Le Colombier

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Le Colombier
The older buildings which were part of an earlier manor house

Le Colombier stands on the Fief de Jourdain Payn, and can rightfully be called a manor. As such it is one of the island's lesser known, but neverless historically and architecturally important manors. The small Fief also surrounds St Lawrence Parish Church.


The fief was named after Jourdain Payn, who in 1331 held his franc fief in St Lawrence, which was to become the fief qui fut a Jourdain Payn. The fief and its manor passed throughn successive generations of the Payn family until the middle of the 16th century, when it passed by the marriage of John Badier to Aubine Payn into the Badier family of St Martin.

The fief remained with them until the 18th century. In 1701 Catherine Badier married Elie Payn of St Lawrence and on her death it reverted to the Payn family, when it was inherited by her son Elie. It passed down through several more male Payn generations until Augusta Frances Payn inherited it. She married George Lodge in 1868, and they were the grandparents of a Mr Wright, who owned the manor in the 1960s. His family sold the property in 1999, bringing to an end over 600 years of descent through successive generations of the same family.

Because the property had never been sold over such a long period, there was no record of it in the Land Registry, and much work was involved in establishing its exact boundaries, which were enshrined in a deed of arrangement registered with the Royal Court.


The colombier (dovecot) after which the property is known is to the east of the house and has a shield inscribed 1669 with an eagle between trefoils and the initials GBD for George Badier. This is probably a date for the rebuilding of an earlier structure. By 1927 it was in an advanced state of ruin and was fully restored.

Today's house was built in the 18th century and the third storey, rare in Jersey, was added later. A lintel over the front door is inscribed 17 PP ♥♥ AMR76, for Philippe Payn [1] and his second wife Anne Marett.

To the west are much older buildings which, in the 20th century, were in use as a farmhouse and outhouses. They former part of the earlier manor house and have been dated to the 15th century. They were once described as le manoir de Raoulin Payn le viel. This Raulin died in 1453, but his ancestors had clearly owned the fief, and on it undoubtedly a home of some sort, for at least a century before.


1851 census - Landed proprietor Francis Payn (1780- ), his wife Jane, nee Journeaux, and their his daughters Jane, Ann, Harriet and Julia, all in their 30s, plus one servant and a labourer

1901 census - Farmer Enoch Biles (1847- ), from Somerset, and his second wife Sarah Henrietta , nee Short (1858- ), whom he married in Dorset, were living here with their 12-year-old nephwe John. Enoch has previously been married in St Saviour to Grace Hodge Toy.

Family trees

Historic Environment Record

Manor house built in mid-18th century and early 19th century on to original medieval hall-house.

Shown on the Richmond Map of 1795. The earliest part of the present complex is the two-storey west wing - originally a 15th century medieval hall-house. The north wall was originally the front of the house and retains an exceptional arched doorway of 15th or 16th century date, which has a full double row of voussoirs with two rows of small stones outlining the second row. The outer keystone bears a blank shield.

The south wall and west gable were rebuilt in the 18th century when the building was realigned.

The principal building dates to the mid-18th century. It is five-bay, three-storey with a tiled gable roof and stone chimneys. The entrance front is grey granite ashlar; the rear pink granite with grey dressings. The third floor - added around 1820 - is rendered.

As originally built, the house had two full-depth rooms either side of the hall on the ground floor, with the floor above divided into front and back rooms - a transitional stage between single and double-pile plan.

In the mid-19th century the ground floor rooms were reorganised, the one on the west side being reduced in size to allow an elegant curved staircase, rising the full three storeys, to be fitted in at the back of the hall.

To the east of the house is a lean-to granite rubble extension with brick dressings.

Interior features of note include a fine example of a medieval hall fireplace, probably of about 1400, on the east end-wall of the west wing with unusual carved chamfer stops and engravings of hands and faces. There is also a stone fireplace of medieval origin in the front room of the west wing, and stone salt baths in the north-west corner of the west wing chamber. The main staircase, with mahogany railings on oval plan, dates to the mid-19th century, and there is 18th century painted timber wall panelling and fireplace surrounds on the first floor; with plank walls in the rooms facing north.

To the east of the house is a round granite colombier, a sign of a fief of high status. It has a heraldic stone dated 1669 and the initials of George Badier (GBD) - thought to be responsible for its rebuilding at that date. It was restored in 1927.

There are outbuildings to the north of the house, including a Victorian brick pigsty. The site layout and landscaping is also of interest with walled gardens to the east, and a formal drive at the front with an artificial mound - known as 'the proclamation mound' - which may date to the 18th century.

A photograph by Clarence Philip Ouless

Notes and references

  1. Not Pierre as wrongly shown by HER
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