Le Marinel, St John

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Jersey houses


Le Marinel, St John


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Not to be confused with Le Marinel Farm, further along the same road, this is much the older property of the two


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Property name

Le Marinel

Other names

Location

Les Chenolles, St John

Type of property

This house, which was named in official documents of 1668 and 1749 is believed to have been owned by the Le Marinel family in the 17th century, and perhaps earlier. There are features, such as the round arch, which suggest a date as early as 1550, but a 1619 datestone is believed to have been moved from somewhere else.

Valuations

No recent transactions

Families associated with the property

  • Le Marinel
  • Lempriere
  • De La Cour
  • Vaudin

Datestones

W18LeMarinelStone.jpg
  • 1619 - Perhaps moved from elsewhere
  • 17 IDLC 95 - On a lintel in a corner of the farmyard - for Jean de La Cour


Historic Environment Record entry

Listed building

Le Marinel is a building complex of great importance for the history and architecture of the Jersey farm. Shown on the Richmond Map of 1795.

Historic farmstead, 14-19th century. At the northern end of the group, at the end of a tree-lined drive with fine dressed granite gate posts, is a farmhouse built in 1870.

On the west side of the courtyard is the earlier farmhouse displaying Jersey’s vernacular tradition in the use of local materials and details. This has an early round arch doorway with double voussoirs and inscribed 1619 on the left shoulder stone, although the style of the arch suggests an earlier date (different research suggesting circa 1550 or even a 14th century date).

High quality interior of 1870 house including marble fireplaces, grained joinery fittings, fine staircase and subsidiary staircase linked to servants' corridor.

Old Jersey Houses

The house was unused when Joan Stevens wrote about it in Volume One in 1965.

Rooms on the back of the house have been added much later, and in one of these there is a well, still in use and said to be excellent.

The long range of farm buildings at right angles has some interesting chamfered windows, some with accolade lintels.

Remains of all ages can be seen inside the wing communicating with the main house. One room has remnants of old tapestry wallpaper, and another has a painted French wallpaper with a leaf design, which where it has survived, is in perfect condition and quite unfaded. It is quite likely that 1795 is the date of the interior woodwork and perhaps of the wallpapers.

The old house was inhabited until 1870 when the present dwelling house was built. A window lintel with de Cartyeret arms may record ownership by that family in 1749, as suggested by an entry in the Extente.

In an outbuilding is one of the few remaining cider troughs in its proper position, with much of the cider making equipment still there, although no longer used. There is also a slate sundial dated 1765.

There is a tradition that Wesleyan services were held here at some period, as they were on many farms.

Owners

A further entry in Volume Two revealed much more detail about the property's ownership.

We have already seen that it had passed to de La Cour ownership by 1759, and from that family it passed to the Vaudins, who still hold it. What has not yet been revealed is who owned it before the de La Cours. The answer is the Lemprieres of Dielament.

It appears as 'La Maison du Marinel' in the Extente of 1749, when Francoise de Carteret ofo La Hougue owed four cabots of wheat upon it. At her death in 1764 her grandson Philippe Lempriere (1718-1787) inherited from her Le Fief Chesnel in St John, and having no surviving heirs, sold the fief to his nephew Thomas (1756-1823) in 1786. He had already sold La Maison du Marinel to the same Thomas in 1784. On Philippe's death in 1787 the Royal Court annulled these sales, passing the inheritance to his brother Charles, father of Thomas.

But it seems that this decision was not maintained, as Thomas' son George Oury Lempriere inherited the fief in due course. Thomas lived for a while in St John before moving into town, where he was at the time of the Battle of Jersey in 1781, being wounded in the engagement.

Both Philippe and Thomas had French wives and perhaps their influence may be seen in the decor which still survives in some of the rooms they occupied. One bedroom retains some of its hand-painted wall coverings, with a design of flowers and birds. The woodwork still shows that it was painted light blue, and the four-post bed which was there until recent years had its hangings in faded blue cotton material, the panel behind the pillows being pleated into a central point, giving the effect of sun's rays.

Was this room first chosen by Philippe's wife Julie Catherine de Varignon, married in 1739, or by Thomas' wife, Elizabeth Charite Beuzeville, married in 1783? The former seems the more likely date for this room, and accords with the elaborate penelled doors and fragments of panelling in other rooms in this range of buildings.

It is remarkable that one can enter a room which has remained virtually undisturbed for over two centuries, and share the enjoyment of its simple but highly civilised furnishings with those who put them there.

After Thomas Lempriere moved to town the property was sold to Jean de La Cour, who put up his datestone in 1795. He had no sons and his eldest daughter married a Vaudin.

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Notes and references

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