Parish Iconography; Grouville Part Three

The two Posts so far on Parish Iconography have been concerned with road names and what they say about local history. This post explores other iconography in the landscape, reminding you that you are in Grouville.

Following General Don’s improvements to the road system, mile stones were set up, marking the number of miles from the base of the statute of King George III in St Helier’s Royal Square. This one marking a distance of three miles is on La Rue ȧ Don, Grouville.

A common feature in the Jersey landscape are Clos de Pauvres, in particular commemorating gifts to each parish under the will of Jeanne Gruchy, who died in 1848. These were used to purchase farmland, the income from which was used to benefit the poor of the parish. The gifts are recorded in field names and stone plaques. In Grouville there is a field, Clos de Pauvres, recognising a gift under Jeanne Gruchy’s will, but no plaque. However there were other gifts of land to Parishes, presumably the plaque below records a relatively recent gift to the Parish of Grouville in 1968 (for the benefit of the less well off ?)

Pictured above is as a Vertical Declining Sundial, beneath it an explanation of how it works.  The Sundial combines both elements of the Parish, civil and ecclesiastical. Decorated with the Parish Crest, it is on the side of Grouville Parish Church and was a gift of the former Constable Dan Murphy and his wife.

Anne stands in front of a Fontaine at the base of the steep slope, along which La Route des Cotils runs, so a typical location for a spring. To one side is a Pump, now wholly decorative, on the other not in the picture an Abreuvoir, where animals drank. The Fontaine was redressed in 1903 when GJ Pepin was already Constable. A grate was put over the well head, presumably as a safety measure. In 2009 it was decorated with the Parish Crest on the occasion of a Visite Royale

The next picture is of the spring/ Abreuvoir on the other side of the hill. at the foot of Grouville Hill. In typical Jersey fashion its ownership is disputed but is maintained by the Parish.

Since 1799 parishes were required to install boundary stones where roads crossed a boundary from one parish to another. Their purpose was to make it clear which parish was responsible for maintenance of different sections of the roads.

This boundary stone is the first of three marking a boundary between Grouville and St Saviour. The stone is on Le Boulivot de Bas and marked simply as S for St Saviour and G for Grouville.

From the maps and mounting of the stone behind Anne it looks like the house immediately beyond the parish boundary marker, Le Petit Boulivot, is just in Grouville, although part of its quite small garden is in St Saviour.

 The second stone is on La Rue du Val Poucin and is over a drain, leading to a brook which the Parish boundary then follows. The stone is dated 1833 and gives the names of the two Constables, LT Anthoine and PF Labey, presumably an antecedent of our present Deputy, Carolyn Labey.

The last stone is at the bottom of Grouville Hill where Longueville Road, St Saviouir, becomes La Rue ȧ Don, Grouville. It is marked St S for St Saviour and G for Grouville. The brook runs under the road and becomes Le Plat Douet (the flat stream) giving the road name, Plat Douet, The stream runs across the marshy area on part of which the Rue Des Pres trading area was built.

The next stone is not far away from the last and is on La Rue du Coin. It marks the boundary between Grouville and St Clement. On one side Gle for Grouville is easy to read. On the other side St C (?) for St Clement is more difficult to interpret.

 Some more elaborate boundary stones were installed. This one is on the Coast Road and is in book form. It also marks the boundary between Grouville and St Clement. It is dated 1909. It gives the names of the Constables GJ Pepin (again) and EL Mourant.

Immediately inside Grouville is a larger sign welcoming you to Grouville, noting its twinning with Port Bail in France. It might have been better to note Port Bail is in Normandy, reflecting our historic links.

Some of the information on Parish Stones is taken from a film made in about 1970 by FL Bois, the retired Deputy Bailiff. Unfortunately it seems that some of the Boundary Stones he refers to have since been lost.

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