Breton farmhouses vary according to period, region and the owner’s situation. Despite their great diversity, traditional farmhouses were always built along the same lines. Typically, they were long and low, with their rooms aligned in a lengthways layout — the reason they were known as longères, long houses. Given its spatial organization, the longère generally featured an open courtyard, with occasional exceptions (for example, when a stable or barn was erected perpendicular to the main building, creating a semi-enclosed courtyard). Farmhouses were usually built from local materials like granite or schist, and traditionally covered with thatched roofs. To maximize their exposure to sunshine in this rainy country, most farmhouses were built facing the south or southeast.