Crossbow House

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Jersey houses


Crossbow House, Trinity


CrossbowHouseTy1969.jpg

The property in 1969



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Property name

Crossbow House

Other names

Brookhall

Location

Rue d'Empierre, Trinity

Type of property

Historic farm group with 17th century origins

Valuations

Sold for £1,525,000 in 2006 and £2.3 million in 2012

Families associated with the property

  • Larbalestier The name would appear to derive from the previous ownership of the Larbalestier family (who worked the site as a farm until the early 1900s).
  • Gruchy
  • Le Couillard: The 1881 census shows the occupier of the house as farmer John A Coulliard, born in France. It was a very modest farmstead, of only 7 vergees. The correct name of the occupier was John (baptised Jean) Auguste Le Couillard (1830- ). He married Mary Ann Cabot in St Saviour in 1866. Their daughters were Alice Mary (1867- ) and Mary Ann (1869- ). Also in the household were John's 80-year-old widowed mother Rosalie, and his 17-year-old niece Louisa Cabot.
  • Norman: In the late 19th century the property was owned by the Constable of the parish from 1887-1890, farmer John Norman (1846- ), who lived there in 1891 with his much younger wife Elizabeth Jane, nee Corbel (1864- ) and two young daughters, Elsie and Ella [1] The Norman family retained ownership of the property for some years and the 1911 census shows John and Elizabeth's eldest son John Sydney (1885- ) as head of household, living with his widowed mother, widowed grandmother Elizabeth Corbel (1826- ), sister Muriel Gladys and brothers Almire Joseph and Donald Philip

Datestones

  • 1678 IG, probably for Gruchy, an influential family in the area

Historic Environment Record entry

Listed building

An historic farm group with fine 19th century house and outbuildings, with evidence of the earlier history of the site, retaining many original features and authentically restored to maintain character and interest. The property is of historical interest as a former farm group, of principally 19th century character, but with evidence and fabric from an earlier 17th century phase.

An earlier building is shown on the 1795 Richmond map, although only fragments of this survive today in the west dower wing - most notably the remnants of a stone tourelle and a repositioned granite arch with 1678 datestone.

The principal house was constructed circa 1830-40 and the style of the hipped roof and margin light sash windows of the dower wing suggests that this earlier building was also remodelled during the same period.

The farm buildings have a later 19th century character, with a hint of the Victorian Gothic. The carriage house may post-date 1934, as it not shown on the Ordnance Survey map of that date. The buildings were restored and renovated in 2012-2016, retaining interior features original to the main house, reinstating lost features based on existing evidence, and incorporating appropriate 19th century period features salvaged from other properties; also retaining the few 17th century elements in the west wing.

The property comprises a principal five-bay house, with a three-bay dower wing and adjoining rear cottage to the west, an adjoining store to the east, a detached carriage house and L-plan range of farm buildings further east, and a small outbuilding to the north.

The interior interest is confined to the main house, and to a lesser extent to the dower wing. The main house has the usual double-pile layout for its period, with a central hallway, originally with two rooms to each side, and the staircase to the rear of the hallway. The restored staircase is mahogany and finely detailed with a whorled newel at ground floor, slender turned balusters and upper newels, a swept handrail and wave-pattern applique to the risers.

The east reception room has full-height curved niches each side of the fireplace, with low level cupboards. The original interior window shutters survive, copied elsewhere in the house. Original floorboards are retained in the main house, with some original curved skirtings with delicate reeded mouldings. Therear service room has a restored staircase down to the basement and cloakroom. The west reception rooms are now combined into a single space.

A modern doorway has been inserted linking to the dower wing. There are many fine fireplaces throughout the house, including high quality white marble, but all are salvaged period pieces.

The staircase from first floor to attic is 21st century, to the original pattern. The attic retains its layout with two servants' bedrooms to the east of the landing and a large undivided room to the west. The rooms are lit by small gable windows near floor level.

The dower wing is substantially altered inside but retains a few features of interest - the fragment of a stone tourelle staircase, late 19th century patterned encaustic tiles in the hallway, and a remodelled stone corbelled fireplace. Otherwise most features are new to an authentic 19th century pattern, with imported salvaged floorboards.

Brookhall is a small house in coloured granite. It has granite chimneys and a Guernsey pattern of fenestration with a chamfered surround to the main door. One window on the north has surrounds of Caen sandstone. There are indications that there may have been a straight exterior stone staircase. The house dates to late 17th century.

Old Jersey Houses

A very brief entry in Volume One notes that the name of this house is the English equivalent of the French arbalestier, and was clearly owned, if not originally built, by the Larbalestier family. The main structure relatively modern, but the dower wing is of a much earlier period and has a round arched doorway.

Notes and references

  1. Tracing John Norman's ancestry has proved difficult, but see the Norman family page for a photograph of his daughter Elsie's 1912 wedding
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