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How to date your house?
by Creusebear • Sat 19 Apr 2008 18:18

How can you find out how old a house is? Is the mairie a good place to start? Any advice?

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Creusebear
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Re: How to date your house?
by Annik • Sat 19 Apr 2008 23:09

Hi Creusebear

If you go to the mairie and ask to see the Cadastre Napoléonien (a detailed survey of the commune usually done in the early 1800s) you should be able to see if your house is on it, which will give you a guide. However it is possible that if the house is marked, it may not be the same one but an earlier one. If the mairie has kept its records rather than giving them to the Archives at Gueret, you may be able to trace the house's owners and what work as been done to it using the Matrice Cadastrale.

You should also be able to tell from the style of the building and the materials used. There are lots of books available (in French) about vernacular architecture.

Also, talk to the neighbours (and the mayor), who may have folk memories about the history of the house. Look out for old photos of the commune which may show what it was like in the past.

Good luck!

Annik

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Re: How to date your house?
by Creusebear • Sun 20 Apr 2008 00:01

Thanks Annik - I knew you had written about it. I shall enquire on our next visit.

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Re: How to date your house?
by lestroisours • Sun 20 Apr 2008 09:24

The Napoleonic maps are beautiful. We went to our mairie and asked to see them. As it happened our house was not old enough to be shown on them, but they explained why Vauveix was part of Royere commune. There used to be a road that ran between them and the hamlet of Broussas. Now of course that road is submerged by the lac de Vassiviere, but the communal boundaries have not changed. Vauveix and Broussas plage have to be reached by going into the commune of Faux la Montagne first.

As it happened, the mairie did have not have the original 1905 permit de contruire for our house, but did have it entered on the computer, a paper copy of which we were given for interest.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” ~ Charles Darwin
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Re: How to date your house?
by Annik • Sun 20 Apr 2008 12:13

It must have been wonderful to see what your area was like before they created the lake. I've just Googled the history of the lake (lac de vassiviere + histoire) and discovered that it was only started after the war so you could have fun making comparisons. The site showed some old photos of the lake being constructed.

Do the neighbours know of anything interesting that has been drowned?

I suppose you might be able to pick up some pre-lake maps or documents quite easily in the second-hand book stalls at local brocantes...

Annik

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Re: How to date your house?
by cherie • Sun 20 Apr 2008 13:33

I have the deeds for my house, the date is 1730. One of my soon to be neighbours has the history of the hamlet and it seems my house was the first to be built. In the house, when I was clearing it out, I found some school books. The earliest was dated 1890. They are beutifully hand written and I can't wait until I can understand them properly. It seems that the girl that wrote them was the grandmother of another neighbour. A spooky thing though. I brought some light shades for the main room and then found a 1920's magazine from a catalogue that was a mail order for the time, and there were some almost identical ones, it seems they were meant to be. I have of course kept all my finds, bottles, clogs of different types and lots of handmade iron things. My best find was a handmade cradle, it's in poor condition but I have sprayed it with woodworm killer and I hope to bring it back to the best condition I can when I have time.(soon) All the best Cherie.

I am soon to retire and live in France. I would like to meet and talk about life in france but I am also learning French.
cherie
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Mar 2008
Re: How to date your house?
by lestroisours • Sun 20 Apr 2008 21:37

Reply to Annik.
The village of Vassiviere was drowned, hence the name of the lake. Apparently it is said the bell can still be heard on the church. Hmmmm!
Auphelle is now the seat of "Vassiviere" as the resort.
3 bears

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” ~ Charles Darwin
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Re: How to date your house?
by Goose • Mon 21 Apr 2008 16:37

On one of our many visits to lake Vassiviere we obtained some leaflets from the museum on the island. It said that five villages had been flooded to form the lake. Lots of other interesting details too. We love to go there.

Sometimes we just veg out under the trees and other times we're more active and walk round and we sometimes go boating on it with friends. On the island you can walk all the way round it at the edge of the water. It is very interesting.

Goose

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Re: How to date your house?
by Annik • Tue 22 Apr 2008 11:54

There is a book called "Retracer l'histoire d'une maison" by Myriam Provence, published by Editions Autrement in 2004 (ISBN 2-747-0590-7) which you might find useful. It's a bit dry but a useful adjunct to other research. The publishers have a website www.autrement.com (comprehensive but confusing!) which might give some more information about it. I think I bought my copy at the wonderful L'Unicorne bookshop at Aubusson. It is not specifically about the Creuse or the Limousin, so the examples they give are nationwide.

Annik

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Re: How to date your house?
by ecosse • Sun 25 May 2008 12:56

can you not just turn it upside down and count the rings :lol:

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Feb 2007
Re: How to date your house?
by Dave • Tue 26 Jan 2016 11:01

You can see several old maps online now via Geoportail.

These are under Historie et Patrimoine. There are a lot of different overlays of specific things (national monuments for example) as well as older maps; the Carte de Cassini and the Carte de l'etat major are the more interesting of these historically. The former doesn't show building detail but it's interesting to see if your hamo or village is there but the later does show individual buildings. You can overlay the maps to the current IGN ones and then vary the transparency to see them together - they line up pretty well (at least they do for my location) where I can see our hamo on both but our house and the road to it isn't shown even though it was built in the period of the map.

They also have three periods of overhead images so you can see how things are changing over recent years.

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