A piece of history





Take a look at this very well kept room it’s a real piece of history.

The photograph was taken in an old Portuguese house that I was asked to go and look at with a view to carrying out renovation and extension work.

I don’t think that the new owners understood that they had bought a “snap shot” of Portuguese social history and a very good example of the way people used to live (some still do in rural central Portugal)

builders portugal, english speaking builders
an old Portuguese house


Let me explain, starting from the left of the picture you see a traditional dresser. These can still be bought very cheaply at local markets but you will need to order them in advance.

The dresser has a simple bird motif on the top and 3 shelves. The top two shelves are for storing food, jars and tins. The bottom shelf with the curved cut outs is to rest the earthenware jars of olive oil, water and wine. All you have to do is tip up the jars a little to pour out what you want.

To the right of the dresser and next to the door are the traditional clothes pegs ( these have been removed ) there would have been rounded wooden pegs which held the clothes out a little off the damp walls.

Then there is two low bedroom doors with small glass panes  above. You will notice that the top of the bedroom walls stops above the doors. These bedrooms don’t have ceilings they are open to the roof tiles above. Can you imagine how drafty and cold it must have been to sleep in your straw filled bed, looking up at the tiles. The tiles are around 20 years old and were installed after the old roof collapsed. No doubt because of wood worm.

In between the two bedroom doors is a later addition. A cupboard for storing cooking ingredients and above a drawer for bone handled knives forks and plates then above that a cheese safe. These people were on the up and up!

The only other comment I would make is – did you notice how spotless clean it was kept.