Our Home - Creux Baillot Cottage
In 1976, Nigel and I discovered the cottage whilst walking with the dog one day. As we walked up through the valley we came across an old cottage with dirt floors, no windows or doors and no electricity or water.
Originally built as a farm worker’s cottage, with two rooms downstairs and two upstairs and an outside toilet.
Despite the bad state of repair and the piles of rubbish all around we fell in love with it. Luckily a man who was gardening at the house at the top of the lane knew the name of the lady who owned the cottage, so we wrote her a letter and asked if there was any possibility that we could buy it.
Over the years we have added to the house with an extension and more recently Nigel and a good friend, Mick, have been busy building a shed from pallet boards.
The sequence of photos below shows a base of four pallets, with walls also made from four pallets each.
The shed has become a valuable winter store for our dandelion sculptures and until was been used as our gift shop.
All the timber used is recycled from various pallet boards, with shelves made from redundant scaffold boards.
We decided to insulate the shed with sheep’s wool insulation, which was much more pleasant to use than fibreglass ! And in addition will absorb any moisture which gets past the outer structure.
Although ordered from a UK supplier the sheep’s wool insulation is actually from Austria.
Even the window is recycled, from our local salvage yard.
We have been lucky to have had a discussion with a member of the Société Jersiaise Geology Section about the stone used to construct the cottage.
The bottom of this quoin still retains the marks left by the wooden wedges which were used to split this piece of granite.
This description of the method was published in a local magazine in 1966 “The old method of splitting the stone was to chisel the holes in the granite and fill each with a peg of wood. The wood was then soaked with water, and the quarrymen would retire for the night. Upon their arrival at work in the morning, the block would be found to be split from top to to toe — by the force of the expansion of the water-
Learn more via The History of Quarrying in Jersey.
In contrast, the piece of granite next to the granite seat on the patio has round marks that indicate that it was split using metal rods.
When we bought the cottage the roof was a mix of poor quality slate and fibre-
We married in 1977 and since that time we have worked tirelessly to create what you see today.
These photos was taken just after we started the renovation and shows the state of the house and garden -
In 1981 we built an extension and, a few years ago, completed the oak framed garden room.
Our exterior woodwork is painted with Valtti Opaque. Most of the colours have Finnish names, but our green colour is romantically named “X50”.
Facing west, is the patio, which is a sun trap on summer evenings; if only we had time to sit and enjoy it !
Accessed only by a small country lane, the valley is secluded and peaceful.
It is thought that Creux Baillot is so named because it was a place where porters assembled to take merchandise down to Greve de Lecq for shipment - from the latin bajulaire (to carry a load).
The name of the lane is Chemin des Garennes which is derived from the word warren, a place where the warrener kept the Seigneur’s rabbits for hunting.
Information from Jersey Place Names published by La Société Jersiaise.