This is a classic French peasant home sink. Two well-worn flat slabs, one on either side, and a slightly hollowed one in the middle.
Mine has a tiny bit of decorative bevelling on the front of the three stones, but often they don't even have that. A funnelled part of the central stone projects outdoors to get rid of waste water.
The small glazed window I installed myself. The original was just a hole and was the size of a paperback; it allowed hardly any light in, and did nothing to stop any cold or wind. I cut the new one from a single lump of stone, and it looks a tiny bit better.
It wasn't so long ago that these sinks were still being used. The poor housewife had nothing but an adjacent open fire to cook on, and the sink was to prepare vegetables, do washing up, etc. It was also the family 'bathroom'.
Life must have been very tough for those hard-working women. Looking after the children, preparing all the meals, and probably attending to the kitchen garden, pigsties, chickens, ducks etc.
We don't know how lucky we are. Well, I suppose we do really!
Primitive indeed. Interesting piece of the past....great that you left it there and didn't pull it outReplyDelete
We've tried to leave the house intact. It's about 300 years old.Delete
Do you use the oil lamp? When we were in the north our brass one got a lot of use with constant power cuts due to trees hitting power lines in storms but now I am in the city it doesn't get used.ReplyDelete
We do. French power cuts are legendary, and no pre-warnings.Delete
So are Bristol ones by the sound of it.Delete
I haven't heard of Bristol's problems.Delete
That looks so pretty Cro! My mum was born in a small village. They had no running water at home and it was her task to go fetch water every day from a nearby well. It was also a meeting point and it is also where she and my dad first met.ReplyDelete
Greetings Maria x
I don't know where they would have got their water from here. There is a small well about 2 Kms away, but that would have been a long trek. Maybe they kept rain water.Delete
It looks lovely Cro, but if you don't mind, I'll go with that very smart bathroom in the sechoir !ReplyDelete
Some years ago I went to an open air Museum with our local History Society, and hearing about pre Industrial Revolution life on the barges in the UK. We had chance to look into one, and the living space was tiny, and yet the bargee and his whole family lived on board permanently. One account was of a family with eleven children - goodness knows where they all slept. Such history can be very romantic, but give me the modern world any day. Unfortunately, that has to include all it's faults too.
Yes, life was hard, and the 'conveniences' non-existent. I wonder if they spent their whole lives being angry? One always imagines the poorer people being unruly and violent, and whacking their children. Maybe they had good times too.Delete
In those days I suspect they just accepted their lot. Not being able to read or write, and with little access to outside news and events, life must have gone on uneventfully, from day to day.Delete
Wow! Unless you knew the history you might not even recognise it as a sink. xReplyDelete
I'd never thought of that, but you're right.Delete
What you've never had you never miss.ReplyDelete
If they could have imagined what I'd do to their lovely home, they'd have laughed.Delete
I think Rachel is right - future generations will no doubt be horrified at our washing machines, tumble driers, showers, and all the other 'modern' things we have. I do remember the old days before all these things and believe me Monday washday was a day of drudgery for my mother (who of course took it all in her stride.)ReplyDelete
I can remember my own mother buying a brand new twin tub washing machine with a mangle on the side. It was regarded as very Hi-Tech.Delete
My mother used to send absolutely everything to the laundry. The first washing machine she had was a Bendix, which had to be attached to the floor because it went walk about on the spin cycle !Delete
I used to love hanging about in my granny's scullery, especially when the pantry door was opened and I caught a brief glimpse of it's mysterious interior or caught a whiff of it's fruity perfume where grandad kept his home brew . . . and granny kept her cakes and jams . . . the scullery sink was enormous - a small child could have a bath in it.ReplyDelete
Even 'scullerys' have now disappeared; in our barn conversion I built-in a large 'pantry' which is so useful. People want huge kitchens, but a big pantry is much more useful.Delete
My parents lived in a flat in Harrow until I was three and a bit... it had, to me, a bath for a sink... and enormous Belfast sink in the kitchen... with no bathroom, that was where we had our baths... and as a three year old, I fitted that sink!!ReplyDelete
I think that sink was meant to double as the humans' "bath"!
Interestingly, that sink is the only interior thing I can remember of those days... my other memories are all outdoor ones...
When I bought our first big farmhouse out here, there was no bathroom or loo. We had to bathe the children in the sink. I soon installed a pukka bathroom.Delete
So authentic and pretty. I'm glad you left it intact. I look forward to seeing more of your 300 yo home.ReplyDelete
It's so small Jo, that there's not a lot more of it to show. All the rest has been built-on by us over the years.Delete
It is amazing that the house is 300 years old.Do you know anything about it's history?ReplyDelete
I do know that the last occupants before us had been a family with several children. Where they all slept I can't imagine. There was only one room, a loft above (for storage only), and a barn which had fallen down by the time I bought it.Delete
I remember the kitchen of a very old aunt near Hamburg: she had a slightly higher basin than yours, and - fascinating for a child - a manually operated pump to get water in. The room always smelled a bit damp.ReplyDelete
Having an indoor pump(I presume it was indoors) must have been a luxury. Our first farmhouse here in France had a pump outside the kitchen door which was fed by a huge tank of rain water. Interior plumbing had already been installed.Delete
Thank you for showing that to us. I always enjoy learning about the daily lives of those who came before us. I would love to go back in time to see your home when it was first built, but only for a short visit, I am a big fan of running water and indoor plumbing. -JennReplyDelete
It's nice to look at, but thank goodness we have all our modern conveniences!Delete
I can remember those times in parts of rural England although I was fortunate enough never to have lived with such hardship. Mind you by today's standards with no washing machine, fridge or freezer life was pretty hard at home for most housewives.ReplyDelete
My people had most modern technology (other than TV), so I never knew any of these hardships either.Delete
Thank you for reminding us of how basic life has been until relatively recently. I am thinking that there are many places in our shared world where life is still quite basic.ReplyDelete
Having typed that, I will also say that the picture is very pretty.
I hate it when people strip out all the original features of their old houses. Keep the old, but live with the modern.Delete
Ours was 'modernised' in the 1960s, sadly. We did find half the hollowed out stone bowl thrown in a corner of the garden, so I have put it on display. We also found half of a huge grey pottery pot - nearly a metre tall, which again, we have propped up against the barn wall for display. Saw one a few years back in Limoges puce for over €600! Yikes! We still have our pantry, and of course the outside well. We also have the woodworm and a bit of dry rot, but that's another story.ReplyDelete
I know of two houses that have recently been renovated (by French owners); both have stripped every vestige of age from their homes, and have ended-up with modern, brand new, buildings. Such a shame.Delete