Normandy's Traditional Longères

Longères are a property typical of Normandy and are not found in such abundance in any other region of France except Brittany. Below is a description of the Normandy longère, without doubt a most charming and incredibly sought-after type of house found in France. Buying such a house is not so difficult and still affordable.

The longère is one of the most typical French and Normandy property types. It is predominantly a rural property type found in all departments of Normandy. It is traditionally built in a rectangular shape. The name itself means rectangular shape in French. Traditionally each longere was given a local Normandy name when it was built.
  • The longere is traditionally oriented with the back of the house facing the dominant wind direction. Similarily to other traditional properties in France, regional materials were often used to build longères. Granite is typically used in the construction of longères throughout Normandy and other regions of France.
  • Many longères only offer single-storey accommodation.The attic is often converted into a first floor accommodation to increase the available total living area. Originally, the stairs to access that attic were located outside the main part of the longere house to save a considerable amount of space inside the house itself.
  • Longere houses are not only common in Normandy but also found in Brittany, Aquitaine and other areas of western France, particularily in the Pays de la Loire to the south.
  • The “maison longère”, or longère, is definitely typical of Normandy’s rural architecture. In most cases, a longere is a rural house or dwelling and is a common sight across the Normandy countryside.
  • Normandy longères have often thatched or slated roofs. Thus they melt the length of the longères with the particular style given by the use of thatch to build roofs.
  • As you can see from the photos, the particularity of the longères is that all the outbuildings are laid out in a row. Thus there is no real farmyard or courtyard area in front of the house. This a common feature that distinguishes the longère from most other rural farm dwellings found in France.

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