Lower Normandy Thatched Cottages
The typical Normandy chaumière is a very traditional rural house. It is also present in Normandy and elsewhere in Europe (British Isles, Germany,...). The name comes from the house’s thatched roof. This thatch is traditionally made up of wheat, rye or reeds. This style of property is also very reminiscent of thatched cottages found throughout southern England.
The word chaumière is also used in French to refer to a family house, cottage or to a household.
- Normandy’s chaumières were built using local materials. They allowed poor farmers to build a simple and cheap house. Water mixed with clay, stones, wood and cereals were the ideally suited, cheap and readily available local products involved in the construction process of a Norman chaumiere.
- The Normandy chaumière often boasts foundations made up of flint, this provides a solid base and good insulation. Walls and roof timbering are constructed using colombage (half-timbering). Between the beams, torchis (cob) is used. Torchis is a local material made up of water, clay and hay.
- The typical floor plan of a chaumière house is distinctly similar to that of traditional longere. Rooms are laid out in a row, each room having its own window and there is a connecting door between each room.
- To further protect the front façade of the house, a local material is applied as a protective covering. Composed of sand, whitewash and linen, it gives protection and a whitish colour to the walls.
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