Thursday Doors – A Dickensian House in a French Village

When I walked past this house in a local village and then turned back to look again at the very old and shabby exterior, I felt I could almost be looking at the residence of a character in a novel by Dickens. The shutters are cracked and crooked, all of them closed. The hinges are rusted and the door knocker in the shape of a frail hand looks as if it has not been raised since the 19th century. There is a jagged and rusty security bar across the skylight over the door as if there may once have been valuables inside worthy of protection. The house is quite large, built over three storeys and probably, once upon a time, quite imposing.

Now the only sign of life is the modern wheelie bin standing in front of the arched wooden gates. I found myself wondering who may live inside.  A dusty wizened clerk perhaps, caring for his aged parents and still awaiting promotion after 50 years of loyal service in the Circumlocution office. Or perhaps more likely, as this is after all a house in France, a distant relative of Sydney Carton who waits after more than two centuries for his own special moment to do a ‘far, far better thing..’  …………  Perhaps you might like to suggest other possible inhabitants?

The house and it’s rusty door are my contribution to this week’s Thursday Door challenge hosted by the excellent Norm Frampton – please click on the links to see other contributions……

Roullet Dicken's house 2

ALL PHOTOS © JANE MORLEY

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36 Comments Add yours

  1. Timothy Price says:

    Wonderful set of doors and shutters. I really like how each photo expands the view.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Timothy! I couldn’t fit any more of it in unfortunately as I couldn’t get any further back but it gives an idea of it anyway!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful old building, I imagine Victor Hugo living there to absorb the atmosphere, while writing Les Misérables.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s a splendid idea Jean! Don’t know why I thought Dickens and not Hugo!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Same era Jane. Two great writers.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Quite so Jean, I’ve just started Les Misérables in the original French – the book is larger than my front doorstep – should keep me busy for a month or two!! (I commented on your Youghal post that social history is becoming something of an interest for me, France has seen so many changes, as has everywhere of course, but perhaps a little later here in the French countryside!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. And I thought I was doing well tackling Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’ I bought the book about four months ago and haven’t even started it yet. All the best with Les Mis. Jane.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ah, now you’re well ahead of me on that one Jean! I think these books are wonderful because you realise that people were so thirsty for reading they didn’t mind if something took weeks/months to finish! We rush everything too much nowadays! All the best with C &P – we’ll have to compare notes in a year or two! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jane Lurie says:

    You found a superb architectural spot, Jane. Great light, details and colors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Jane! Delighted you like it – would be lovely to do a bit of time travelling and see it when it was first built!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nadia says:

    You can just imagine all the people who crossed those beautiful doors. Any idea when it was built?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nadia, I really wish I did know the date of it – I would guess probably late 1700’s , I shall have to see if I can Find out!

      Like

  5. The charm of rust will never pall. I can imagine a little old lady knitting as if she was still at the foot of the guillotine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I think you may be right Sarah, there was a strange click-clacking noise coming from inside now I come to think of it! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sue says:

        You tease!

        Like

  6. I love your door and the writing. Marvelous textures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sherry Lynn – much appreciated!

      Like

  7. Sue says:

    What a wonderfully mysterious place….what stories lie within!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly is Sue, I confess I’m warming to the idea of a Victor Hugo character now having thought about it and those strange sounds of knitting needles you know……….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sue says:

        Sounds just the ticket…..

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Norm 2.0 says:

    From the first shot I wanted to see more of the larger door on the left and you strung it out nicely. I like the way the view expanded from shot to shot. And the wonderful words of course…great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Norm! 😀 I would have liked to get an even broader shot of the whole thing but the street just isn’t wide enough – need a wider angle lens! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Since you mentioned Dickens, I immediately thought of Miss Havisham locked up in her own past, or maybe it’s the home of Mrs Clennam. I have not read enough Hugo to comment – only Les Miserables, which I have to say is my desert island book. Those 19th century novelists new how to tell a tale and keep you interested over a sustained period.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello radicalrambler – how funny, I was probably thinking of Mrs Clennam in fact having recently watched Little Dorrit! And you’re so right about the 19th century novelists, just started Les Miserables and can’t help feeling there’s something rather splendid after reading 20 odd pages just to introduce M Myriel!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Grace says:

    What a gorgeous old house, Jane, I absolutely love the door knocker! It is so easy to get lost in one’s imagination with a house like that, wondering who used to live there and why it is in such an abandoned state. All those closed shutters…who knows what memories and secrets they are keeping hidden from the world?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly Grace – I think I’d almost written a novel about the potential inhabitants by the time I’d finished my photos! A real mystery house!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow! So much character and history – who indeed lives there 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wouldn’t it be fun to know James?! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Das sind faszinierende Fensterklappen mit sehr viel Charme.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vielen Dank Markus -‘Fensterklappen’ – ein wunderschönes Wort! 🙂

      Like

      1. Wirklich? Ich dachte das klingt so hart. Ich glaube das mehr gebräuchliche Wort ist ‘Fensterladen’.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ja das ist ein ‘hartes’ Wort aber es ist sehr deutsche und nicht wie Englische Worte – ich mag es! 😀

        Like

      3. Das freut mich wirklich das zu hören! Danke. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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