April 16, 2010

THE OLDEN DAYS


The house on the right was demolished; the one on the left still stands.


During our recent week or so in Le Grand-Pressigny, we met up with Gail and Chris who also have a lovely holiday home in the village. Chris has a super collection of old postcards of LGP. I always find things like this absolutely fascinating. As a little girl I loved sitting with my mother, aunt and grandmother listening to stories of the "olden days".

Gail sent me a scan of the above postcard because I was especially interested in it. The house on the right was knocked down to make a proper road which is now the Rue du Four Banal. If you walk up the Four Banal today you can see the fireplaces on the wall, left behind when the rest of the house was demolished.




This is what was left behind when the house was knocked down.

I told Mme André about the postcard and she surprised me by saying she knew all about the house because she was born in the village before it was demolished. I thought that she had said she came to the village in 1956. I suppose that what she meant was that she moved into her cottage that year. That means that she should be able to tell us a lot about the village in the 20th century, if only we can ask the right questions.



Someone told us recently that our little house could have been built in the 1500's. Now that really is a long time ago and I would love to learn more about what has happened to the house and the village over the years and the centuries. Also what life was like in Le Grand Pressigny in the "olden days".

9 comments:

  1. Hi Jean,

    I too like finding clues about how places and things were in past times(it must be the scientist in me, as my knowledge of history is fairly thin), so this is a fascinating post.

    I was intrigued when you gave us directions to park near the chimney when we visited you and Nick. When we walked up to it I could immediately see your meaning.

    When you find out that your house has been there for 500 years, doesn't it give you a tingle to understand that you are the custodians for a short time and that in the future it will be giving other excited and contented owners clues about you too!!

    I'm settling to life back home but only until Monday - I am back in France again, but this time with 40 school children exploring the delights and French culture of a chateau near Abbeville.

    Wish me luck and peaceful nights..........

    Regards
    Gaynor

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  2. Hi Jean
    Wow, I didn't realise your house was that old! I can understand you being interested. I feel the same way about our place. Nice post. Hope you had/are having a good time.

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  3. The history in France is amazing. We know our house is at least 200 years old but beyond that we do not know. We have the plans of the house in 1839, it was then 3 houses!! Diane

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  4. Fancy living somewhere so old. How absolutely fascinating, Jean. Hope your week was as good as the photos made it look.

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  5. First step, the plan cadastre. Your commune might still have the napoleonic one,if not, try the departmental archives where you'll find lots of help to find out the history of your house.

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  6. Sounds like you're in for a bit of investigative reporting!

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  7. The 1500s -- that was the time of Ronsard and Rabelais. Very cool.

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  8. We saw this strange 'outdoor' fireplace last year when we were in LGP and wondered what it was. I even took the same photo! Thanks for explaining.

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  9. Gaynor - 40 kids - rather you than me ! Best of luck !

    Ken - we thought it must be very old but are not sure.

    Diane and FF - it is fascinating.

    FITW - I knew someone would know where to start. Thanks for the tip !!

    Walt - it should be fun.

    Ken - very cool indeed. I wonder if either of them ever came by.

    Martine - when we first walked around the château looking at the houses, wondering which one was the one for sale, the fireplaces seemed very curious. Now we just take them for granted.

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