Gritstone villas in Paris banlieues are well hard

Maisons en meulière are an important part of the cultural heritage of the outer suburbs of Paris.

Anything built in this stone in Ile-de-France will almost certainly have been constructed between 1880 and 1930, though the stone was still used up to 1950.

Impressive villas were weekend destinations for the bourgeoisie, who could now travel to the country by train – and they introduced the modern idea of the second home.

There were also more modest dwellings for the workers as industry developed on the outskirts of Paris.

Many examples can be found and the villas continue to be seen as desirable homes, though hundreds have been demolished to make way for blocks of flats and other buildings as the suburbs grew.

The name comes from the French word for gritstone, pierre meulière, which was used to make millstones, meules.

They were exported worldwide because of the quality and hardness of the stone ...

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