La Pelotte

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Historic Jersey buildings

La Pelotte, Grouville


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Property name

La Pelotte


Rue a Don, Grouville

Type of property

The property consists of two small houses alongside one another.

Two interesting finds in the garden are a cannon ball, about the size of an apple, which Joan Stevens says may have been connected with the French landing on the day of the Battle of Jersey in 1781, claimning that 'the geographical position of the house makes it possible that the ball was connected with de Rullecourt's landing'. [1]; and a metal spike with the remains of a wooden handle, which she thought may have been part of a halberd, again speculating that La Pelotte was a holding which owed halberd duty - the escort of prisoners from Mont Orgueil Castle to the Royal Court in town. [2]


No recent transactions

Families associated with the property

  • Payn: It is known that the house remained in the Payn family for at least one or two further generations, but the exactly line of descent has not been determined. There is a record relating to Philippe Payn, Constable of Grouville from 1814 to 1817, which names his father as Philippe Payne of La Pelotte, near Grouville Church, and Marie, his wife, youngest daughter of Elie Falle.

But this Philippe and his father do not appear to be direct descendants of the Philippe who built La Pelotte. He had a son Philippe, born in 1698. The Philippe who married Marie Falle appears in our tree Descendants of Thomas Payn - 2 and he had a grandfather Philippe. However, his grandfather was born in 1708 and his parents were Matthieu Payn (1682- ) and Marie Mattingley. So, there does not appear to be a direct link between the Philippe who built the house in 1716, and the Philippe who was living there about a century later.

  • Renouard: In 1941 the property was occupied by the ]]Descendants_of_Jean_Renouard|Renouard family]]. Walter John Renouard (1914- ) was living there with is wife Lucille Annie, nee Le Provost (1915- ) and his sister Marjorie (1913- ) and her husband Philip Roy Rive (1914- ) and their daughter Ann (1939- )


Historic Environment Record entry

Listed building

Fine example of late 17th/early 18th century rural house with outstanding survival of now rare contemporary interior features, including granite fireplaces and especially rare timber work, particularly elm panelling, floor boards and beams. Shown on the Richmond Map of 1795.

Detached, two-storey, four-bay, plus four-bay to northeast and stable wing to northeast. Southwest wing: pitched pantile roof, rendered chimneys with granite steps at each end.

Northeast wing: pitched slate roof, granite coping to northeast dated 1710 or 1715 on kneeler end; similar elevations and windows, but single doorway; single storey service wing to northeast, pantiled pitched roof, ogee moulded lintel to roadside entrance.

Rear elevation altered in 20th century including windows and extension. Interior layout complex.

Late 17th century house, probably retaining features and plan form of an earlier structure. The ancient plan form of four bays, 2½ bay hall with service end to the west.

Alterations to the main house probably of circa 1710 when large five-bay extension built to southwest, including the lobby entrance arrangement that is unique to the Channel Islands.

Retains much woodwork: in the hall half beaded elm beams, oak joists and elm half beams; in the parlour, elm beams with chamfers, all stopped for plugs. Joists here are small and probably 1710. The eastern staircase in the original wing is entirely of elm. Further elm beams and joists noted throughout. 18th century panelling, beaded in and out, 18th century plank partitioning and 19th century pine partitioning. Western extension first floor fireplace located at an angle, an early example of a first floor hearth offset from the main hearth, not normally seen until after circa 1680.

Purpose of western extension remains unclear: too large for a dower, possibly a cider-press house.

Old Jersey Houses

An article in the second volume has an intriguing suggestion for the derivation of the name of this house in Rue a Don. The author dismisses any link to pelote, French for a ball of wool, and links the name to faire sa pelote, which can mean 'to make one's pile', suggesting that Philippe Payn, who built the house in about 1716, had had a successful business career.

There is a reference in a 1658 contract to Clos de la Pelotte and Petit Jardin de la Pelote.

It is suggested that the building to the west is somewhat older than the other, 'though the evidence is not very clear' and that neither appears to date from before the early 18th century. The roof is now part slate, part tile, but was at first all in thatch, and the chimneys are good, with clear thatch stones.

With one exception all the windows have been enlarged. The stairs are cramped and undistinguished. The stone corbels of three hearths are visible, two of them having wood lintels which probably replace the original stone.

A small fireplace on the first floor east has traditional corbels in wood, clearly not meant to be seen, as fragments of early 18th century panelling and fireplace surround enclose it. There is not a right-angle in any room, and the beams are as twisted as any yet seen.

Notes and references

  1. This is very ill-informed speculation. De Rullecourt and his French troops landed some 2½ kilometres from the house and either remained at the landing point, where one action was fought, or headed in the opposite direction towards St Helier. The only connection between the area in which La Pelotte stands and the events of the day is that the English soldiers who died in the secondary battle at La Rocque are buried in the nearby Grouville churchyard.
  2. This is a strange suggestion, because, as the author goes on to explain, this duty ceased in 1693, before the suggested date for the construction of the property.
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