La Maisonnette: Le Four Banal

• 11 June 2009

A fun recent discovery about La Maisonnette du Coteau...the house's origins lie in the "Four Banal" (pronounced foo-er bah-nahl), meaning the "Lord's Oven" in French. "La Four Banal" was the place where everyone was required to bake their bread; in return they were required to pay the lord of the castle for the service.

Records show that in 1343 the lord of the castle had set up these services, so it's possible La Maisonnette du Coteau was built at that time; but, a more probable scenario places the home's beginnings in the 1500's. Since the house is within the outer ramparts of the castle, we know it's at least a four or five hundred years old.

What you see in the right above photo is the back of La Maisonnette, where "la four banal" was located. Next to the photo of the back of our house (see above left) is an image showing what the four banal probably looked like. When some restoration work was being done 40 years ago they found remnants of the old oven in the back yard. Admittedly, we are pretty much are in awe of the home's history and the {older} townsfolk even refer to our home as the previous "four banal", which is kind of a cool way of describing one's home. House numbers mean nothing here it's all about the history of the residence that people know.


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