La Varenne river winds through the high cliffs and low fields in the Orne, Normandy. To find one little cottage that may no longer exist along it’s 40km was a challenge that we accepted…
Uncared for, unkempt.
Easily missed in the undergrowth, sturdy cottage steps took us up to the front door.
Lockless, paint peeling, the door stood ajar. Inside shafts of dusty sunlight revealed desolation.
Panels and doors leaning against walls and heaps of tiles on the floor are all that remain of an abandoned attempt at renovation.
Thick walls nearly two ft. deep would have kept out the harshest Normandy winters.
Daylight barely penetrates windows obscured by years of neglected plants forcing their way ever closer to the house, windows that once framed views of La Varenne river.
Remnants of lace curtains are neatly tied with satin bows by a long forgotten owner.
Bright carpet on the stairs and layers of peeling wallpaper reveal the vibrant personalities of previous inhabitants.
Up the stairs
Here the bones of the building are laid bare.
A fireplace hangs precariously on ancient joists.
Has the neglect gone on for too long? Could the cottage be renovated?
A stone cottage abandoned, neglected, near ruin. In our dreams we take on this extreme restoration project and breath life into an old home to live, hidden by the trees, by the prettiest Normandy river.