Once a magnificent farm house with 15 bedrooms, made of the best blue granite, said to be haunted, the old house of the La Marche family in St Martin's saw highs and lows. Its story ended with demolition by the Occupying Forces in 1944, and the memory of the house itself and a reputed connection with Victor Hugo became shrouded in mystery. It is quite possible that Victor Hugo admired the house - he certainly would have admired its wonderful situation, and is quoted as saying (in the advertisement above from a 1915 tourist brochure), 'Live at Icart, live forever!,' but there is no evidence he ever set foot in it. His family, however, were indeed intimately connected with it.
Buildings & Houses
'Guernsey's unvisited valley, where a water mill is working.' From Victor Coysh's scrapbook, and probably written by him, 1931. The wheel was demolished during the Occupation, but has since been restored by the National Trust of Guernsey.
From the Star 9 December 1904. 'Cohu's new establishment in High Street.' What is now Burton's and Townhouse was once a very grand residence.
A printed account of the defendants' response to an appeal to the Privy Council, March 1715, concerning the retrait lignager of a house at the Tourgand. From Petitions and trials, in the Library. For Mr. James de Havilland, Mrs. Rachel Briard, Represented by Mr. Henry de Saumarez, her Son, Defendants. Versus. Mrs. Jacquina de Saumarez, Appellant.
From the Gazette de Guernesey, 16 February 1850. 'We thought it would be useful to list here, for the benefit of our readers, those forts and fortresses, built by the States for the defence of this Island in time of war, which have been handed over to the Government, as very few people are aware of them all.' The photograph is of Fort Hommet, by S M Henry, in the Library Collection. For further details on the individual sites see the Billet d'Etat for March 1908 in the Library Collection.
Ozanne's Mill, Le Hêchet. From The Star, June 1907. The detail is from a photograph of the mill in the Library collection, which was probably taken in 1905 by the late G W S Anderson of 2 Escallonia, Mount Durand (mentioned by Sheppard, op. cit. below, p. 408).
A list of the photographs in Carel Toms' book, Guernsey's forgotten past, published in 1992. Many of these photographs are in the Library's Carel Toms Collection; please contact the Library for further information.
An extract from a set of notes by Mildred Brock 'from information derived from Mr Arthur Brouard, the owner of the two houses, and her own researches into the records of the parish of St Pierre du Bois.' Read at a meeting of the Société Guernesiaise, 22 July 1933.
Businesses come and go in the world of high-speed commerce, but the 'Closing Down Sale' notice in the window of a long-established island concern always involves a little nostalgia, a little sadness, for someone. So it is with the shoe business of A W Collenette and Son, one of the Town shops which islanders have come to take for granted. From the Guernsey Press, c. 1969. [Scrapbook No 24, Staff F, p. 153.]
A notebook with transcriptions and extensive genealogical annotations made by Edith Carey. Staff (strong room). Please ask for further information.