with meadows, gardens, woods and a river, in the Centre-Val-de-Loire region
In the French department of Loiret, the still authentic village in the Ouanne Valley is crossed by a first-category river winding through a landscape dotted with bocage countryside, woods and meadows. A market town, it includes mills and wash-houses, a bridge, a church and old ramparts. Near to the towns of Montargis and Châteaurenard, not far from the neighbouring departments of Seine-et-Marne and Yonne. 120 km from Paris which can be easily reached via the A6 and A77 or A5 and A19 motorways. 13 km from an SNCF train station providing 1-hour links to the French capital.
The country house
After the Gallo-Roman era, the hamlet became a parish in the 7th century under the patronage of Saint-Sulpice. As of the 9th century and up until the French Revolution, its way of life was intertwined with that of its nunnery run by Benedictine abbesses. The religious community was also run in the 12th century by the Commandery of the Knights Templars’ Order of St John of Jerusalem.
Over the centuries, the old, 11th century provost’s feudal motte became a “stronghold house”. Built 700 metres above the village, its natural position, dominating the hillside became home to a fenced, quadrangular building, surrounded by a moat. Even nowadays, the valley, curving slightly inwards and crossed by a stream, still gives the hamlet the air of an amphitheatre. Through filiation, the owners of the chateau were knights, vassals, advisors to the king and also, in the 17th century, several local tanning families.
Despite epidemies, robbery, the turpitudes of the One-Hundred-Years-War and, on several occasions, its neglect, this building still remains. It would even appear probable that Joan-of-Arc stayed here with her men. On a map dated 1777, the local ford is named as the “Ford of the Virgin”.
In the early 15th century, restoration of the stronghold house was carried out under the aegis of a prosecutor for King Louis XII, succeeded by François I. Said works, reflecting the Renaissance influences of the Loire Valley and Italy, resulted in the preservation of the feudal features and a transformation into a country house without any living space upstairs. The Renaissance style became more clearly marked in the 16th century. In 1750, the lord of the premises fully restored the building in the sober, robust and practical tradition, with moulding and cabling.
A rectangular building spanning a surface area of approx. 700 m² over two levels, it was constructed on the old buttresses and vaulted cellars. The walls are rendered, whilst dressed stone forms the surrounds framing the openings and the cornice. The roof, covered with old tiles, features numerous Jacobin-style roof dormers. A section lower than the main building adjoins the gable wall and forms a link with a turret, featuring a conical roof covered with tiles. The main entrance porch as well as the paved terrace are enhanced with a glass and wrought iron canopy.
This level spans a surface area of approx. 427 m².
A vast vestibule, covered with floors tiles inlaid with decoration, houses a winding, wooden stairway, with wrought iron railings. (A toilet has been installed there.) It provides access to both sides of the house. A reception room, spanning approx. 66 m², with its exposed roofing framework and through light, a fitted kitchen and a dining room, the floor of which is laid with old terracotta tiles. Oak wood furnishing. Ovens and a kitchen range are integrated into the old bread oven. The impressive, sand-blasted beams are exposed. A terrace has a view over the parklands. A corridor provides access to the entrance to a vaulted cellar. A laundry room, with a shower room and a toilet. A library, with a fireplace featuring a carved, oak wood mantel. An opening leads out via the paved terrace to the garden in the central courtyard. On the other side, a bright lounge spanning approx. 76 m² has stone floor tiles, a fireplace housing a closed-hearth fire and exposed joists. A study, with a fireplace featuring a carved wood mantel, a living room with an extra little kitchen in the turret. A wooden stairway goes up to a mezzanine laid out as a bedroom and also leading to a shower room and toilet installed in the turret.
This level spans a floor surface area of approx. 264 m². A landing leads, on one side, to a first bedroom, spanning approx. 68 m². This room is made extremely bright by its high ceiling, its exposed roofing framework and its numerous windows. On the other side, a boot room provides access to a second bedroom, with a bathroom and toilet. A corridor leads to another two bedrooms, with shower rooms, and a 52 m² bedroom, with a whirlpool bath, a shower room and a toilet.
The restored barn
This rectangular building, spanning a surface area of approx. 435 m², is constructed from stone, covered with light-coloured rendering and raised in relation to the main courtyard. A walled terrace, running along the rear facade and spanning more than 200 m², provides access to a tennis court. The gable roof is covered with local tiles and features numerous pavilion roof dormers on the courtyard side. The wide windows and glazed doors on both the north and south sides have black aluminium frames.
This level houses a room spanning approx. 205 m². Perfectly converted, it is installed with a heated, 12x5 m swimming pool and an open-plan kitchen, also used as a bar. Another room is fitted with a sauna and a shower room and toilet. A winding, wooden stairway goes upstairs. The floor is tiled and the walls are painted white. Underfloor heating.
A bright reception room spans a surface area of approx. 190 m². It has parquet flooring throughout and its roofing framework is exposed.
The guest house and barn
In the same vein as the other outbuildings, this rectangular, stone building is covered with light-coloured rendering. Its gable roof is covered with old tiles. Brick surrounds frame the openings. The gable wall adjoins a small, lower section as well as a second turret. These premises, divided into two sections, stand perpendicular to the restored barn.
Spanning a surface area of approx. 138 m², the barn features two large stable doors and is used for storing gardening equipment. It also provides access to the large reception room. The ridge is approx. 7.8 m high.
The guest house
This guest house spans a surface area of approx. 476 m² over two levels. It could be divided into several flats. All the windows look out over the property entrance or the orchard and the meadows.
The first level, spanning approx. 277 m², houses numerous living rooms, three fitted kitchens and a toilet. The floors are covered either with terracotta tiles or tiling. A fireplace. The walls are lined with wallpaper or painted white.
The second level spans a surface area of approx. 199 m². A landing room provides access to a bedroom and a study in the tower. A corridor, lined with a wardrobe, leads to five bedrooms, one of which has a shower room and toilet, two shower rooms and a toilet. The floors are covered with strip pattern parquet flooring. It is currently undergoing decoration works.
To this can be added two small, “machine” outbuildings, a covered area, a bread oven, five horse loose boxes and a little caretaker’s cottage.
This property, reflecting perfect unity in an unusual, restful universe, awaits bold, future projects. “The weight of history” has great meaning here, the premises being so inspiring: by the waterside, there where all human adventures began. Interior decorators will find a great source of inspiration and the natural surroundings where flora and fauna exalt will delight all kinds of nature enthusiasts. Although not completely secluded, this property enjoys a certain tranquillity. It has no major works to be carried out and remains within easy reach of the French capital.
|Land registry surface area||24 ha 96 a 14 ca|
|Main building surface area||700 m2|
|Outbuilding surface area||1208 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||8|
Dalila Bessahli +33 1 42 84 80 85
NB: The above information is not only the result of our visit to the property; it is also based on information provided by the current owner. It is by no means comprehensive or strictly accurate especially where surface areas and construction dates are concerned. We cannot, therefore, be held liable for any misrepresentation.