A Directoire-style chateau and its 1,100 m² of outbuildings in 5 ha of parklands
180 km from Paris in the region known as Pays-d’Auge-Ornais
Argentan, PARIS lower-normandy 61200 FR

Location

In the south of the Pays-d'Auge region, Chambois plain, on the edge of Gouffern Forest, is dotted with villages with a large number of chateaux. This property is not far from the A88 and the A28 motorways, leading to Caen, Rouen and Le-Mans. Argentan, with its train station, large shops and all useful infrastructures, is 15 minutes away. The station provides 1⅔-hour train links to Paris. Local shops are to be found in a village just a few kilometres way.

Description

The road winds its way through the bocage countryside on the edge of the forest and leads to a set of gates. Two driveways, lined with centuries-old trees, go around a vast lawn and a pond before meeting up in front of the chateau’s main facade. The outbuildings, laid out at the back, include
large stables facing the caretaker’s cottage with its vegetable garden. A sheepfold, a pigsty, a “charretterie” where carriages were once kept, and a dovecote are surrounded by vast grassy areas, enclosed by thick hedges. All the buildings stand amidst 5 hectares of parklands.

The chateau

This chateau, constructed as a rectangular building topped with a hip slate roof in the 18th century, was initially extended during the Directoire era. A large extension, intended as reception rooms, was constructed along one facade. During the Restoration era, three bays were redesigned on the opposite facade to form an imitation central projection, topped with a triangular pediment. A large, tall opening was created, preceded by a porch, reached via a flight of wide steps. An orangery has flanked a gable wall from the very beginning. The chateau is constructed from lime-rendered, quarry stone blocks. The 18th century section spans four levels, one of which is under rafters, and the facades feature windows aligned in seven bays. The Directoire-style section spans two levels and features four bays. Dressed stone was used for the quoins and pilasters as well as the framing surrounding the openings. The pediment tympanum features a semi-circular arched opening. The chateau spans more than 800 m².


Garden level
Facing the vestibule, a dining room with corner wooden cupboards, is enhanced with a white Carrara marble fireplace, topped with a trumeau mirror, adorned with floral motifs. The floor tiles are laid in a chessboard pattern. A corridor separates the two dining rooms. Wide French windows open on to a garden terrace. There is an adjoining kitchen. The orangery, with its pivoting glass panels, awaits renovation. The other rustic, family kitchen, its floor paved with hexagonal terracotta tiles, adjoins a boot room, a laundry room and a utility room.
First floor
A door on the first-floor landing opens into a private flat composed of a study-library, a bedroom and a spacious bathroom. Opposite, a vast reception room is illuminated via wide openings. It communicates with a music room via double coffered doors, topped with a pediment. The floor is laid with herringbone pattern parquet flooring. A window, above the marble fireplace, gives a view of the parklands. Wainscoting as well as ceiling cornices and roses enhance both these rooms. A third opening provides access to a bright flat, comprising three bedrooms and a bathroom. It is flooded with light via windows overlooking the parklands.
Second floor
A ceiling dome, featuring opalescent glass reinforced with metal, filters the light directly above the stairway. The flight of oak wood steps is protected by wrought iron railings. Laid out on either side of a long corridor, six bedrooms and two bathrooms, with toilets, share this floor. The entire surface area of the attic space is illuminated via skylights.
The parklands
The driveways in the parklands encircle the chateau and are lined with trees, hundreds of years old. On each side of the porch, wide beds are filled with old rose bushes blooming in front of a pond, planted with waterlilies and surrounded by lawn. A rose climbs the wrought iron winch of a stone well. Apple, plum, pear and cherry trees are grown in a conservation orchard, taking up the left-hand section of the parklands, in order to save and develop the local fruit heritage.
Meadows
The property includes two hectares of natural meadows, either adjoining the parklands or facing the chateau from the other side of the country lane.

The outbuildings

Standing at a distance from and at right angles to the main house, a vast, stone hay barn spans 400 m² over two levels. The wall is enhanced with a set of raised quarry stone blocks. The roof is covered with terracotta tiles. The adjoining stables, able to accommodate eight horses, still have their period manger. The stone arch of the central porchway is supported by a keystone. Bird nesting boxes with perches are set in the facade. A little door provides access to some surprising vaulted cellars, just waiting to house vintage wines. On either side of the barn, two sets of double doors, with sandstone quarry block arches, close the garages. Two dressed pillars support the arched pediment of a dormer on the roof above. Behind, a pigsty and a dovecote await restoration works to give them a new vocation. The 145 m² caretaker’s cottage is but waiting for future guests.

Our opinion

This soberly elegant chateau is a very good example of the Directoire style. Its dimensions and the size of its outbuildings could be found impressive. Such is the paradox of the nature of this house which, still with its wealth of features from the past, voluntarily reflects an architectural soberness. Nowadays, the character of a family home takes pride of place in these positively quiet surroundings, where old house equates with light. Water and vegetation define new areas of living space. This chateau is mirrored in the water of the pond, in a setting with grasslands stretching for as far as the eye can see.

910 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense


See the fee rates

Reference 961205

Land registry surface area 6 ha 13 a 41 ca
Main building surface area 800 m2
Outbuilding surface area 1000 m2
dont aménagées150
Number of bedrooms 12

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Consultant


Sandrine Torossian +33 1 42 84 80 85

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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.

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