This post on the building known as Trimiotou (but spelt in various ways) has been particularly interesting to research largely because it has virtually no information directly available. I would particularly like to thank 'Deadhead' and Tango 01 (Armand) from The Miniatures Page (TMP) in helping me with my research. I gave an earlier preview of the building on 'Reinforcements' but with new information provided by them, amendments have been made to the main building at the southern end and a barn added at the north end.
Just to the south of La Belle Alliance and on the other side of the road there now sits a building called La Saline Restaurant.
|La Saline from the north looking south. The lean-to present in 2019 would not have been there in 1815.|
No such building gets a mention in contemporary sources of the battle. And yet a review of contemporary maps indicates that something called Trimiotou or Trimotion was at the same place.
|Siborne's map. Trimotion sounds like an English rendering of the French name.|
|The maps would indicate something as large, if not larger, than La Belle Alliance.|
This contemporary water colour of La Belle Alliance by Denis Dighton, which looks eastwards, definitely shows a longer building in trees in the place marked Trimotion on the maps
|Siborne's model quite clearly shows it and, again, indicates that it is longer than La Belle Alliance.|
|This grainy, distant shot shows the creamy render of La Belle Alliance on the left, Trimiotou further south in the centre of the picture and then Decoster's house much further away in the top right of the picture|
So what did the building look like at the time of Waterloo? One of the problems with Siborne is that he simplified his models - for instance, the lean-to bakery on the side of La Belle Alliance is clearly missing.
|This suggests the same, although the number of chimneys varies between one, two and three|
Given all these pictures show a barn at the north end of Trimiotou and that there is a dual pitch roof, how can this be reconciled with Siborne's model which doesn't show this? My view is that either Siborne chose to simplify the north end, or that the north end took such a battering that it was rebuilt after the battle, and the barn removed before Siborne carried out his survey.
|This Denis Dighton watercolour indicates quite a few trees around its west side|
|There is now a large barn behind Trimiotou which didn't exist when Siborne made his model. Like the new barn at the north end of La Belle Alliance, we can presume that it was built after Waterloo, perhaps a few years before this Victorian photograph.|
|Google Earth provides a useful way of comparing the length of the modern La Saline (Trimiotou) with La Belle Alliance - the former is 30.23 metres long. The new large barn can be seen at the southern end and did not exist in 1815.|
|And La Belle Alliance (without its new barn) is 25.17 metres in length.|
- A building called Trimiotou did exist at the time of the battle
- It was roughly the length it is now
- It had a sloping roof at its southern end
- It has since been simplified at the north end and a lean-to added which wasn't there in 1815
- It sat in a hedged enclosure with trees
So given all that, here is the building with its barn:
|From the north looking south|
|From the south looking north showing the sloped roof at the southern end.|
|The west side|
|The barn - it is hard to tell if the barn was thatched or tiled - given its subsequent destruction, I've gone with thatch to suggest a less substantial building. For the same reason, the walls are wood, not stone or brick.|
|I intend to develop the idea of the barn catching fire.|
I'm presently working on two battalions of the Guard who will be marching up the road past Trimiotou towards Wellington's position. It remains something of a mystery to me where Baron Larrey's Casualty Clearing Station was, but this seems a likely spot - if any one knows I'd be grateful.