente should be 30 shillings tournois yearly'.
"About 1770 Nicholas Fiott bought the Seigneury of Mélèches. He died in 1782 at the age of 72. His son Edward Fiott, who had inherited the estates, put the following advertisement in the Gazette de Jersey on 11 July 1789: "Mr Edward Fiott informs the public that his Moulin Nicolle, situated in Les Vaux near that of Augres, is for sale or to be let, whatever is convenient". He died in 1797 at the age of 48.
"During the early part of the 19th century, the mill came into the possession of a family named Day. Later it was converted into a farm, run by a Mr Turner and his family, until his death, when the premises were allowed to remain empty and thus became derelict.
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