Old Guernsey: Origin of Contree Mansell

8 Back Street, St Peter Port, Guernsey

From The Star c. 1890.

On Tuesday there came under the hammer a most interesting bit of 'old Guernsey,' No, 5, Contrée Mansell, and No. 8, Back Street. In 1603 the Mansell family arrived in Guernsey from Dorset (where they were a well-known country family), acquiring the land in Contrée Mansell, the the 'Park Lane' of Guernsey. The Mansells built the present house, a residence of about nine rooms. These Mansells were the ancestors of the late Mr John Mansell, the well-known Jurat, and of Sir John Mansell, who died recently.

There are Mansells in the Navy at the present day all descended from the original Mansells of Contrée Mansell. Time changes all things, and the house now in the centre of the Town has become a shop.

About 200 years ago the Mansells acquired No 8, Back Street, and incorporated the house in their Contrée Mansell property. This family had at one time a big brewery adjacent to Trinity Church, built on the banks of a stream coming down from St Martin's, one tributary working a mill which gave the name to Mill Street.

La Société Guernesiaise was not represented at the sale, and the place was sold for commercial purposes. It was purchased after very brisk bidding (the bids rising £100 at a time) by Mr Y M Perrot, of Trinity Square, who intends restoring the ancient edifice with sympathetic care, and retaining the old Bow windows in Back Street.

Incidentally this is the 69th property sold by A Martin and Son in the past year.

See Our Kin, Genealogical Sketches, by W C L De Guérin, 1899; and for the Mansell's Mill de l'Ecluse (later Phoenix Mills), see the Guernsey Press 20 May 1976 in the Library's Mills file.