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11
Architecture of Normandy

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The Feature


This summer, I had an opportunuity to visit a handful of towns and small cities in Normandy. Much has been modernized and rebuilt since the war but it still remains a good source of details of traditional Norman architecture. I have concentrated on as many 'typical' buildings as time permitted me. Although much is modern (particularly in cities such as Caen) there are still a surprising amount of buildings which HAVE survived and are very much as they are when they were constructed several centuries ago. Although materials and building techniques have changed, there still remains a interest in create buildings in the traditional style. Inevitably, with more time, I could have explored furher, but in the meantime, I hope this feature will be some use when the time comes to create your own structures!

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About the Author

About Jim Rae (jimbrae)
FROM: PROVINCIA DE LUGO, SPAIN / ESPAņA

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...


Comments

Jim, Thanks a lot for your post. Excellent pictures! They certainly will be useful for some dioramas I have planned. Cheers, mate!
OCT 12, 2008 - 08:22 AM
Thanks Jim! pictures of buildings taken from modellerīs point of wiew are very interesting, thanks again
OCT 13, 2008 - 12:07 AM
Nice one Jim! I especially like the close up of the window with the blue painted barring on it. Not only for it's modelling reference potential, but just as a well composed shot... Brad
OCT 13, 2008 - 01:02 AM
These pictures show some of the "constants" in Norman buildings. Most are stone - mainly Caen stone, a light tan sandstone or siltstone. I suspect that, after the 1944 destruction, much of the stone was "recycled" into repairs or new buildings. The other older type of wall is the timber framing/rubble filled. This usually shows the timbers exposed - and frequently weathered grey - and the rubble covered by plaster or stucco. If you show a destroyed wall it would have the rock/rubble exposed. The classic "French window" - three or four panes to a side and hinged to the outer frames is most common - sometimes extending to the floor even on upper floors with a bit of ironwork railing. The outer trim/frame is usually white - supposedly to keep the evil spirits out (if anyone has more on this, i'd like to hear it. I know I read it somewhere but can't remember where). The roofs are most frequently reddish tiles suspended on horizontal wood framing which is in turn supported by rafters. A picture of a destroyed roof will show the underlying structure. The tiles are basically held in place by gravity and a ridge on the underside. So when disturbed by artillery they wind up on the ground. Another popular roofing is slate, usually dark grey. The slates are much thinner and probably nailed in place. Chimneys frequently have round "chimney pots" at the top - Scale Link had some nice lead ones - 1 1/2 cm x 6 mm around, and any tubing of that general size would look ok.
OCT 17, 2008 - 05:17 PM
Thanks Jim. I'm looking for this info for my vignette.
MAR 31, 2013 - 01:40 PM
I must admit, it's a bit wierd to see comments on a Feature I published nearly 5 years ago. Glad to know it's still useful...
APR 01, 2013 - 12:06 AM
Yes!!!! It is very useful and a brilliant idea. I love the mill and medievel houses. The only thing missing is maybe some country stone farmhouses? With the walled parks? J
APR 01, 2013 - 02:14 AM
Hope this is of some use. Check the Cambes-en-Plain page. I'm a bit of a novice with this stuff, so it's very much wip..... http://normandyimages.blogspot.fr/ Cheers, Sean
APR 10, 2013 - 04:59 AM
thanks for posting the pics, plenty of ideas there
APR 10, 2013 - 07:08 AM
Great pics. You really get the feeling of the "sunken roads" in the fields and the park walls and the terrain. Also the stonework. All fabulous reference pix. Thank you!!! J
APR 10, 2013 - 07:40 AM