Friday 10 January 2020
The States of Guernsey Island Archives has this week bought a manuscript plan of St Peter Port dated 1759.
The purchase cost of £10,000 was covered by the Fund that was established in 1990 in memory of Wilfred Carey (1856-1929) for the purpose of buying articles of island interest.
The vendor was Lieut. Col. Frank Falle of Jersey. Col. Falle said:
'This unique Guernsey manuscript map, was discovered in London in the 1970s. Guernsey archives was allowed to take photos so they had access to this piece of local history. The idea was that the original was destined for the Archives when an agreement could be reached. The principal benefactor of the money will be The Gurkha Welfare Trust, which since 1969 has provided financial, medical and development aid to the legendary loyal and brave ex-British Gurkha Soldiers in Nepal, their families and communities.'
Island Archivist, Dr Darryl Ogier, said:
'We are thrilled to acquire this unique plan for the people of Guernsey and that the Wilfred Carey Fund was able to supply the means of doing this. It shows Saint Peter Port in 1759 in tremendous detail - building by building, gardens, streams, roads, harbour and so on. Castle Cornet is however left blank; a fact that has led some people to suggest that the map was produced by a spy, or at least by a person who was not allowed access to the castle. The plan is most important as an historical record and also happens to be a very attractive and interesting object. I think it is the most significant single purchase the Archives has made in at least 20 years. We hope to make reproductions available in due course.'
The Committee for Education, Sport and Culture is responsible for the Island Archives.
President Deputy Matt Fallaize said:
'The Committee saw a photograph of the plan on a visit to the Island Archives some time ago and encouraged the purchase of this fascinating and unique document. It clearly is of tremendous cultural and educational worth. We are very pleased that the Archives and Guernsey Museums have access to the ring fenced Wilfred Carey Fund established by the States to make such purchases as and when they might become available without impacting on the Committee's annual revenue budget.'