Parish Iconography; St Saviour

This post is focused on roads and road names in St Saviour.

I photographed 33 road name signs in St Saviour, not all the roads in the Parish. Eight out of the 33 signs do not have St Saviour iconography. They have black lettering on a white ground edged in black, the former standard throughout Jersey and in much of England. Twenty-five out of 33 road name signs, presumably those later in date, have St Saviour iconography in two different designs.  Two have white lettering on a green ground edged in white. Twenty-three have white lettering on a green ground edged in white and bearing the parish crest but not the parish name. These road name signs are identical to those in the neighbouring parish of St Martin apart from the parish crests.

Set out below are pictures of some roads and road name signs in St Saviour and something of what the names tell us. Even by Jersey standards, the parish road names are rich in references to the Island’s past.

This picture is of a crossing of four roads with four different road names. The post refers to three of them.

Rue du Tapon is probably called after a tapon, a bung or stopper. There was a Tapon Fief which was a sub-fief of the Fief of Gorges (aka Bagot).

St Thomas is called after a Chapel of St Thomas ȧ Becket. It was the manorial chapel for Longueville. Rue St Thomas runs along the side of Longueville Manor.

Mont és Neaux comes from Néel, the 11th Century Vicomtes of Cotentin. They were particularly associated with Guernsey, holding its eastern half as the Cotentin Fief, where the tithes and advowson of six parish churches were donated to the Abbey of St Sauveur le Vicomte founded by the Vicomte near his castle. There is no record of Jersey fiefs in their hands, but they clearly had had substantial landholdings as they also donated three parish churches to their Norman Abbey.

St Mannelier records another medieval chapel. It was also the site of a school founded in the 15th Century by the then Rector of St Saviour, which continued until 1863. Both chapel and school have disappeared.

Fosse, a ditch or trench, place names are common in Jersey. An Écrivain is a Notary. Anne and I both like the road and the name. Anne says a ditch is the right place for lawyers. I tell her she is rude.

Pigneaux is a surname, the plural of Pinel. In St Saviour there is Pinel Fief and Pigneaux Vingtaine. Jersey Place Names think they have the same derivation. The earliest date of documentation surviving for the fief predates the earliest date of documentation surviving for the vingtaine, suggesting the vingtaine was called after the fief.

La Rue de la Parade and Rue du Paradis run into each other, apparently a double-entendre by unenthusiastic members of the militia, parade ground and paradise.

Commune in Jersey is common land, generally waste land in which the tenants of a fief had rights in common. La Commune is on the boundary between St Saviour and Trinity and leads down to the Commune de St Sauveur on the Royal Fief on the valley sides and valley bottom of Grand Vaux.

Commune here doesn’t indicate common land as such, instead that the Perchard family had been associated with the Commune de St Sauveur for so long that their farm, situated to the west of Hougue Bie, came to be called La Commune and the adjoining property, La Petite Commune.

Écorvées here refers to the Corvée the obligation for up to six day’s labour, the better off providing a cart for haulage, on parish roads.

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