Episode 94- Hidden historic details #2- Beams and roof timbers

DSC01734Regular readers  will recall that half our house (the bit that isn’t the barn) is supported by three huge beams,which clearly received only the most cursory attention between being trees and holding our hybrid hovel up.

1) The rather beautiful one we exposed in the tulip bedroom when we took down the vile insulation tiles and the framework knocked up from aging palettes to hold them in place.This needs the least work, a clean and a clear wax.sept13 108


2) The mysterious hidden beam in the salon, boxed in with old lime plaster. Yes I really should leave this one alone as this is very nearly a smartish room (with the sort of coherent features other French house owners have everywhere that allows them to date their spaces and decorate accordingly  ………ha!)

A bit of pargetting maybe ?

sept13 1193) The BIG WORMY BEAM in the workshop/studio, roughest and rawest of all with an outer layer of hyperactive woodworm activity;  two inches in and they apparently gave up as wood too hard and moved on to timbers new. sept13 135No aesthetic qualities whatsoever. I’ll paint it




Roof timbers all in very good condition, despite benign and active neglect and leaks. Now dried out we will just clean and wax prior to plasterboarding and insulating between. We couldn’t do very much in the tulip bedroom till the martins found somewhere else to raise their fledgelings other than behind the very old shutters on the window ledge in there.

It’s not easy to impact on the collective unconscious habits of an entire bird species. They are still having difficulty getting their heads around the fact that we have now put a roof terrace on their flightpath.


About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Renovation and restoration diary- France, What we did, how we did it and what we used and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Episode 94- Hidden historic details #2- Beams and roof timbers

  1. Osyth says:

    I love watching the beauty lying within revealed … the martins made me laugh though! 🙂


    • Yes, the martins are very confused; between our roof terrace and my neighbour blocking off her loggia they have become a grumpy and itinerant bunch.
      We have uncovered a few hidden gems in our part-medieval hovel, but sadly as it has only been a humble dwelling house for a century or two ( and animal shelters before that) we haven’t come across any elaborate walk-in fireplaces, stone carvings or Versailles style plasterwork!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. bizzyella says:

    Wow. Other people’s construction photos really do look daunting, don’t they? Suddenly I understand the “you’re doing what???” reaction to my project.


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