This very picturesque village, St Cirq Lapopie, is not too far from where we live. It's a classic of its type, and probably hasn't changed too much over the past few hundred years.
A major part of it's charm are its muted colours. The colour of the stone, and that of its roofs, are totally harmonious. Thank goodness that the local authorities have not allowed any of the dreadful modern industrial tiling that one now sees so often.
Nothing ruins the beauty of an ancient village, more than inappropriate use of industrial tiles.
The blame must be placed, firstly, at the industries that manufacture such tiles. It is no more complicated to create a discreet tobacco-coloured tile, than it is to make those pale-coloured, artificially-aged tiles that always look so very very wrong. Secondly one has to blame the builders who choose such tiles when working on ancient buildings; they are nothing but assassins of the vernacular.
Sadly we are now seeing more and more inappropriate roofing in amongst old and weathered buildings. When others take time and money to source the correct tiling, it is pure arrogance to use some of the rubbish one sees.
I do wish people would take just a few minutes more before opting for the cheapest tiles possible. Look around you; see what is authentic. Tiles last an awful long time.
Stunning. I hope to visit one day.ReplyDelete
The whole area is awash with stunning medieval villages and small towns (some better preserved than others).Delete
A very picturesque village. The church is huge, reminds of impressive greek churches in small hamlets here. The roof tops are quite 'pointy' (steep maybe). I too would love to visitReplyDelete
The tall roofs are typical of the area, usually with a little upwards sweep at the bottom. All very fairy-tale-ish.Delete
The old roofs are such a strong feature of this area, new builds stick out like a sore thumb.ReplyDelete
It's surprising that the authorities don't specify what tiles are used. Bad roofs can cause a whole village to lose its charm.Delete
...... and, here in the UK, not only tiles ....... cladding is my pet hate and those awful front doors that look too small for the house ..... and double glazing ..... and massive satellite dishes .... you’ve got me started now !!! XXXXReplyDelete
Jacqueline, I'm afraid that out here you can tell the difference between a French owned house, and an English/Dutch owned house, at a glance! The French are very happy with white plastic doors and windows, and try to make old houses look new. At the same time they really admire houses that have been restored with good taste. It doesn't make sense.Delete
I just read a bit about the village. Interesting and preserved as it was. Personally I don't mind a bit of new with the old and weathered satellite dishes of various sizes are life now. Preserved places can go too far and become nothing but museum attractions with people believing that quaint craftsmen are really still surviving making goods for industry.ReplyDelete
I know exactly what you mean. Certain Cotswold villages are like that; even the butcher is called 'Ye Olde Butcher's Shoppe' etc. I like to see real age in buildings. The Italians are very good at preserving 'decay'.Delete
I just read my comment through. Not to be misunderstood, I agree that I do not like new with old tiles mixed. We always source old reclaimed tiles here in Norfolk to repair roofs and I can more or less say that everybody does that around here in the old houses.Delete
I so agree .... some of The Cotswolds are very Stepford Wives and sterile .... a Farrow and Ball explosion. XXXXDelete
We had to source reclaimed tiles to repair a small roof and it was worth the effort. The other modern problem is all the houses covered in solar panels. How life has changed.ReplyDelete
Somehow I don't find Solar Panels as offensive as nasty tiles. Of course if one found the two together, that would be different.Delete
"Assassins of the vernacular." - what a superb phrase. It goes straight into my book of phrases to be used when the moment comes.ReplyDelete
Like you, I'm sure, I have spent days on old roofs "walking the roof" putting the old-style tiles back, replacing tiles etc etc. I suppose many people can not do that and don't have children to do it nor money to pay artisan labour every year.
It's not the most pleasant task, but it has to be done. I always feel a little unsafe when I'm up on the roof.Delete
Those tiles have been going since the Roman occupation. The other thing I miss seeing in France (and other places) is the lime-slaking pit next to every building site.ReplyDelete
Our beautiful tiles in the 'tower' were laid on a simple lime mortar. My builder said that, if we ever moved, I could dig them up without difficulty, and take them with us.Delete
I recently had a discussion about roofing with my Tradie Brother. I thought we still used glazed terracotta in Australia, that stands the test of time, but apparently now we use some sort of concrete tile. When we had tinting applied to our apartment windows, the English lad tradie told us that he was a roofer in the England and took up the trade here, but he quickly became so depressed about the very poor standard of roofs of houses here, he changed jobs. Yes, cheap and cheerful construction here in Australia.ReplyDelete
The 'Redland' company, that roofs most of England, make very good concrete tiles that last forever. Otherwise it's mostly Slate in Wales, and Thatch in the West country (and elsewhere).Delete
I was watching House Hunters International last evening and this photographer and her partner were looking to buy a home in southern France in a village that looked similar to your picture. I though how fortunate they were to live in such a lovely place. Unfortunately, I fell asleep before it was over and never saw which of the three homes they bought. Hopefully, I will see it again in a repeat.ReplyDelete
You do see some beautiful homes on those programmes. Lady Magnon is a very keen viewer of the UK version.Delete
I always think that the inhabitants are just as important as the place they live. This does indeed look the most beautiful little town - hope the natives are friendly.ReplyDelete
They have to cope with a lot of tourists, which is OK if you're catering for tourists!Delete
What a lovely town to visit sometime.
It's film-set standard. Lovely.Delete