Friday, 11 December 2015

1834 Guide Book - St Lawrence and St Peter

Continuing through the 1830s Guide Book to Jersey, we look at St Lawrence and St Peter. This predates some of the Victorian restoration work of the Parish Churches, and of course St Peter's has the army barracks.

St Peter's Church was restored around the time of the guide book in 1929 but did not get an organ until 1841 but the big restoration occurred in 1855. St Lawrence was restored in 1890, the last of the Parish Churches to undergo Victorian restoration.

St Anastase's school was for many years with St Mannelier almost the only schools in the Islands. But by the time of the guide book, the buildings were decaying. By 1825 not a single pupil was learning Latin and English and five years later the school roll dropped to six. In The Channel Islands in 1835 WIlliam Inglis wrote:"Since the appointment of the present master the number of pupils has increased to about 40, but the establishment still languishes". It was voted to close St Anastase's school in 29 February 1868

Guide Book: St. Lawrence.

St. Lawrence is the next parish Westward of St. Helier's. It is a very beautiful part of the Island, presenting to the eye of the tourist many rich landscapes; the roads are commonly burdened with trees; the solid farm houses, many of which have avenues of trees leading up to them, are very pretty.

Its population, when the last census was taken in 1831, was two thousand and forty-three.

The church was consecrated the fourth of January 1199 ; it is a structure which, perhaps more than any other religious edifice in Jersey, shows how little attention was paid in altering, to preserve a conformity with its original plan. Internally, this church presents a heterogeneous mixture of painted and circular arches of simple and ornamented reliefs; the Eastern windows are light, and were formerly embellished with painted glass: much of this has been broken, and the fractured places have been repaired, at random: it has neither steeple nor tower, though formerly, undoubtedly, it had one or the other.

The flow
The and aisle, in unpretending guise,
Was occupied by oaken benches, ranged
In seemly rows; the chancel only shewed
Some inoffensive marks of earthly state
And vain distinction. A capacious pew
Of sculptured oak stood here, with drapery lined;
And marble monument were here displayed
Upon the walls ; and on the floor beneath
Sepulchred stones appeared, with emblems graven,
And foot-worn epitaphs.

Guide Book: St. Peter.

St. Peter's.—Journeying still Westward, this parish is next to St. Lawrence's; its population is two thousand one hundred and fifty. The church is one of the best in the Island.

The school of St. Athanasius or Anastase, as Falle says, is in this parish; it was endowed for the benefit of the children, belonging to the six Western parishes of the Island, and was founded in the reign of Henry the Seventh, by Vincent Jehu, a native of Jersey, but a merchant of Southampton. It seems very inefficient, as the number of scholars is seldom more than half a score; the annual revenue is said to be about twenty-five pounds.

Many of the English choose this parish as a residence; because, it is said it has not as much shade from the trees as the others. The parish church was consecrated in the year 1167, on the twenty-ninth day of June, the spire of which is the highest in Jersey; it was many years since, injured by lightning, but has been repaired. On one of the buttresses, at the West end, are engraved several blacksmith's implements, respecting which singular tablet no information can be procured: if a conjecture might be hazarded, it was placed there by some pious smith, who wished to perpetuate either his piety or ingenuity.

About a mile to the Southward of the church, and almost on the verge of Les Quenvais, have been erected several large and handsome stone buildings for barracks: the apartments for the commissioned officers, the non-commissioned officers and the privates, are all detached from each other. The situation is elevated; and an extensive level parade affords space for every evolution, and will contain a thousand men.

From deep-embowering shades,
Oft rising in the vale, or on this side
Of gently sloping hills, or loftier placed,
Crowning the woody eminence. It looks
As though we owned a God, adored his power,
Revered his wisdom, loved his mercy; deemed
He claims the empire of this lower world.
And marks the deeds of its inhabitants.

St. Peter's valley, which is not far from the church, is highly picturesque; on one side runs a narrow road, at the foot of a rocky range, considerably elevated and sparingly supplied with verdure; the other side of the valley is bounded by lofty hills, completely clothed with wood. These eminences, as the valley bends, present bold but well covered projections. The flat part of the valley is divided into meadows, and is marshy—a defect that, undoubtedly, might be remedied, as there is a sufficient, though gradual, descent towards the sea: in proof of this, at a rnill in the valley, the stream of a rivulet turns a wheel of considerable magnitude.

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