Saturday, 8 December 2012

The gypsy vardo : taking apart


I have made my homework, looking for clues about gypsy vans everywhere. I came to the conclusion that this traditional gypsy home pulled by horse is not so old.  They have been used by gypsies for only 150 years. They developed first in France and then were used in the 1820 s' in England by showmen travelling with fairs and circuses.
The name for the gypsies'waggon is VARDO. And if they are gypsy home, they are traditionaly made by non-gypsy coach-builders. We can find 6 main types of vardoes : Brush, Reading, Ledge, Bowtop, Openlot and Burton.

My Vardo is a Ledge, no doubt. A van with side and back windows, sloping walls, portable steps, front door wich opens separately at the top and the bottom, rack at the back and a raised roof called a mollicroft. The floor is narrow and both side walls widen out at knee-level via a ledge over the wheels.

The maker of this Ledge has done a pretty good work : everything is true to a life size Ledge. : Gerry builds a very complete range of vardoes you can choose of.

And now it's time to take all the pieces apart. I want to make some changes before I begin the painting. I have prepared a new door, the one I had was too thick. Same for the door of the cratch at the back. I have also changed the hay rack, to have a lighter one.

They are many informations and pictures at  and  : builders, collectors and painters of gypsy vardoes.




  1. Les roulottes font toujours rêver! Beaucoup d'idées de décorations sur ce site:
    Bon voyage!

    1. Bonsoir Nathalie. Merci pour les Verdines, et en fait je suis bien d'accord : elles sont superbes et je compte bien m'inspirer de ces superbes roulottes dans le choix des couleurs et de la décoration intérieure.
      A bientôt

  2. This is a gorgeous Ledge, I've searched the net for some ideas years ago, but couldn't find good information to build one myself. Thanks for the link of the maker! I'll follow the progress of yours :D!

  3. Es preciosa esta carreta!!
    Besos de las Malu´s.