Troglodyte life in Paulmy, South Touraine


Like many villages, towns and hamlets of the Touraine, such as Le Grand Pressigny, Paulmy, in the Touraine du Sud, is no exception in having its own troglodyte dwellings.

Nicole Auvray

Last summer I, Sandra and our friends, Graham and Lisa, were invited by Nicole Auvray to visit her magnificent house on the edge of Paulmy.

Her home, which she completely renovated herself, is a complex of troglodyte dwellings which once housed a number of families of the village.

The caves were hewn by hand from the soft limestone rock of the Touraine to create ideal living conditions for both humans and animals. With their constant, stable, all-year-round temperature the caves are also perfect for the storage of wines, beers and foodstuffs. The excavated white stone, tuffeau, was used in the construction of external extensions to the caves dwellings themselves as well as in other houses and farms in the area.

In true French style, Nicole has her own mini, edible snail farm one of  her caves. A further space in the labyrinth  was the place for the communal bakehouse, four banal, as can be clearly seen in one of the images below.

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Images by our friend, Graham of Graham Shackleton Photography.

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About Jim McNeill

I am a blogger on 'The Social History of the Touraine region of France (37)' and also 'The Colonial History of Pennsylvania and the life & Family of William Penn'. I am a Director of Fresh Ground Group Ltd.
This entry was posted in Le Brignon, Paulmy, South Touraine, Quarrying, Snail farming and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Troglodyte life in Paulmy, South Touraine

  1. Paul Chatwin says:

    Hi Jim
    We have just bought a property in a small hamlet just outside of Ligueil. I came across your website whilst researching the area so have now signed up 🙂

    I would like your opinion on something. In one of the cottages we have what appears to be a large brick dome oven (fully intact). We think this may have been a communal oven and would love to send you a photo to get your opinion.

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