Jersey Heritage Projects
Jersey Archive is the Island’s national repository, holding archival material from public institutions as well as private businesses and individuals. It holds the archives of the States Assembly and all Government of Jersey departments, as well as the court and parish administration records, wills, church and civil registers, Occupation records, and maps and aerial photographs of Jersey.
Jersey Archive, as the official repository for the Island documentary heritage, can offer guidance, information and documents that relate to all aspects of the Island’s History for the public’s use. It can be used for services such as legal enquiries regarding documents and researching family and house history.
An approved planning application for a £3.5 million extension in 2016 is seeing the current award-winning building’s repositories double in size and provide storage for key paper and digital records for approximately 25 years. The extension will be ready for occupation by 2020. It is being led by main contractor AC Mauger.
The project is being managed by Jersey Property Holdings, the property division of the States of Jersey. The building works are being carried out by A C Mauger Construction, which is working closely with the archive team to ensure that the building remains open to public access throughout the construction period.
The extension project is following a new scheme drawn up by BDK Architects and Metropolitan Workshop, who built the original archive on the former site of the Clarence Court housing estate. That building received a national award and the extension will be similarly innovative, making use of the most up-to-date building materials. Construction requires specialist techniques to ensure that it is moisture-free and suitable for records storage. To meet national archive standards, it will have to dry out for six to nine months before it is ready for occupation in 2020. AC Mauger employed a number of specialist techniques for the construction of the £3.3 million extension to the Island’s national repository, due to the complexity of the build and the tight constraints of the surrounding buildings and rock face.
Specialist concrete sensors and dehumidifiers were employed to monitor the drying out process of the concrete and the block work structure to make sure as little moisture as possible is left in the fabric of the building before completing the next phase of the works. The building will have to dry out for six to nine months upon completion before it is ready for occupation in 2020.
The strong room was constructed whilst maintaining a 25mm cavity and the concrete slabs were cast and fitted with specialist base tracks for the installation of a roller racking system to house the specialist documents. The tracks were power floated to a high tolerance of 4mm to accommodate the systems.
The extension to the Island’s national repository will see the award-winning building’s capacity double in size, providing storage for important paper and digital records for another 25 years.
Although there should ultimately be a decline in paper documents and an increase in digital records, Jersey Heritage’s Archives and Collections Director, Linda Romeril said:
“Archives are a unique and irreplaceable record, telling the stories of the people, places and development of Jersey. The Jersey Archive holds more than 600 years of recorded history and this extension will allow us to continue to collect the official, community and personal records of the Island for many years to come.”
Archirondel Tower Renovation
Thanks to funds raised from letting the Tower as a Jersey Heritage Holiday Let over previous years, Jersey Heritage have been able to invest in this iconic tower and renovate it to a full self-catering property for the public.
Archirondel Tower will accommodate up to four people with a fully-equipped kitchen, shower room with toilet facilities, bedroom and comfortable living room. The renovation will also include roof access with unrivalled views across the east coast of Jersey including St Catherine’s break water.
Building works started in late 2016 and the tower was supposed to open in 2017,but, as with most historical building projects, unexpected problems often occur and cause delays. The location of the tower has created huge logistical challenges to connect services such as heating and plumbing, and there has also been an extensive amount of archaeology to examine as works progressed, (including a 10 inch thick concrete roof engineered by German Occupying Forces).
Jersey Heritage are hoping to have it open to take bookings this summer.
La Hougue Bie Tearoom
La Hougue Bie is a Neolithic historical site in the parish of Grouville. It features one of Europe’s finest passage graves and a medieval chapel that sits on top of the prehistoric mound and dolmen. Additionally to make the site more accessible, there are plans in place to reinstate the site’s tea room. This would include the demolition of existing WCs and a new extension containing improved and more accessible WCs and a kitchen. General repairs and improvements to the access ramp will also take place. As the site is visited by tourists, locals, and school groups, the improved tea room will have a general improvement throughout the entire site.