Saturday 25 October 2008

Putting the history of our house into context

When we visited M. Lezeau he told us of the assumed date of our granary - 13th century.

Preuilly was part of the Angevin lands belonging to King John (yup - the evil king John of the Robin Hood tales) who subsequently lost a lot of his holdings in France after the Battle of Bouvines in 1214. I thought M. Lezeau said the granary was built as a result of John losing the battle and needing to raise funds (via taxes) for a campaign to regain the lands, but it appears it may have been Phillip II of France who did the tax thing, because winning at Bouvines gave him control of Anjou and Touraine.*

Also in 1214, the Emperor of China surrendered to Genghis Khan, and in a completely unrelated incident, Oxford University received its charter. Other people who were kicking around at the time include Saint Francis of Assisi, and King Alexander II of Scotland.

What is equally amazing is what the building possibly predates; the Magna Carta, the birth of Marco Polo, the founding of the Dominican Order, the Black Death, and the brewing of Budweiser Budvar beer in Bohemia. The last two are not connected.

If you're having problems with the concept, this highly detailed timeline may help:

*Apparently Susan realised this all along. I obviously wasn't listening properly


Anonymous said...

Well you really did put the granary into context. That's why I like visiting Old Europe :-)
Makes one wonder how much thinking went into designing/buildings in those days and to see that these structures are still standing today.

wcs said...

As in Jean sans terre (John Lackland)?

Excellent time line!

Simon said...

Beaver: I think that maybe it isn't so much the design of the building that makes it stand for so long, but more the fact it has more stone in it than Mont Blanc. The walls are a metre thick, and solid stone, and the beams are all 14 inch oak.

Walt: Jean Sans Terre indeed. Interestingly, (or maybe not...) his nickname in England was "John Lackland".

Thanks for you comment on the timeline. I thought it might help people understand the age of our building more precisely :¬)

Simon said...

Walt. I PROMISE in future I will try to remember to read all your comment before I reply...

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