Making part medieval French village houses work

demolition timeFor those of you interested in the Demolition Derby clearly in operation on the last post, I present two earlier posts which explain.

To clarify- the photo top left of first post below (with the weird wardrobes)  shows FRONT of terrace bedroom in it’s original state when we purchased.

The demolition photo is the new doorway being knocked through there. This was an essential change as the only way from the terrace bedroom to the only shower room was across the stairs and all the way round through the tulip bedroom. So what I am sure will be a controversial act to some of you was the best option to make the second floor of the house work. No question.

In the demolition photos, I have had to lighten those up quite  a lot because it was so d**n dark in there with the brown decor you could barely make it out.It’s now the brightest room in the whole house.

You will note that this work revealed what we already suspected. i.e our medieval walls are solid stone; clearly a mix of giant river pebbles filched from the Aude and random undressed stone from whatever pile they found lying about at the time. Bits of the old Templar fort may have found their way into our house too; when the villagers changed some of the original parts of the Knight’s hall, refectory, smithy and kitchen at the fort into domestic houses in the 18thc. village of Campagne sur Aude(see centre of photo right)

In photos on second post below you can glimpse the frame of the French doors onto the roof terrace. These doors replaced the tiny high window  at the BACK & below right here (also with smoke stained salmon coloured curtain )???????????????????????????????DSC00323









It’s all moved on a lot since that point . The room’s nearly there now


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.

17 Responses to Making part medieval French village houses work

  1. Lynda says:

    Your work and forging ahead remind me of the estate of Bramasole from “Under the Tuscan Sun. One of my favorite films. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Osyth says:

    This is a great retrospective and reminds me how far you have come. Quite remarkable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. It is difficult seeing the wood for the trees sometimes in this project.
      I need some perspective right now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Osyth says:

        That’s the continual back-hum to a major project, I think. Looking back is hugely important to give that long view of the actual progress made. It’s rather like the need to look at a map on an arduous hike – not to see where you are going but rather to understand how far you have come 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ellen A. says:

    Wonderful transformation! I can see I need to make time to scroll back through more of your posts for ideas. Love the robin’s egg paint color in the finished room.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ellen; you might enjoy some of the older posts as they chronicle our slow progress.
      Have you seen the two Gallery posts “How bad can it be” & “The half-finished house gallery”? Hahahaha


      • Ellen A. says:

        I did see “How bad can it be?” which was “affreux!” The “half-finished house gallery would not load on my ipad, but I will try it on another computer. Your good sense and aesthetics are working wonders there.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you. That’s such an accolade . How’s your project going?


      • Ellen A. says:

        Our half a house is progressing slowly, but more steadily now that there is better weather in Normandy. Windows are to be repaired and restored, and new electric wiring is going in now. I hope to have encouraging pictures soon at Thanks for asking!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. bizzyella says:

    More light, good circulation, yes! The place is looking so much better. And with any luck you’ll even find a bit of fine Templar carving during one of those demolition forays.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly, we have now completed all demolition projects without finding either Templar carvings or Templar treasure.
      However, I really don’t mind that we don’t have any historical gems of Great Merit.
      It was just a simple old house that didn’t work. It does now.


      • bizzyella says:

        Sometimes I feel sad for the people who lived in the hovel when that was the whole story. Did they not see that it could be different? Did they see it and not have the resources to do anything about it? Anyway, it is good to see the place getting the care it deserves. Okay, maybe a little more than it deserves but it is good to see, nonetheless.

        Liked by 1 person

      • As this was a poor, working village with no really grand houses I think it was a combination of lack of resources and acceptance of it’s bad layout.
        That said, the previous owners divided and tacked on the adjoining barn, without which the house would have been ridiculously tiny; they just didn’t have the visions to punch thru the spine wall in the right places.
        Their story is full of tragedy and out of respect I can’t write about it, but it explains the 60’s timewarp we walked into all those years ago.
        They did leave us the basic structure, which is solid, and well laid, if unappealing floors!

        As to whether it deserves the work?
        A valid question, but I have always taken the bones of my houses and shaped them to suit me and the way I live. What else is a house for?

        When we had kids around in renovation projects , the requirements were different. Now it’s just Trev and me, and maybe one day only one of us- different requirements.

        I plan to expand on my choices in an imminent post.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. francetaste says:

    I don’t envy you digging through that wall.
    In the years when la Cité of Carcassonne was in ruins, locals routinely used it as a place to get stones for building their own homes. It was all about making do.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nadia says:

    Its getting there!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s