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Jersey houses

St John:





Datestones at Beaupre

Photograph by Emile Guiton

The name of this property sounds as if has more to do with Jersey than the earlier Beech Farm, but it appears that the change occurred in the late 20th century when it was renamed after his home in Wales by a purchaser.

Jeanne Gruchy

The house, on the road to Hautes Croix, dates back at least to 1662. Perhaps its main claim to fame is that Jeanne Gruchy (1784- ), whose family acquired it through marriage to the Baudains family, lived there.

She lived in a room at the east end and had a small shop, selling black crepe for funerals and other materials. She was the daughter of Jean Gruchy and Jeanne Baudains.

She either made or inherited sufficient money to purchase the Don Gruchy fields which exist in each parish to help the poor.

In the 19th century the property was owned by the Picot family. It is shown on the Godfray map as owned by Jurat Philippe Picot, who was a Jurat from 1841 to 1870. He had earlier been Constable of St John from 1832-35.


There is no shortage of datestones on the property, and several of them relate to the Baudains family. The earliest is the Arch capstone, which bears the initials IBD and the date 1668. It is believed that this may have been placed by Jean Baudains (1602- ), but this is by no means certain.

The stone which can be clearly attributed is that with the initials NBD and NVP and the date 1784. This refers to Nicholas Baudains (1728- ) who married Margaret Valpy in 1753. The stone must, therefore, commemorate a date when some work was undertaken on the property rather than being a so-called 'marriage stone'.

Nicholas was the son of Simon Baudains and Marie Nicolle; grandson of Edouard Baudains and Jeanne Romeril; great-grandson of Jean Baudains, referred to above, and Collette Romeril. Jean was the son of Edouard Baudains and Marie.

Falling between these two stones is one dated 1717, with the initials EBD and SBD. This clearly relates to two Baudains, but it is not possible to say which, nor where they fit into the ancestry of Nicholas (1728- ).

Nicholas and Margaret Valpy had a daughter, Jeanne, born in 1763, who presumably married Jean Gruchy, but quite why they inherited Beaupre, when Jeanne had at least three older sisters and a younger brother, who married and had children, is also a mystery. Le Don Gruchy, was created by their daughter Jeanne, in 1848

A fourth datestone simply has the initials EF and SLG with not date, and is a complete enigma.

Finally there is a much more recent datestone, with the initials JEL and AH either side of intertwined hearts, and the date 1938, seemingly commemorating an acquisition just before the Second World War.

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