Map is our most significant purchase – States archivist
A UNIQUE 18th century plan of St Peter Port purchased for Guernsey by the Island Archives is the most significant purchase it has made in at least 20 years, said the States archivist.
The £10,000 cost of the plan was covered by a fund set up in 1990 in memory of Wilfred Carey, the aim of which was to buy articles of island interest.
Principal benefactor of the money will be the Gurkha Welfare Trust which provides financial, medical and development aid to ex-British Gurkha soldiers in Nepal as well as their families and communities.
The map was sold by Lt-Col Frank Falle from Jersey, who said the manuscript was discovered in London in the 1970s.
Photos were taken of the document by the Island Archives and Lt-Col Falle said the aim was for the original to come to the archives when agreement could be reached.
States archivist Dr Darryl Ogier said it was thrilled to have acquired the plan for the people of Guernsey.
It showed St Peter Port of 1759 in tremendous detail, including buildings, gardens, streams and roads.
But there is an empty space where Castle Cornet should be: ‘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,’ said Dr Ogier.
‘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.’
Education, Sport and Culture is responsible for the archives and president Deputy Matt Fallaize said that it had encouraged the purchase of the document after seeing a photo of the plan some time ago.
‘It clearly is of tremendous cultural and educational worth,’ he said, adding that ESC was pleased that the Wilfred Carey Fund could be used to make such purchases as and when they become available without impacting on the
committee’s annual revenue budget.