The newest, two storey part of our house in Brittany, was built in 1765 as an addition to what we believe was an earlier farmstead building for housing animals and grain storage, maybe a hundred years or so earlier. The Corps de Ferme took off around that time supplying the neighbouring Linen Merchant (posh house with carvings on the soffit boards) and his family with foodstuff (we are one of just two properties in our hamlet). At the end of our courtyard is a ruin which we know to have been the local school, taking in children from the nearest four or five hamlets. This was run by nuns who presumably also ran the farm.
The large bread oven, which sits at the back of our smallest barn, I think, provided not only bread for the nuns and the merchant's family, but would also have been a facility for the families whose offspring were taught at the school each day… I can just picture a gaggle of mums (and nuns) gossiping by the bread oven after the children have been brought into the courtyard and whilst the ladies waited for the oven to bake their daily bread! Quite a tight little community!
A medium (an Immobilier we worked with) who has visited our house, began getting all manner of twitches of 'inspiration' as we sat around the dining room table for a meeting… and has confirmed that spirits of the nuns still move around the house… all very warm and all very friendly thus far. The mother superior has already spared us from a few accidents around the place and seems to approve of our restoration of 'her' house in Brittany! I am investigating the possibility of religious persecution having gone on there as we have been told that there is also some 'treasure' buried on the land. Our visiting medium even doused for it… ("It may not have had much monetary value but it was precious to the person who buried it here, wishing to hide it from those who would do her harm"). My guess is that the nuns used our small barn (it does haven something of an ecclesiastical feel to it) for their devotions and that the treasure may have been their altar furniture which they wished to hide from the Huguenots.
This may all seem to be fanciful on my part… but there is sufficient hard evidence around (as well as anecdotes handed down through several generations of our neighbour's family) for me 'to join the dots' and patch together a fascinating history… I can feel a blog coming on!