Parish Iconography; St Martin

This post is focused on roads and road names in St Martin. Choosing pictures is difficult as almost everywhere in St Martin there are nice examples with interesting stories, including Jersey’s longest road names.

The parish crests for St Martin le Vieux and St Martin de Grouville are supposedly derived from the arms of St Martin of Tours, who allegedly was born in Hungary. Therefore the two crests borrow the Hungarian royal crest, red and silver horizontal bars, seven in St Martin, eight in Grouville.

 In both parishes all the road names bear parish iconography. In Grouville universally they have red lettering on a white ground edged in red and bear the parish crest and the parish name “Grouville”. In St Martin universally they have white lettering on a green ground edged in white and bear the parish crest but not the parish name. You are expected to know you are in St Martin.

 This road name is interesting. Le Rey or de la Rey is a surname, after the French for King. Jersey Place Names tells us Champ du Rey is called after a family with the surname. Possibly they were Huguenots. Huguenots went to both Jersey and South Africa and there was a famous Boer General Koos de la Rey. I wasn’t wholly convinced. The road is in the Vigntaine du Fief de la Reine. Despite the wide areas of Royal Fief in the Island, this is the only Vigntaine in the Island called after Royal Fief. So couldn’t this merely be King’s land?

After Rue du Champ du Rey called (possibly) after the surname le Rey or de la Rey, we have Rue du Rue called after the surname de Rue or de la Rue. it is one of two roads with the shortest names I recorded in St Martin. The other is the wonderfully named Rue du Rat. Jersey Place Names gives three possible derivations, (1) Rat- a rat, (2) Rāt- rates and (3) Raz- race, specifically a tidal race, think of the frightening Pointe du Raz in the far west of Brittany. This last possibility is tempting as there is a tidal race, not far away, off Tour de Rozel. However Rue du Rat is divided from the coast by Rozel Valley , so it may be unlikely .

I have included this one as it makes a lovely picture. Ville in Jersey often means a hamlet. Brée is another surname.

Another Ville name meaing hamlet. És is a Jersey French conjunction meaning “of”. Gaudin, another surname, apparently derived from the Latin “gaudere”, to celebrate. A Gaudy is a celebration at the Oxford colleges. Gaudins was a well known bakery in St Helier, so appropriately we can celebrate with cake.

This road name is on a footpath leading down to Rozel Woods. Quatre Pieds (four feet) was apparently the width of the narrowest parish road.

Côte, slope (think Côtil) Palier, a palisade.

Derivation of the name is described in Jersey Place Names as uncertain, always intriguing. The suffix-erie suggests a family Bachaud lived here, but none has been traced. Bachau implies a receptacle; in Old French Bachoe is a basket made of osiers or a coracle. In Jersey French a Bachaud was a pannier or cart for carrying vraic. So Bachauderie may be where baskets were made.

Quatre Chemins, four roads ie a crossroads, Pouclée , a “fairy” path or stone,with the same derivation as Puck in English. Here Pouclée refers to the nearby Dolmen of Faldouet. Variants of the name appear elsewhere in the Island, notably at La Pouquelaye , a road in the north of St Helier, which may refer to former Megalithic sites in the vicinity.

Guilleaume is a personal name which became a surname. Derivation of Anneville is really interesting. Ville names for hamlets in St Martin were discussed above. Place names with ville as a suffix are common in Normandy. Barneville and Granville are examples. “Jersey 1204” indicates that places and place names in the Cotentin refer to tenants of the Vernon family Barons of Néhou. Such places close to Néhou are Anneville, Morville and Orglandes. Each of them in turn gives the names of Jersey fiefs, indicating these were originally Vernon sub-fiefs in Jersey held by the Norman tenants.

My favourite, which being my favourite road in St Martin, is praise indeed. It has a long almost poetic name with historical significance and is a lovely road. See below. The surname Bandinel comes from an Italian family, the Bandinelli, who settled in Jersey. David Bandinell was Jersey’s first Dean as it moved from Presbyterian Calvinism to Anglicanism.

More anon………

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