Historic Jersey buildings
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8 Beresford Street
Beresford Street, St Helier
Type of property
Former gentlemen's club. Now hotel and restaurant. The present building was erected in 1894, replacing an earlier structure. The Victoria Club has its origins here, probably in the 1850s.
No recent transactions
Families and businesses associated with the property
- 1851 - Israel Jesty (40) boot and shoe maker; wife Priscilla (40), two daughters. Harriet Francis (38) widowed poulterer; three daughters 5 months to 7. George Pope (49), confectioner; wife Mary (27), two daughters.
- 1861 - George Pope (53) confectioner employing three men and two boys; wife Mary (38); two daughters and a house servant. Charles Hancock (24) Victoria Club steward; wife Louisa Sarah (21); son Albert Charles (2m); cook, housemaid and nurse
- 1871 - George Pope (63) confectioner; wife Mary (48), daughters Susan (32) and Emily (20). Francis Prosser (57) Victoria Club steward; cook, housemaid and footman
- 1881 - Victoria Club: Francis Pearce (37) house steward; wife Flora (28) stewardess; waiters, cook and housemaid
- 1891 - Victoria Club – Francis Pearce (47) club steward; wife Elvina (25), one son; club staff
- 1901 - George du Val (47) club steward and staff
- 1874-1990 - Victoria Club
Historic Environment Record entry
Interesting local example of a gentlemen's club dating from the end of the 19th century. This highly elaborate late Victorian building is imposing on the street and retains fine quality design, decoration and craftsmanship both externally and internally. Purpose-built as a gentlemen's club in 1894, to designs by Adolphus Curry.
Refurbished early 21st century. Three-storey with semi basement and central attic tower. Three-bay. Ornate Classical facade with French influence. Walls rendered with cornices and plain friezes defining each floor. Ground floor banded rusticated render. Roof unseen behind balustraded parapet over heavy projecting cornice supported by frieze of console brackets. Central turret has slated mansard roof. Second floor main bays defined by double pilasters which extend above cornice to frame attic tower - outer pilasters terminating in scroll. Attic window arched with swag over. Above is stepped cornice with gable of an oval bull's eye with side scrolls and foliate apex. First floor bays each have double arched windows with timber casements and decorative railings on cills. Moulded string course runs across each bay following arched heads. Second floor pilaster capitals are Corinthian.
The original internal layout and architectural detail have survived to a relatively high degree, the most significant parts of the interior being the stair hall and the ground and first floor rooms. The main building has a rectangular plan form and is arranged over five floors, with a rear extension and single-storey hall beyond, originally designed as a billiard room. Interior features of note on the ground floor are the imposing staircase with decorative, cast-iron floral balustrade; dado panelling and heavy cornicing to the hall; the elaborate ceiling plasterwork in the principal rooms, original fireplaces, mahogany doors and other original joinery.
Of interest in the former billiard room is the series of four arch-braced roof trusses supported on decorative brackets. High quality architectural details continue on the first floor, with elaborate plaster ceilings, fireplaces and dado panelling. The basement, second and third floors retain few original features.
This history is based on a Jersey Heritage presentation in 2022
The existing Victoria Club building was constructed in the 1890s but the club and an earlier building – number 6 - date back to the beginning of the 19th century. 
The club was formed ‘for the social advantage of gentlemen residing in or visiting the Island of Jersey’. Members paid an entrance fee and annual subscription and had to be proposed by existing members. 
In August 1855, Francis Prosser appeared before the Royal Court as an employee of the Victoria Club. Court records show that he was accused of selling a quantity of liquor and spirits in a house in Beresford Street that was leased by the Victoria Club without a liquor licence. Prosser was fined £10.
Commentary on the case in the Jersey Independent and Daily Telegraph was critical of the Victoria Club members, some of whom were present in the courtroom. Prosser argued that he was just a servant of the club and that members should be summoned to respond to the charges. The newspaper pointed out that this caused some difficulty as both the Chief Magistrate and Attorney General were themselves Club members. The Court agreed that members should be summoned but the Attorney General then dropped the case with the newspaper reporting: ‘So much for Jersey justice!’
By 1861 Charles Hancock was the steward of the Victoria Club and census records show that he was living at 8 Beresford Street with his wife and two-month-old son. By 1871, Francis Prosser was back at the club and listed as the club steward.
Charles Benest bought 6 and 8, Beresford Street in 1870 and retained ownership up to the early 1890s. In 1893, he sold the Victoria Club to Colonel Philip Robin and two years later, Robin leased the building to the Victoria Club for an initial term of 30 years and 7½ months.
After he purchased the club buildings Robin financed the construction of a new club and it is this building that is still there today. The original club buildings were demolished in 1893 and on 7 February 1894, the foundation stone was laid for the new building.
The new club was designed by architect Adolphus Curry. An article from the Jersey Weekly Press and Independent on the opening of the new club in 1895 provided readers with an excellent description of the new building.
It described the building as magnificent, having Corinthian and Roman fluted columns and a balcony crowned porch, with no expense having been spared to produce a commodious club of over 50 rooms. The report went on to say that the resident gentry of Jersey were fortunate to possess a jewel of a club that any town in the UK or the continent would be proud of.
The writer gave a literary tour of the four-storey building, describing the servant’s quarters and kitchen in the basement, along with an engine room for the supply of electricity to all of the rooms and an artesian well for the pumping of water throughout the building.
The entrance floor was described as containing a smoking lounge, bar, dining hall, cloakrooms and a superb two-table billiard room. There was also a room for cards and games, a reading room and lavatory facilities. The second floor comprised a committee room, bathrooms and three bedrooms and the attic floor accommodated the servant’s bedrooms.
Notes and references
- ↑ We have seen no records to confirm that the club ever occupied No 6. All census and almanac records for the second half of the 19th century refer to No 8, and there are records to show that other businesses were trading at No 6 throughout the second half of the 19th century.
- ↑ The club was residential and many records exist from the 19th and 20th centuries of men giving it as their address