St Aubin's markets

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The market at St Aubin in 1959

There have been suggestions that Saint Aubin was Jersey’s capital before St Helier, but this idea has been dismissed, largely because St Helier housed the island’s Royal Court and had the principal market long before there was one at St Aubin.

Parish contribution

The first mention of a market at the latter appears in an Act of the States of 19 Sepember 1584 requiring the Parish of St Brelade to contribute towards the outstanding costs of the building. The sum of £4 was still owed, and St Brelade was required to find a third of this, with the balance provided by the other parishes.

A year later the States agreed that butchers would pay a rent of a silver crown for their stalls, and bakers, 20 sols. St Brelade had still not paid its share of the building costs.

New building

The original market was used until 1770 when plans were approved for a new building. They were revised a year later and on 18 July 1772 the States received a report that the building had been completed, at a cost of £160.

Among those master craftsmen who worked on the building were Nic Le Quesne, Jean Romeril and Matthew Horton.

Lotteries

By 1824 the growing port of St Aubin had outgrown its market and the States decided to build another, holding two lotteries to provide the necessary finance. The contract was given to Pierre Bosdet and Nic Le Quesne and a price of £775 was agreed, with a target date for completion of 1 January 1826.

But after problems with the plans requiring walls to be extended, the building was still not complete by 18 March that year, and funds had run out, so another two lotteries were held. Eventually a total of eight lotteries was needed to finance the new building, which opened on 18 July 1826.

The market was an important part of St Aubin life but better transport links with St Helier, as a coastal road and then the railway were developed, meant that it rapidly lost out to the larger market in the islands growing capital town.

Further reading

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