Work Continues to Restore La Chapelle de Teysseroles

 

Chapelle de Teysseroles

Chapelle de Teysseroles

I haven’t written much recently about the 15th-century chapel that we are helping to restore. This is partly because the work goes into hiatus over the winter; and partly because the bureaucracy involved grinds exceedingly slowly. However, there was a flurry of activity last Friday when work resumed on the wall that encircles the cemetery.

Because the chapel is a listed historic building, our team of volunteers is not allowed to do any further work on it. This must be carried out by qualified professionals. But waiting for the necessary permission for the experts to start has been a frustrating process.

Spring view from the chapel

Spring view from the chapel

Nonetheless, some progress on the bureaucratic front was reported at our association’s AGM a couple of weeks ago:

  • The permis de construire (outline planning permission) has been agreed.
  • The wrangle about disabled access to the chapel has been sorted out by the Prefet, although I’m still not quite sure how or in what way.

Still to come, though:

  • ERDF (French electricity network) has to check the ground to make sure that no cables extend under the site.
  • There has to be an archaeological survey carried out, starting in May. If they find anything that requires excavation, this will put back the schedule.
  • Some sort of overall approval (don’t ask me) is necessary before we can apply for various subsidies.

So it’s two steps forward and one step back, as ever.

Mixing concrete

Mixing concrete

However, the cemetery wall is well on its way. Since there is a drop of several metres between the cemetery and the field below on one side, we have had to build up a substantial wall in places. Last Friday’s work involved shoring up the lower part of the wall with concrete. We are lucky to number a couple of maçons among our members.

Ready for the concrete

Ready for the concrete

Guiding the concrete into place

Guiding the concrete into place

 

Base of the wall in progress

Base of the wall in progress

I have to say that I did very little. I shifted a few stones around, fell over a couple of times, took a lot of photos for the association’s record and had a good chat with some others who were also standing around. But, as always, the ambience was friendly, there was a sense of achievement and the entente cordiale was operating well.

Ribald comments about what might (or might not) fit into the drainage pipe

Ribald comments about what might (or might not) fit into the drainage pipe

Our annual fundraising fête will take place on Sunday 28th June, following the usual pattern: outdoor mass by the chapel, apéritif and slap-up alfresco meal at midday, games, entertainment etc. after lunch, a lot of hard work behind the scenes but a lot of fun. And a sense that we are doing something useful – even if we don’t live to see the final results…

Watch this space.

You might also like:

Getting Plastered at Teysseroles
Teysseroles Restoration Update
Restoring French cultural heritage
French cultural heritage on our doorstep

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About nessafrance

My husband and I moved to an 18th-century farmhouse in SW France in 1997. I am fascinated by French history, rural traditions and customs and enjoy seeking out the reality behind the myths. I run my own copywriting business and write short stories and the occasional novel in my spare time. My husband appears here as the SF, which stands for Statistics Freak, owing to his penchant for recording numbers about everything.
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14 Responses to Work Continues to Restore La Chapelle de Teysseroles

  1. Pingback: Dig This! What the Archaeologists Found at Teysseroles | Life on La Lune

  2. sally says:

    After having renovated various houses in France I wish you all the luck in the world with bureacracy. Whether or not you will live to see the fruits of your labour…. So much has already been, and continues to be destroyed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Paul Diamond says:

    As an archaeologist myself, I look forward to reading about what the survey finds. Will they be using GPR (ground penetrating radar) to look for graves or other subsurface features? Or just doing test pitting? Also who is doing it, a team from a nearby Uni or commercial archaeo survey company?

    Liked by 1 person

    • nessafrance says:

      I thought this aspect would interest you, Paul. At the moment, I’m afraid my answer to all you questions is I haven’t a clue. The mayor told us at our recent AGM that this would be happening. However, we will be clearer about all this soon.

      Like

      • Paul Diamond says:

        Well I look forward to hearing the details when available! Am currently planning our summer trip over maybe this year we will have a chance to come down and see the project first hand.

        Like

      • nessafrance says:

        We should know more details next month. I hope you get the chance to come down this way.

        Like

  4. Osyth says:

    I lived for a while in a house at Carmel College (it had been a Jewish School and had closed and the site was up for redevelopment). There is a synagogue designed by Thomas Hancock and a theatre by Basil Spence – both are Grade 1 listed. The old manor house was Agatha Christies inspiration for The Mouse Trap and there is a wonderful ruined chapel in the grounds too. Along the way, there had to be an architectural inspection of the grounds. This involved digging trenches. One was right outside my patio doors onto the larger shared garden. The architects did not fence it and the trench was 6 feet deep and about 20 feet long by 6 feet wide. They found nothing in any of their holes. Beaurocracy is a fine thing but the most frustrating when it effects one’s own life or project in any language! That said, my daughters and I made good use of the slow process and were able to rent our little house for nearly two years before the developers admitted defeat and sold the lot (for much more than I could afford) … the girls who would have been toddler to ten years old when we arrived had the most glorious life running wild in the acres and acres grounds that ran down to the Thames. There can be upsides 😉

    Like

    • nessafrance says:

      I think I went to Carmel College once but don’t have a recollection of it. I’m glad your daughters didn’t fall into the trenches!

      If they did actually find anything interesting during the archaeological excavations, I wouldn’t mind too much, even if it did delay the work. It’s important that valuable historical artifacts are brought to light and not unwittingly destroyed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Osyth says:

        Thankfully not but it meant keeping the doors shut in boiling weather for about 2 weeks. I wouldn’t have minded a bit if they had found something and there is an argument, of course that without searching you will never find but I did feel rather picked on then in a row of 4 houses they chose mine to dig their mighty trench!!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Evelyn says:

    So frustrating when the French bureaucracy gets involved! It’s going to be beautiful when it’s finished, though. The first lesson of ex-pat life as you well know is….. Patientez!

    Liked by 1 person

    • nessafrance says:

      Patience is not one of my cardinal virtues. But you’re quite right. We hope that work on the chapel itself might start before the end of this year.

      Like

  6. jonapurcell says:

    Always a great pleasure to get your emails and blog posts!
    cordialement- Jon Purcell

    Liked by 1 person

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