6th June 1983
Jethou was put on the market

The Times reported that the 24-year lease of Jethou was for sale, on this day in 1983. It had been put on the market by Lady Hayward, whose husband, Sir Charles, had died earlier in the year. He had been 90, and left behind his wife and a son.

The 50-acre property, whose sale was being handled by Strutt and Parker, included a four-bedroom house and was available for offers over £500,000.

The Guardian described it as “a complete tax haven not even liable to Guernsey taxation” and “the third private Channel Island to come on the market in the last two months. The others are Brecqhou and Lihou“.

A good investment

Sir Charles Hayward had been the 44-acre (18 hectare) island’s tenant since 1971. When he had bought the rights to the island, he simultaneously acquired everything on it. He and his wife, whose successful bid was £91,000, moved there two years later. It proved to have been a very astute investment, appreciating in value more than five-fold in just 12 years.

However, some of this may be ascribed to the work that the Haywards had done during their time as tenants. The Times article that announced the sale also detailed that “the Haywards, who bought the lease in 1971, carried out extensive improvement to the early nineteenth century house”.

Sir Charles and Lady Hayward’s arrival brought to an end the usual practice of welcoming visitors in a similar manner to Herm. It has never been opened on a general basis since then. Neither is there any requirement for it to be so. The lease of Herm, on the other hand, includes a specific clause that it remain open to the public, as it is considered a key component of Guernsey’s tourist industry.

Lady Hayward’s remaining lease was eventually bought in February 1984. The new tenant, at the time, chose to remain anonymous.

Category: Guernsey History | Other events tagged

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