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Bayne spent four months in France, from August to December 1864, travelling to such important sites as Amiens, Soissons, Noyon, Angers, and the Loire. In addition to exterior views in graphite or watercolour, he sketched the interiors of churches, architectural details, and measured groundplans.

His observations reveal a mixture of curiosity and strong convictions. His sketch of the Tower of St. Servin in Toulouse includes a comment of his impressions: "Note: Ferguson says of it - 'goes far to rival our Salisbury Spire.' + From these words, I have always [sic] wished to see the Spire of St. Servin. Saw it and can no more see the slightest rivalry to Salisbury than a mere cabin to a palace. + Poor in composition and a mere piling of stage over stage. Much smaller than I expected to find it. + Model and type of all the Towers in and about Toulouse."


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