Friday, 29 January 2016

Guide book: St. Clement

More from the 1830s guide book.

Outside of the guide book, I've been unable to find anything at all about "eminent solicitor" John Kay, who lived at Woodlands. It shows how transitory fame can be.

One of the best detailed accounts of the Battle of Jersey online is that by A.E. Ragg, in his "popular history of Jersey", which covers the battle in 5 chapters. It can be read here:

Sand eeling remained popular in St Clement, and my mother remembers going one night to do sand eeling there with her friends after the war in the 1950s.

On Samares, it is also worth mentioning that G.R. Balleine's The Bailiwick of Jersey records the unusual rights and duties of a Seigneur of Samares:"Like the lords of Rozel and Augres, it was the seigneur's duty, whenever the King came to Jersey, to ride into the sea to meet him, till the water covered his spurs."

Guide book: St. Clement

St. Clement.—In returning from the village and church of Grouville there are two ways to Town ; one to the right, which, after ascending a considerable rise, is the best view in the Island. On looking back you have in view Mont Orgueil castle, with all its lofty battlements; to the right you have the Prince's tower or La Hougue Bie, mantled with its ivy sides and lofty tower, in front Noirmont Point, Fort Regent, and the long blue sea forming a beautiful marine view.

Although from Grouville the right road is interesting, the left through St. Clement's is not less so; by this road we pass Woodlands, the seat of John Kay, Esq., once an eminent solicitor in the city of London.

About a mile beyond Woodlands, through an interesting country, is the village and church of St. Clement's, from which a bye-road branches to Pontac. A small number of houses on the beach, one of which is much frequented, from the accommodation afforded to parties; close to this is a Martello tower. These towers are very numerous round the Island, being placed wherever the nature of the shore renders it accessible to an enemy: they are constructed of stone, mounting from one to three guns.

The coast hence is literally studded with rocks, extending half across the channel, and visible at low water for two or three miles out, rendering the approach very dangerous to any who are not thoroughly acquainted with their situation ; and the many strong currents and eddies which they form; it was, however, on a ridge of these rocks termed Le Banc de Violet, running round La Rocque point, the South Eastern angle of the Island, that the French, under Rullecourt, effected their landing in the year 1781.

From this part of the coast Seymour tower is a singular and conspicuous object: it is situated among these rocks at a distance of two miles from the land at high water, but may be approached on foot when the tide is low. It is of course often exposed to a very heavy sea, which, during the storms of winter, dashes against it with tremendous power, and overwhelms it with spray and foam. It is occupied during war by an officer's guard, having charge of the military stores contained there.

What dreadful pleasure there to stand sublime,
Like shipreck'd mariner on desert coast,
And view th'enormous waste of vapour, tost
In billows, lengthening to the horizon round,
Now scooped in gulfs, with mountains now embossed.

Near Pontac along the sea coast of this parish, the people of both sex resort in parties during the fine nights in summer, to catch the sand eels, which they sometimes take in great quantities, thus uniting profit with amusement, as there is always a constant sale for them in Town. From this part of the coast and Grouville bay the principal part of the fish is supplied which comes to the market.

The church is the next object we return to; it is a neat building, considering its antiquity, having a light spire in pretty good repair: near it are several good houses, and the constant attendant of every church in the country, a public one. The principal houses on this road are chiefly concealed from the spectator's view by the out-houses dependent on them being erected in front.

About three quarters of a mile from the church on the road to Town, is Samares Manor, the seat of the Hammond family, Seigneur de Samares. The Manor house has been recently rebuilt on an extensive scale; is situated at the end of a noble avenue on the right, the trees of which bear visible marks of their antiquity: it has a lawn and an extensive canal with fish.

In this parish there is a small estate, which was bestowed by Charles the Second on the ancestor of the present proprietor, who was fishing on the coast, and had with him a grey horse, on which he had the honour of landing that Prince from the boat when first he came to the Island. By the tenure of this estate the owner is bound, whenever the King comes to the Island, to provide a horse of the like colour for the same occasion. 

The population of this parish is but one thousand two hundred and fifteen persons.

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