Approximately 10 hours to Boulogne Sur Mer yesterday and an overnight stop there and now next morning we’re sitting on the train ready to depart for England. Looking forward to seeing Rose (pussy cat), Tamarind (our UK home) and friends. Leaving behind sunny, blue skies and grape vines. Interesting new places and people. New friends. Le Petit Coquelicot (our French home) and fig trees, full of ripening figs.
I have fallen in love with the French pigeonniers:)
Pigeon houses or pigeonniers started being built when the Romans came to France and brought their passion for pigeons with them. Today they are a great architectural pleasure and come in a multitude of shapes. They are now often converted into bedrooms or provide extra space for the main house.
Types of construction range from wood supported by wooden posts, to solid square towers of stone, supported on stone pillars, inlayed with brick. They can be square or round and, although sometimes very old, they can also be recent constructions and a valued addition to a new property.
The pigeon house was also often used as part of a girl’s dowry. At the marriage of Marguerite Gralhet, in 1564, she offered her father’s pigeon house. Farmhands could also sell the pigeons for ‘pocket money’ and pigeon meat was, and still is, highly appreciated when the birds are young. Their droppings were also used for precious fertilizer, in wine producing regions, pigeon manure was used to fertilize the vines. The pigeon was an ally in WW1 used as ‘air mail’ messengers.
The high status of the pigeon stayed around until the Industrial Revolution when modern technology took over. So while pigeonniers continue to add cachet to a house, their original inhabitants are now considered by many to be pests. How sad is that? My son always called pigeons ‘triblings’ when he was young. So perhaps I’ll call mine a triblinnier!!!!