Grey Gables

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Historic Jersey buildings

Grey Gables, St Brelade


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Property name

Grey Gables


Rue du Bocage, St Brelade

Type of property

Edwardian grand country house


For sale in 2023 for £10 million [1]

Families associated with the property

  • Le Maistre: The house was built for Francis William Synge Le Maistre (1859-1940)
  • Vivian: In January 1941 Ellen Vivian, nee Murphy (1895- ) and her daughter Margaret (1921- ) were living here, but later that year the house was taken over by the occupying German forces for officers' accommodation

Historic Environment Record entry

Listed building

An interesting and rare example of a grand Edwardian era house inspired by vernacular architectural styles.

A grand Edwardian era house inspired by vernacular architectural styles. Built 1912-1914 by Francis William Synge Le Maistre to impress his potential father-in-law, who lived at St Ouen's Manor, and to reassure him his daughter would be kept in the manner to which she was accustomed.

The design was inspired by Barnsley House in Gloucestershire, although also clearly incorporates Jersey vernacular architectural elements, such as the elaborately decorated doorway paying homage to a similar example at St Ouen's Manor, a traditional Jersey arch, medieval-style buttressing and octagonal chimneystack, stone chimneys with thatch dripstones, accoladed window lintels and an unusual lintel with semi-circular moulded detail that matches that at L'Aleval in St Peter.

The interior also has references to the vernacular style including a grand medieval-style fireplace, again reminiscent of an example at St Ouen's Manor. It was renovated 1978-80, including introduction of wall panelling and decorative room cornices; and reconfiguration of the base of the main staircase.

Set into the roadside wall is a small George V wall box, 1910-1930 (Post Box No 97) with cipher at top.

The interior of the house, although with some alterations, retains its integrity with a good survival of notable features from the Edwardian period and its original asymmetrical layout. Interior features of note include: Entrance Hall - granite fireplace in vernacular style, exposed ceiling beam (and exposed joists) carried on moulded stone corbel, oak staircase rising to first floor with panelled base, stout turned balusters and square newels with urn finials; Dining Room - granite Tudor arch fireplace and exposed ceiling beams; Drawing Room - granite Tudor arch fireplace and exposed ceiling beams; Sitting Room - grand medieval-style stone corbelled fireplace with joggled lintel and stone cornice, exposed ceiling beams carried on moulded stone corbels; original ground floor four-panel doors with moulded architrave and corniced overmantel; ground floor corridor screen doors with glazed overlight to service rooms; secondary 'servants' staircase rising to the second floor, with stick balusters and square newels with moulded caps; original first floor four-panel doors with moulded architrave and corniced overmantel; first floor corridor screen doors with glazed overlight to service rooms; Billiard Room - exposed roof structure composed of a series of King-post trusses set over arched-frames, with purlins and joists. Later features such as the wall panelling, decorative room cornices and study fireplace added in 1978-80.

Notes and references

  1. Estate agent's description: Regarded as one of Jersey’s finest homes, this magnificent and most distinctive period granite residence is located in a much sought-after part of the island. It stands protected by several acres of beautiful mature parkland gardens and grounds which are widely recognised as forming one of the island`s most spectacular private gardens.
    A swimming pool and a tennis court are set within the grounds and there are delightful woodland walking paths, lawns, shrubbery, herbaceous borders, a rose garden and many other features that make this such an interesting and varied property.
    Set in picturesque surroundings, Grey Gables is located within close proximity to the beach at La Haule, St Aubin`s Village/harbour and St Brelade`s Bay, as well as being a short drive away from the island`s airport, crucially, without being on the flightpath.
    The residence was built in the early 1900s, at the instance of a noteworthy local resident and is of The Arts and Crafts Movement architectural vernacular, incorporating many unique and appealing features in its design.
    Over relatively recent years the property has been the subject of a significant and sensitive enhancement/refurbishment scheme and now presents as a very beautiful family home. Restoration works have involved reroofing of the principal structures.
    The accommodation provided is most comprehensive and includes a fine range of elegantly proportioned reception rooms and bedrooms. A stunning feature is the first floor billiard room with full cathedral ceiling.
    There is also generous secondary accommodation in addition to a detached granite-built staff bungalow. Within the grounds, close to the house, is a fine artist`s studio which was designed to be versatile and so accommodates a range of activities from bridge afternoons to being used as a gym and yoga studio.
    Grey Gables is approached via an original granite entrance gateway leading to a large gravelled entrance forecourt. There is also a further secondary entrance drive and garages to the West.
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