Lower Normandy Half Timbered Properties

Lower Normandy’s typical half-timbered properties are distinctly beautiful. The use of wood forms the key element of these Normandy properties. Wood is used both inside and outside the house, for both decoration and protection.

The rural heartland of the Calvados department offers plenty of these half timbered houses, and along with the picturesque Norman villages, it bears a strong similarity to the rural south of England. This similarity owes to the narrow historical and cultural links between Lower Normandy and England. As a result many books specialised in architecture deal with the architecture of Normandy and southern England at the same time, underlining the shared identity. Indeed Lower Normandy has architecturally influenced a large part of Europe, since the Norman invaders settled in many countries during the 11th and 12th centuries. A part of their legacy lives on today in the culture and architecture of these countries. Normandy Colombage Houses often come with a nice piece of land attached to the house. This half-timbered style is a legacy of the Middle Ages. Some exquisite examples of half timbering can then be found in Rouen, having resisted superbly the rigours of 2nd WW. The dominant construction material used in the Lower Normandy region is granite. Sometimes, walls are also made up of a cob and stone mix. Some Norman half timbered houses have a corbelling structure, giving more space to the upper floors’ rooms. A Corbel is in this case a piece of wood jutting out of a wall to carry the weight of the above floor. This is a technique used since Neolithic times – late Stone Age (around 3,500 BC): this is actually a traditional construction method in the region.
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The Norman Architecture itself is also characterised with many arches that can be observed on certain house types thoughout Normandy and even further to the south on some Aquitaine Houses and Midi Pyrenees Houses.



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