‘Vallambrosa’, Le Vieux Beaumont, Jersey

‘Vallambrosa’ farmhouse (© MoLAS)

Clients: Antler Property C I Ltd

Author: Andrew Westman

‘Vallambrosa’ is the name of a farmhouse in the south-west of Jersey. Built c 1880, this was a replacement for, and effectively hid from view, the original farmhouse, which was a much older building. The latter, only recently noticed and appreciated, was recorded by MoLAS for Antler Homes (Jersey) Ltd, before being converted to modern residences. The three-bay, two-storey, granite-built farmhouse was in traditional form, with its main long front to the south facing down a hill slope. At the east end a ground-floor room housed cows and calves, while above was the farmer's best room, with a fine stone-hooded fireplace in the gable-end wall, and an iron cross-bar in a small window beside it, originally unglazed; hay was pitched up into the roof space above that. Simple mouldings in the granite dressings around the windows and doors in the south front, including accoladed lintels, and other details of form and appearance, reflected French vernacular influence and suggested a date of construction around 1600. The original stairs would probably have been in a tourelle or round turret projecting from the north side, at the end of a cross-passage to the main entrance in the south front. Around 1700 the building was extended to the west and a new front door and internal wooden staircase were provided in the extension, with larger windows, while the stair tourelle was demolished and the former cross-passage made into a stable with a flat lintel over the former front door. Until 1949 the building housed up to five cows and three calves; the farmer recalled as a boy milking the cows at dawn every day before taking them out to pasture, and stalling them inside every evening. A garage was built against the north side, and since then the building had been used to store spare lorry parts and engines, and to house seasonal tomato-pickers.

This site report is extracted from MoLAS 2004: annual review

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