Before and after
A sympathetic approach
Perigord’s charm and beauty has attracted ramblers, artists and photographers over time. Now, holiday makers! Despite Dordogne’s crowds in the season, Le Pech is off the beaten track, serene. Selected by the “Bâtiments de France” as a beau village for beautification, it has no ugly overhead cables. We wanted the properties to keep that magic, the essence of Perigord.
The gems, discovered in 2002 by Jean and Tony, needed a lot of (sometimes blind) faith to imagine they could ever be reinstated, albeit loved at first sight.
- Could the ancient stonework and oak timbers be restored to meet modern planning and building regulations?
- Was there room, most important, for a pool?
- Was access to the modern utilities feasible?
- Many of the grand design projects we had seen ended in divorce or bankruptcy, and budgets never held up in practice. We avoided divorces but certainly took a leap into the dark. The pool would be the first priority!
- A nice surprise – Christmas gift to Jean and Tony – was a wise investment; a course in dry stone walling! Jean had always wanted to do this – now the very real need!
The photo gallery takes us through some operations:
- 2002 – 2004: Discovery and planning, the pool. Cottage restoration. including new openings, stairways and access to the en-suite comble.
- 2004 – 2008: the Petite Maison, rebuilding the chimney and roof; adding three windows and dormers (lucarnes), one aligned to let us view Chateau Milandes from the bed. A new kitchen, excavated below and access to the old wine cellar, cave. Terrace.
- 2007 – 2010: making a complete scale model with every beam, plans for the grange were laid and approved by the Marie. Little of the Grange was not rebuilt: the entire West wall from ground level and not a timber left – though marked and cherished ready for reassembly on sound stonework. With new pegs of acacia, bit by bit, the jig saw puzzle took shape.
- Finally the court, paving and terracing; G and Ts in style!