Mulcaster Street

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Mulcaster Street


The top end of Mulcaster Street, with the former offices of the Jersey New Waterworks Company in the centre

Mulcaster Street is the continuation of Hill Street from its junction with Church Street outside the parish church, to the Weighbridge. It was named after one of the heroes of the Battle of Jersey


Mulcaster street runs from the Town Church to the Weighbridge. It has always been a very busy road, being part of a major route from the north of the town and beyond to the Harbour, and also the main pedestrian route from the centre of the town to the Weighbridge area, where the bus station was situated for many years.


Battle hero

The street was named in honour of one of the heroes of the Battle of Jersey, Capt Frederick George Mulcaster, Chief Officer of the Corps of Engineers. He was at his home in Queen Street, St Helier, when he heard of the arrival of French invaders on the morning of 6 January 1781. He hurriedly dressed and rode out to Elizabeth Castle to take command. When the French troops approached the castle, demanding its surrender, Mulcaster refused and ordered the castle guns to fire on them, forcing their retreat.


The street does not follow the usual pattern of having odd-numbered properties on one side and even on the other. The properties on the east side are numbered from 1 to 10 from the junction of Hill Street and Church Street, on the north-east corner of the churchyard. Numbers 11 to 13 are not used, but correspond with the side of the Royal Yacht Hotel. The building which was formerly the Star Hotel on the opposite corner is No 14 and the properties to its north are numbered up to 19, which forms the corner with Bond Street


Its proximity to the Harbour meant that Mulcaster Street was a prime location for hotels, both large and small, certainly from the 18th century onwards, and probably much earlier. To begin with the street was much shorter than it is today, and much closer to the sea, which used to reach the walls of the town churchyard on very high tides.

Gradually, from the 18th century onwards, the sea was pushed back, as first warehouses, and then hotels and other properties, were built to the south of the church. The process accelerated in the 1820s, as the first public weighbridge was built on the reclaimed land, and then the first hotels, on either side of the bottom of what became Dumaresq Street. They are still there today, the Royal Yacht Hotel on one corner, much enlarged in the 21st century, and The Star opposite, no longer a hotel, but a restaurant with offices above.

The Royal Yacht's formal address is Caledonia Place, the first of a row of properties surrounding the north and east sides of the Weighbridge area. The Star is numbered 14 Mulcaster Street.

One of the street's main hotels was at Number 18 until it closed in the late 20th century, becoming in succession a bar and then a nightclub. It started out as Queen's Hotel, in the 1860s, or possibly earlier, being renamed the Sussex Hotel in the 1930s, when the property was acquired by Ann Street Brewery from de Veulle and Company. The new owner's first tenants were Mr and Mrs A E J Parker. Among the best known of the post-war tenants were Stan and Ivy Maiden, who ran the modernised hotel in the 1960s and 70s, taking up to 25 guests. Many of these patrons would return year after year, booking the same rooms during the same summer weeks.

Bellingham's was Jersey's first travel agent at 6 Mulcaster Street in 1906, before moving to No 1 by 1940. We have seen an advertisement suggesting that the business moved again up the road to Hill Street, but suspect that they thought that to be a posher address when they were on the border of the two streets. Eventually the business moved to the corner of Queen Street and Bath Street in about 1950

Probably the best known of the hotels in Mulcaster Street was the de l'Europe, which was opposite the east wall of the church. The hotel was known for the quality of its accommodation and its restaurant. Among those who enjoyed them were the famous German socialists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. They came to Jersey for the benefit of Engels' health. In the mid-18th century Jersey was building a reputation as a destination for those who believed it to be beneficial to their health to get away from the pollution and grime of big cities.

The Hotel de l'Europe building, much modernised, is still there today, but no longer a hotel. Now it is a restaurant and nightclub, called Chambers.

Further up the street there were two further hotels which have long since closed. At No 3 was the Grasshopper Hotel and at No 7 the Albion Hotel.

In 1877 Frederick Allan, of Hackneywick, Middlesex, was the hotel keeper at the Grasshopper, when his will was drawn up. He was presumably the tenant of the Grasshopper but left Ann Allan a house in Vine Street. He is shown as manager of the hotel in an 1880 almanac.

In 1895 George Henry Mitchelmore gave the Grasshopper Hotel as his address when his will was drawn up.

Other than mentions in almanac street directory listings, we have been unable to find any other records relating to the Albion Hotel. In 1880 C Davey was shown as manager.

There was also an establishment known as the Bath Hotel in the street in the middle of the 19th century, as evidenced by an advertisement below, but we have not been able to establish which property in the street it occupied.

Waterworks Company

One striking building in the street, described in its planning listing as 'exciting', is No 2, built in 1913 as the headquarters of the Jersey New Waterworks Company. The company is no longer there, having sold the building for £2,594,000 in 2004 and moved to new purpose-built offices at Westmount.

Individual property profiles

No 2 No 5 No 9 No 14 No 15 No 16 No 17 No 18
The street in the early 1950s. Marguerite was a glass and pottery business run by W and M Dickson. Next was the Hotel de l'Europe, now a nightclub and restaurant called Chambers. On the other side of the hotel were the offices of the Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society and further up, just visible in this photograph, the offices of the Jersey New Waterworks Company
Grasshopper Hotel in about 1910

Mulcaster Street businesses

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