Old houses with small windows

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TriciaF
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Re: Old houses with small windows

Post by TriciaF »

You're right about small windows to regulate the temp. in the house Mysty. Everyone kept their shutters closed during a heat wave and stayed indoors morning to dusk.

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Re: Old houses with small windows

Post by Le Démerdeur »

It takes some people a very very long time to work out what shutters are for.

Windows were small here because of the taxe, after that was repealed and after WW1 where every building in these parts was built, cant say rebuilt because all that was left was dust, they all had massive windows not just wide but also very tall to gain the maximum thermal heating and there would simply be one single coal fire per étage. Ceiling heights were raised to accomodate these huge windows and my ground floor has a 3.5m high ceiling and the first floor 3.0m high.

Shutters were used to minimise the heating in summer and there were many different styles especially Persienne shutters allowing partial ventilation and vision. The savoir faire has not been lost and everybody closes their shutters during daylight hours in the summer aside from Brit second home owners and tourists who remark how cool & fresh their accomodation was when they arrive, ignore the conseils and open them immediately and then leave bad reviews because it was too hot to sleep at night.

Since central heating has become the norme window sizes and ceiling heights have reduced to normal current ones and the biggest works on my renovation was to reduce the size of the enormous café windows and entrance door.

Insulation was non existant in the age of coal fires, now its very important and you cannot adequately insulate a property with huge windows no matter what the people building glass houses on Grand Designs will have you believe.

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Re: Old houses with small windows

Post by whyme? »

Le Démerdeur wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:39 pm
It takes some people a very very long time to work out what shutters are for.

Windows were small here because of the taxe, after that was repealed and after WW1 where every building in these parts was built, cant say rebuilt because all that was left was dust, they all had massive windows not just wide but also very tall to gain the maximum thermal heating and there would simply be one single coal fire per étage.

Thermal heating?

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Bald Eagle
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Re: Old houses with small windows

Post by Bald Eagle »

Soon the French won't have fish, scallops and lobsters etc. EU already showing cracks in it's future.
Back to the thread. Our present house was built 35-ish years ago. Compared with our first house built 47 years ago the windows are tiny. Our front window in the first house was enormous, about 10' x 6'!
“Never argue with a know-it-all. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

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Re: Old houses with small windows

Post by Omegal »

Bald Eagle wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 4:26 pm
Soon the French won't have fish, scallops and lobsters etc. EU already showing cracks in it's future.
There's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in...........That's the Future

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Nifty
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Re: Old houses with small windows

Post by Nifty »

Bald Eagle wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 4:26 pm
our first house built 47 years ago the windows are tiny. Our front window in the first house was enormous, about 10' x 6'!
Our present house is well over two hundred years old. Nearly everybody that visits remarks how light it is.
Probably because of all the French windows. Unfortunately, we will have moved into a concentration camp by the end of next October, and that’s if we’re lucky !


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Bald Eagle
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Re: Old houses with small windows

Post by Bald Eagle »

Any ghosts or "presences" Nifty?
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Nifty
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Re: Old houses with small windows

Post by Nifty »

Not that spring to mind, except the odd rodent in the grenier.

One house that my oh lived in was near a village in Devon.
It was probably built shortly after ww1. Apparently, there was a place across the lane from her house, about a mile from the churchyard where they used to rest the coffins of the dead prior to being buried. One of the first occupants of the house murdered his wife. One of the occupants of the village is was a bit beyond my powers of description to to justice to. He was working until he was in his mid eighties and was a regular at the local pub for most of that time. I communicated with him fairly well, I think, but even some of the locals say that that could not understand him.
He told my oh that he saw ‘the two boys climbing out of one of the windows’ of the house to escape from there father on the day that there mother was killed on his way to school. Oh says that she never had any strange feelings there; until she met me.

Anyway, my late stepfather worked as a gardener for an estate in the early 1960s.
While he was employed there we lived in the wooden bungalow that was near four hundred year old farm house where the MD of a large company lived. Part of sf’s duties were to tend the garden of said house. When he first got the job he drained and cleaned the duck pond. He found a toy sailing boat which he and my mother  refurbished and gave to me.
One of the other things he found was what I think may have been an ornate Indian or Persian battle axe whose head was engraved and handle finely decorated with gold leaf. Unfortunately the handle was completely rotten and of no  practical use. However, the engraved head  was another matter. I fitted another handle to it and used it for chopping wood. I cringe when I see some of the things on TV programmes that pass as 'antiques and collectables' and think of that old axe and wonder if it would have been of much monetary worth or of historic significance had I tried to preserve it in the best condition possible, rather than utilse it.

As for ghost stories.
My late uncle told me that the old farmhouse had a long history of suicides and people being murdered there and the woman who had previously lived there was probably an alcoholic and that she was adamant that there was a ghost in the house.( I think that the stories of murders and suicides in the house are posibly true and wonder if the axe may have been a murder weapon) My mother used to prepare the house for the owner’s arrival at weekends and holidays and sometimes used to look after the French poodle that belonged to the gaffer when the family spent the week in London or elsewhere (which was probably for much more than 80% of the time).
I think that it was on the first occasion that she was asked to do so, the poodle was left in the house alone and my  mother was to go and feed it and take it for walks. Soon after the dog was left alone it made a terrible racket and was loath to go into the house. The dog became extremely stressed and other arrangements were made.

I can remember that my late mother (who I remember as a highly practical woman and not prone to fabrication or fantasy) went over to the house on several occasions. She said that she used to find things misplaced and sometimes would find that all of the taps in the house were left full-on and running. The only thing that I can vouch for personally is the fact that when the owners family used to leave the house, they would draw the curtains. Overnight they may have somehow been opened and if left open then somehow become drawn even though there was nobody in the house.

Strange, but true.
Last edited by Nifty on Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:26 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Old houses with small windows

Post by Bald Eagle »

Thanks for that Nifty. Intriguing!
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bluebird
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Re: Old houses with small windows

Post by bluebird »

I've always found that Victorian window proportions are very good. Then again the Victorians had a knack of getting alot of things right in construction and engineering.

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