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13 November 2014

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You are in: Guernsey > Places > Places Features > Candie House

Inside the House

Inside the House

Candie House

Candie House is better known as the home of the island's Priaulx Library, but it had a long history before the books moved in.

It is thought that the first part of the house was built around 1780 and enlarged in two later stages.

Originally it was a house of conventional design with a low-pitched roof, a central entrance with two windows on either side and five equally spaced windows on the first and second floors.

A portico with columns and a bay window were added later.

It was purchased by Joshua Priaulx, who used it as his residence for some time.

He later leased the house to Sir Peter Stafford Carey, at the time the Bailiff of Guernsey, who continued to occupy it until his death in 1886.

Whilst Sir Carey was in residence Joshua sold Candie House to his brother Osmond de Beauvoir Priaulx.

He presumably did not intend to live there as he offered the house as a gift to the States of Guernsey.

"As they have profited me so may they profit you."

Osmond de Beauvoir Priaulx

Contracts were passed in 1871.

In 1880 Osmond Priaulx established a fund to provide a free public library.

Following the death of Sir Carey, plans were made to sell off parts of the estate.

The money from these sales would be used to fund the construction of a suitable building.

Plans changed though, and after lengthy debate, it was decided to adapt the ground floor of Candie House for use as a library with accommodation for the librarian on the second floor.

This project involved considerable remodelling of the whole building.

Following the completion of the work, books began to arrive. Starting with pieces from Osmond Priaulx's own collection in 1888, which were brought from London.

The library was open to the public in May 1889.

"I, a Sarnian, Osmond de Beauvoir Priaulx, have placed my books, the solace of my life, in this library, and given them forever to the people of Guernsey, in the eighty second year of my life, 1887. As they have profited me so may they profit you," said Mr Priaulx.

Unfortunately Mr Priaulx did not live long after the opening as he passed away in 1891.

After his cremation in England the urn containing his ashes were brought to Guernsey and now rests in the Candie House.

last updated: 02/03/2009 at 09:38
created: 09/07/2004

You are in: Guernsey > Places > Places Features > Candie House

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