Rainy afternoon - les Perchettes

      This is a very old house. It is made of two kinds of stone - what are they

       

      What kind of stone are the fireplaces made of

       

      Was this house always one house

       

      If no - why do you think not

       

      The house has a slate roof - what kind of roof do you think it had originally

       

      Did the house always have glass windows - what kind of windows did houses have before glass become common

       

      Did a poor person or a rich person build this house

       

      How thick are the outside walls in inches and in centimetres

     

    How wide is the big fireplace in the games room in feet and inches

     

    Why do you think the roof might have been changed

     

    It is very rare to find one of these old farm houses in such good condition - what can you see in the house to tell you that there has been major repair in the past

     

    Can you find the picture of the man that carved the fireplace in the big downstairs room - what did he look like

     

    On the right hand side of the big fireplace in the downstairs room is carved a shell - this is a symbol of pilgrimage - why do you think such a symbol might have been carved there

     

    Above the fireplace are some strangely shaped pieces of wood - what were they for

     

    High in the fireplace is a recess about as big as a large shoe-box - what was it for

     

    Why is there a religious figure in the recess to the right of the fireplace

     

    Can you see any evidence that the room might have been divided into two at some stage

     

    In the wood store there is a very large piece of wood with a hole through it - what was it for - and can you see other pieces of wood that used to belong with it

     

    The staircase has only been installed in the last few years - when we bought the house the passage way to the bathroom was only a cupboard in the kitchen

     

    So in the old days when people in the big downstairs room wanted to go upstairs to bed - how did they get upstairs

     

    Today we have a modern bathroom - where was the original bathroom

     

    Today we have mains water - can you find the source of water that they used

     

    Why do you think that spot was chosen to build the house

     

    If you stand on the stone steps leading up to the kitchen and look up at the night sky what is the name of the star that is right in front

     

    Do you think the people who build the house could see the same star - and how did they use it in building the house

     

    If the night is cloudless what is the name of the fifty million stars you can see - and why can we not see them in the south of England

     

    At the time the house was built the most famous scientist of all time was alive - who was he

     

    If you look above the iron grill on the lower side of the house can you see the date the house was constructed - it is best seen when the sun is to one side of the house - what side is that

     

    Many of the original internal walls of the house are made of a clay-like material - what is that called and how was it made

     

    Is this house younger or older than the nearby house

     

    In the bedroom near the bathroom there is a strange L-shaped hole in the outside wall low down beside the bed - this room was of course a loft full of hay and chickens - what is the hole for

     

    If you go into the "cellar" - the ground floor room next to the big stone arch - there is a small slit window at the back - what do you think that was for

     

    In the same cellar there is a very strange feature to the doorway - part of the vertical sides have been cut back in a round shape - why should that have been

     

    How much do you think the piece of stone above the door weighs

     

    We sometimes see bats sleeping on the beams of this cellar - can you see any

     

    Look at the inside of the old bake-house - to make it work you light a fire in the oven itself and when it was hot enough put in the bread and shut the door. Where is the chimney for the fire - does it make sense

     

    Get your dad to light a good fire of twigs inside the oven and wait til the roof goes white - then put in a stew and shut the door - delicious

     

    There is a rickety old shed at the top of the garden - what was it for

     

    Where did people wash their clothes

     

    You can see many roofs damaged round about - why is that

     

    There is an old fruit garden with a hedge around it - why is the land inside it in such a strange shape

     

    What is the name of the large tree in the corner of the fruit garden - tell your mum not to buy those leaves in the supermarket for cooking - use those instead and take some home

     

    What kind of large trees are on the upper side of the drive

     

    Around the house you will see mainly oak beams and chestnut wood - most people cannot tell the difference. The have much the same look, feel and colour but the grain of oak is much closer together than chestnut. Can you find a piece of oak wood around the house and can you find a piece of chestnut

     

    The name les Perchettes can have two meanings - possibly more - any ideas

     

    What is the special rachet called that hangs in the fireplaces - get your mum to cook a stew using it!

     

    How did they cook meals in the old days

     

    How did they cook bread

     

    How many tiles did we have to buy to tile the games room floor

     

    What is the French name of the animals that eat the grass in the orchard

     

    The English rudely call the French the frogs. What to the French call the English

     

    Can you name five kinds of tree in the orchard

     

    This region is not a wine-growing region - what drinks are traditionally produced locally

     

    In the living room is a very old cupboard called an Armoire - it looks like a wardrobe. Get your mum or dad to show you inside it - what was it used for originally

     

    What is the French name for the iron pot

     

    One of the local towns is Villedieu les Poelles - what does it translate to in English

     

    There is a long glass tube hanging on the wall - is it French and what was it for

     

    The big door with the stone arch above it was designed to be kept shut with a large wooden bar - and that is the same room as the big iron grille - what does that tell you about the times when the house was built

     

    Get your mum and dad to take you to the churchyard at the village Saint Michel de Montjoie - itís about 4 miles away on the road to Vire. There is an observation table and on a clear day you can see Mont Saint Michel. This was the last view pilgrims had leaving Mont Saint Michel. Do you think the pilgrims stayed at les Perchettes

     

    As you go to Avranches look for the village name of Tirepied - it means pull-foot - is it to do with pulling your leg or is it to do with pilgrimsí legs being tired when they had got to there from Mont St Michel

     

    Did the house once have shutters - do you think we should we put shutters up

     

    On the wall above the stairs is a long strange-shaped length of wood with two short chains attached - what was it for

     

    Can you find out the name of the kind of stairway that goes up to the loft bedroom

     

    If you look up at the ceiling in the living room you can see the floorboards of the room above - is that as it was originally

     

    Can you find pieces of the original floorboards that used to be in the present living room

     

    What kind of machine did they use to cut them

     

    How did the builders get the big beams in the living room into place - it is high above the ground

     

    Many of the big beams have horizontal holes in them and a few have some wooden pegs - what were the pegs for

     

    What is the effect of having such thick walls

     

    Can you spot the medieval window we bought from MFI for £5

     

    Why is the window in the bedroom by the bathroom set so low in the room

     

    Can you find 5 kinds of wild flowers and name them

     

    Can you hear the boom of Concorde in the late afternoon

     

    At the back of one of the cellars is a rusty old machine with lots of cogs - what was it for

     

     What famous event took place in French History exactly 100 years after the house was built

     

     Who was on the throne of England when the house was built

     

    Just down the road by the white house you can see a well and a small oven like the one in the orchard - M Bouvet built them himself quite recently - and made the lake!

     

     

     

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