Architectural Salvage, Antiques and Brocantes
Here in southwest France there are many antiques and bric-à-brac outlets, some that are full time shops and others that are staged as fairs and markets throughout the summer. We made a short mention of these markets in an earlier post but haven’t reported on the less prolific architectural salvage yards. We have two located near to Gites in Charente: one on the road from Sauzé Vaussais to Melle and the other in Confolens.
If you plan to drive to this area on holiday, as many do, then you could take a little less wine home in favour of making space for some of the wonderful French architectural salvage that is not only hard to come by in England but in comparison is often much cheaper. We needed two large radiators and so made the short trip to The Reclamation Yard in Confolens, run by a couple of English guys, who were helpful and good to deal with, especially if your French isn’t so good! They specialise in huge beams and stone for building renovation but have over 50,000 square feet of covered storage (and more outside) and have an entire floor of doors, a basement of sinks and sanitary ware and mind boggling amounts of all sorts. Here are some photos taken on the visit:
I mentioned the fair prices earlier – here are the two cast iron radiators (with feet) that we bought: 6 columns with 16 sections at €80 each, as opposed to the £400 or thereabouts from English salvage yards. In fairness they need cleaning up and painting, but then that restoration work is part of the fun!
And whilst window shopping at The Reclamation Yard, we couldn’t resist spending €400 on this beautiful French double ended cast iron roll top bath:
So why not drive down to sunny southwest France, come and stay in one of our gîtes, visit the local brocantes and reclamation yards and take a piece of historic France home with you? We can provide secure parking for your van or trailer in our ample courtyard and dry barn storage for your purchases pending your return home.