Historic Jersey buildings
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Fern Valley, St Helier
Type of property
Farm group - 18th and 19th centuries
Sold with land for £300,000 in 2014
Families associated with the property
- CNC ♥ IPN 1803 - For Clement Nicolle and Jeanne Pinel
Historic Environment Record entry
This farm complex has a good survival rate of original features, both internal and external, and demonstrates on various levels how such buildings underwent changes in a pragmatic way, for example within the roof space can be seen the many timbers associated with the original thatch roof and later chimneys simply sprung from earlier ones.
This typical farm group is complete and mostly unaltered. Shown on the Richmond Map of 1795. Main house, part attached to stable block. 19th century dormers. Each gable carries a chimney with thatch-drips, the colour of the stone, and workmanship, matches with the facade.
Walls stone built, with a finely worked facade of long and short ashlars, with small darker stones separating the bays, creating a chequerboard pattern. A single course of ashlars, probably Mont Mado granite, separates the storeys. A recessed late 19th century timber half-glazed door, with half-glazed margin, and overlight.
Barn and stables, within farmyard, west of house: slate roof, within which survives typical mid-late 19th century timbers. Rubble granite built, forming an L-shape, with brick dressings to a variety of openings. The south and west elevations of this building are (ramped), to buttress away from the natural slope of the valley. Pigsties, west of stable/barn wing: pantile roof, tripartite in form, rubble build, with some worked stone to entrance and feeders. Press house, east of main house: 1 storey, with loft storage, 7 bays.
There is a 19th century building to the extreme east. Central entrance, double-pile, with outshut to rear. Entrance hallway with rooms leading off east and west, mahogany staircase of circa 1830s style with round swan-necked handrail, slender turned balusters/newel, applique to its risers.
Most rooms have Regency style six-panel doors with 18th century architraves, a few mid-18th century doors survive, one with large LH hinges. Most fireplaces are now boarded up, their chimney-pieces are all typical mid-19th century.
A fireplace in the ground floor west reception room suggests the existence of a traditional stone fireplace beneath.
The roof retains its original timbers and shows that it was once thatched, either end of the attic can be seen earlier stone chimneys, with thatch-drips, which are difficult to date. The circa 1803 chimneys simply sprung from the originals. Press house, east of main house: all interior timber survives, including chestnut beams supporting loft floor above, notched-in joists, and floor-planking. Within the roof space A-frame roof timbers showing signs of the original thatch roof.