The Fief of St Ouen is the senior fief in Jersey and St Ouen’s Manor the home of the De Carteret family. The first mention of De Carterets with possible Jersey connections according to Wace, the Jersey born poet, were Onfroi and Mauger De Carteret who fought at the battle of Hastings with William the Conqueror.
When King John John lost Normandy, the then Seigneur, Renaud, chose to abandon his continental estates and remain loyal to the King of England. He was one of the few who did so, and the family has been synonymous of loyalty to the Crown ever since, with numerous members of the family having held high office in the Island, as well as providing service to the monarch.
Parts of St Ouen’s Manor date back to the medieval period (the De Carteret family is recorded as having a house here since 1135), although the present exterior appearance is very much a consequence of the many alterations and additions in the centuries which have followed. In the context of Jersey’s military history, however, there is an interesting record that the Seigneur in 1483 was allowed to fortify his manor house, and high walls and a moat appear to have been constructed at some time later.