Ville à l'Eveque Cottage

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Historic Jersey buildings

Ville a l'Eveque Cottage, Trinity


Not to be confused with the cottage forming part of the Ville à l'Eveque property elsewhere in the parish

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Property name

Ville a l'Eveque Cottage

Other names

Le Bouillon


Rue de La Monnaie, Trinity

Type of property

Country cottage


Sold for £899,000 in 2018

Families associated with the property

  • Nicolle: Built by Edouard Nicolle on a plot acquired from his brother Philippe in 1735

Further owners

Historic Environment Record entry

The cottage, which is not a listed building, is shown on the 1849 Godfray map, and the original building would also appear to be on the 1795 Richmond Map. There is no evidence for an earlier history.

The land registry traces the house to around 1801 when it is referred to as Le Bouillon.

The house was altered in the 1950s and 1970s and presents its original single storey form to the roadside, but the principal south elevation is dominated by a large dormer extension which in effect creates an additional floor.

History from Trinity Tattler

Occupying a prominent roadside position, its original name was Jardin du Bouillon (The Garden of the Bubbling Stream) taken from the name of the meadow Pré du Bouillon on which it was built. The plot was acquired in March 1735 as part of a family inheritance by Edouard Nicolle from his eldest brother Philippe who retained the meadow which borders both Rue de la Monnaie and Rue de la Fontaine.

The name is most apposite as the meadow is prone to flooding, and even the roads are inundated from time to time. The cottage which Edouard built in about 1735 is one of only three surviving houses in Ville-à-l’Evêque shown on the Duke of Richmond Survey (undertaken in 1787 and published in 1795). This is apparent from the stonework and its profile, typical o fa vernacular single storey cottage of the period.

It is possible that the brick chimneys with their drip stones or ‘witches’ seats’ built for a thatched roof are also original. In 1741 following Philippe’s death, Edouard acquired the principal farmstead from his older brother Jean’s curator on terms that he might take particular care of his brother during his lifetime. The identity of the farmstead has not been identified until very recently. The four main farmholdings in the village, Bishopstown, with 14 acres; Ville-à-l’Evêque next door; La Fontaine; and La Biarderie, were all owned at one time by different families of Nicolles — the former Lieut-Bailiff Jurat Paul Nicolle being a descendant of a past owner of LaFontaine.

Clues, such as the cottage’s picturesque name, have identified its provenance as part of Bishopstown, which was also originally known as Ville-à-l’Evêque, until about 1900. The cottage for some time was also owned by the Biard family, from which La Biarderie takes its name, and after 1791 was owned by several families including a de la Mare, Cabot, Blampied, Corbel, de Gruchy, Le Poidevin, and Hocquard, until John Gruchy acquired it in 1957. The cottage was probably home for up to nine generations of families over almost 300 years.

It also has its place in the evolution of the village settlement. Ville-à-l’Evêque, dating from the 1500s, and La Biarderie, from the 1600s, are examples of rural farmsteads of their time, and Ville-à-l’Evêque Cottage is the only example of a humble vernacular cottage, often built as a subsidiary dwelling to the main family farmstead, surviving from the 1700s. La Fontaine, a substantial farm group, dates from the early 1800s, and La Mare d’Angot’s bakehouse and Lockley, a gentleman’s rural house, date from the mid 1800s.

The abreuvoir built in 1899 and the former Roman Catholic Chapel (1924) complete the varied range of rural buildings, all located within 200 yards of the cottage, and all are listed buildings, save the cottage. Bishopstown sadly was demolished in the 1970s, the only vestige of its former status being Edouard’s grandson’s listed datestone in the wall alongside Rue de la Fontaine.

Notes and references

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