Le Barry

In 2009, Margaret Woodward and Justy Phillips bought a small village house in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of South West France. The house is situated in the beautiful medieval village of Mas-Cabardes, approximately 17km north of the World Heritage Site of Carcassonne.

Now, as many of you know, Margaret and Justy currently live a long way from Le Barry in the drier (except in the 2010 flood) city of Wagga Wagga in regional New South Wales, Australia. Yes, the other hemisphere. The key to our love affair with Mas-Cabardes is our love affair with our family in the nearby hamlet of le Campmas – a tranquil (except for the hunting dogs) haven high in the Montagne Noire. They are also the key to the renovation work!

Carol (Justy’s mother) and her French partner Jeannot are the backbone of the hard work…in locating the house…and undertaking the project management and labour of love that Le Barry requires. With a high attention to detail, materials and traditional building techniques, the family are working hard to bring Le Barry back to her former glory (and restore her and her heart beat back to the village)…[Margaret just pointed out that ‘she’ is really a ‘he’ in the Le’s and La’s of french life]. But to us, this big pile of stone will always be a she.

We thought long and hard about a new name for the house but in deference to the earliest maps, we have chosen to name her ‘Le Barry’ which literally means ‘place where barrels were made’. Yes, it’s true, we’ve bought a barrel workshop! Rest assured, there will be plenty of full barrels to share upon your arrival!

The house has three floors. The top floor will be a bedroom and bathroom; the middle floor will be a lounge; and the ground floor (currently not connected to the middle floor) will be the kitchen, eating and utility space. We hope to add another bedroom in the adjacent ruin at a future time, but at the moment you will see that this is just a very, very big pile of rubble. Hence, will be referred to herein as ‘the ruin’.

The house has a number of gardens; the terrace (opposite the ground floor), the secret garden (through the pigsty), the food garden (through the pigsty) and Terry’s mountain garden A.K.A ‘Le Terry’ (once cultivated with lemons and olives, grape vines and figs). Also home to wandering Sanglier (wild boar) and Chevreuil (deer).

The following images were taken in June 2009 and show the house in the state in which we puchased it from the previous owners:

Middle floor (to be the lounge). Don’t worry we have saved some of the wallpaper!

Middle floor – yes that’s a fridge beneath the stairs.

Ground floor. hmm. Well, this will be the kitchen one day.

Top floor. Bedroom and bathroom. One day.

View from the terrace garden, bedroom, lounge and kitchen.


6 Responses to “Le Barry”

  1. Megan January 23, 2011 at 10:34 AM #

    Love it and can’t wait to see the progress.

  2. Caitlin January 24, 2011 at 2:18 AM #

    Love the blog, the house looks so cool. We should come and visit it when it’s finished! Xx

  3. Dominique January 24, 2011 at 7:05 AM #

    I love it already, when can I book?

    • Justy Phillips January 24, 2011 at 7:14 AM #

      DO you want to wait for a roof? bed? running water??? xJ

  4. Doug and Frankie January 31, 2011 at 11:18 AM #

    Hi Justy and Margaux,
    fantastic pics and descriptions of a beautiful part of France. And what clever blog creators you are. Thanks for thinking of us and we will watch with interest. Youve already inspired me to read up a bit about the Cathars and that nasty Simon de Montfort gouging their eyes out. The house looks amazing with its massive thick walls, and de luxe wallpaper (was that some i saw on a horizontal panelled door??) Some panache de Wagga will serve you well on the project. Love to you both and all the best for now. Doug and Frankie

    • isa et jipe May 10, 2011 at 10:17 PM #

      hello girls h!!!!!!!!!!!!
      how are are you..
      do you know !!!!!that your next trip fly away from toulouse……………

      we don’t mind …………….. all you say..
      all you go’t in mind.

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