Learn together and help me restore a 500 year old former manoir house in Lower Normandy, France.

  • Favourited 37 times
  • Last activity: 27 Jun 2022



 Min stay requested: No minimum



  • Description


    Very creative, lover of old buildings, keen gardener, good cook, keeper of many furry friends, dodgdy 80's musical taste! and huge, massive film fan! Moved to France for the 'Good Life', to create a few good vintages and discover all that you can do with tonnes of apples and pears. Especially looking forward to cold winter nights sat in front of the very large sitting room fire cracking walnuts off my own trees whilst sipping my own home produced cider.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    I have worked in construction for more than 20 years and have worked on some old buildings but nothing like this before. I have however been a keen supporter of The Landmark Trust in the past and have visited and stayed in many of their old properties.

    Hopefully I can teach you things I know and you can teach me new things too.

  • Help


    2022 Update. I am now six years into my project to restore what I now know is at least a 16th century (and could be much older) former mill/manor house in Lower Normandy.

    Dates have been found carved into various parts of the house and having befriended my elderly neighbour (a dear old lady of 92) i now appreciate that when my house was probably built France wasn't even France.

    I'm keen to learn more about the history of my house so if you've an interest in history or architecture that would be a great bonus.

    Part of the house was converted in the 1950's which I now use as a kitchen/dining room and day room, with views over the rear garden and to the front over the neighbouring fields.

    I've knocked through into the sitting room which is i think the oldest part of the house and i've converted the attic room over the kitchen into a master bedroom suite (yet to be completed).

    The house is built primarily from stone, oak and colombage.

    I have i am quite content living a simple life in my tranquil idyll with mornings spent pottering around indoors and afternoons in the garden.

    There is always something to be done.

    I share my home with donkeys Wallace & Arthur. Goats Tinca & Taila. Dogs Poppy & Mina. Cats Amber, Snowie and Tigger. Chickens Thelma, Louise, Mad and even madder. Ducks Momma and Charlie (2). So there is always plenty of hands on animal chores.

    Walnut, sweet chestnut, plum, elderflower, apples (both cider and eating), pears, plums, grapes and various berries all grow in the garden.

    I intend to continue renovating the property retaining as much of the history and character as possible. Where possible I want to introduce a few eco efficiencies (such as using the garden well as a geothermal source for heating).

    I'm planning on undertaking renovation projects room by room.

    A previous workawayer helped build by poultry house.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Beginner

  • Accommodation


    Meals to be eaten here at the manor.

    Sleeping is likely to be at my mothers house in the next village as its more private and she has a hot shower!

    Eggs (will hopefully be) courtesy of the chickens.

    In the evenings i enjoy sitting outside watching the sun go down or watching a film.

    There is a market in Saint Hilaire on a Wednesday.

    Saint Michaels Mount is nearby.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Nearby we have:-

    Mont Saint Michel, which is about 40 minutes away.

    Parc zoologique de Jurques is about 30 minutes away.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 588424961868

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