A stone house, with a panoramic view,
in a village near to Mount Ventoux
Saint-Christol, VAUCLUSE provence-cote-dazur 84390 FR

Location

This tastefully restored, stone house was constructed on the vestiges of the ramparts and the old castle, dating from the 11th century, in the historic centre of a village, now the capital of lavender and a starting point for climbing the famous Mount Ventoux, a village with all shops, ideally located between Carpentras and Apt. Flanked by one of the old rampart towers, still intact, and by several terraces, it looks out over natural, awe-inspiring scenery composed of lavender fields and cultivated fields as well as Mount Ventoux which, decked in ephemeral snow in winter, is illuminated in the summer with splashes of colour worthy of an impressionist painting. The westward view from the terraces takes in what remains of the large, old garden that belonged to the seigneurial property. This tranquil, unspoilt setting is almost in the midst of the Luberon mountains, 1¼ hours from Avignon train station, with all shops and schools within walking distance.

Description

This translation includes some history taken from the excellent text written by Mrs Elisabeth Sauze, published by Alpes-de-Lumières in the book entitled “Pays de Sault et d’Albion”, completed by the current owners, history buffs themselves, a text which accurately describes the oldest section of the house:
“a small, rectangular building, comprising a basement level (meat store or salting room), a ground floor raised by eight steps dubbed “the green room”, probably so called because of a painted wall decoration dating from the 15th century, (now a lounge), and another floor (now the main suite), transformed into a house. This building has lost its lower floor, its wooden flooring and its original facade; but it is still possible to see the splayed casement window and the wonderful fireplace, its lintel featuring rounded quoins, in what is now the lounge. Above the wall emerges the base of a dressed stone fireplace, composed of a square chimney stack and a narrower, round chimney pot, connected by a glacis and both crowned by a wide cornice. In the round tower which flanks the north-west corner and which was once called the “little bell tower” remain two small rooms one above the other, each connected to the wall-walk of the adjoining curtain wall by a little corridor, its ceiling composed of stone paving; the upstairs room has lost its cupola; both still feature the long slits of their arrow-loops, their urinals, a window with a passageway set in the wall and a latrine.”
Two fireplaces, very similar to those of Fargues Castle in Le-Pontet (Vaucluse) and dating from the 14th century, share the same structure both inside and outside which, according to the current owner, indicates that the buildings were very probably constructed by the same builder. The hearths were closed by double wooden doors, which was undoubtably the case for the fireplace in what is now the lounge as the site of the hinges still remains.
It is highly probably that the old section of the house existed well before the fortification works were undertaken since the tower, when constructed, blocked a window that can still be seen in what is now the bedroom. As for the so-called “little bell tower”, legend has it that its rooms were used in the 1950’s by the village butcher who dried his sausages there. Round openings have been made in the lower arrow-loop, no doubt so that culverins (long, thin canons) could be used. Furthermore, the recent section, adjoining the oldest section, was probably constructed in the 18th century. Although exact details concerning its construction and its function are not known, it was probably used as a sheepfold. The latter did, however, make it possible to preserve what was the external facade of the old section. It is also possible that the rest of the stone-lined road that ran alongside the castle ramparts is underneath it.

The house

The reasoned layout of this house, with approx. 220 m² of living space spanning two levels built over a cellar, is easy to move around and harmoniously separates communal and private areas. An old entrance door opens off the narrow street into a vast vestibule, featuring marble flooring and walls with stucco decoration, thus giving a touch of modernity to this history-filled property which comprises:

In the south wing:
• a very bright lounge, formerly “the green room”, spanning approx. 30 m², enhanced with a monumental fireplace, extended by a balcony corridor providing access to a little terrace, overlooking the valley, and to the tower, where its stone ceilings, its window seats and its cannon loops are still intact;
• a marble stairway, illuminated via stained-glass windows, provides access to the main suite, with a bathroom and toilet, which is also linked to a balcony corridor, preceding the tower which could be converted into a music room, a library or a study.

In the north-west wing:
• a living-dining area, spanning approx. 38 m², dominated by the tower, with a spectacular cathedral ceiling featuring its superb exposed roofing framework and enhanced with a second monumental, dressed stone fireplace similar to that of Fargues Castle. The room opens into a very bright, fitted kitchen, spanning approx. 25 m² and featuring a stone worksurface, which opens on to a vast, north-west facing terrace; it further includes a back kitchen-laundry room reached via a second entrance door off the street.
• upstairs, a lounge-library laid out on a mezzanine, looking down on to the dining room, is extended by two bedrooms, respectively facing west and north, as well as a shower room and toilet.

In the basement:
• a storeroom, an oil-fired boiler. It is worthy of note that the restored section has underfloor heating. Access to a little, private “priest’s” garden, spanning approx. 60 m².

The outbuildings

A large, detached, lock-up garage, spanning approx. 40 m², opposite in the narrow street.
An artist’s studio spanning approx. 17 m².
In the basement: a cellar, a boiler room, an area housing the oil tank and a workshop spanning approx. 12 m².

Our opinion

The density and the thickness of the stone, the openings cleverly calculated so that light and heat meet the daily requirements expected by humans: the delicate balance to be found here is the product of a land of sunshine and deep colours. Violent splashes of light shatter against the walls. The interior, therefore, exudes a pleasant, comfortable atmosphere despite the contrast of the sometimes-severe harshness of the winters and the burning hot summers in this land of Giono. An equilibrium and an enjoyable way of life are nevertheless present. Nothing can compare with the pleasure of settling in the embrasure of a window or on a terrace in order to observe nature and the infinite variations of its colours in keeping with the changing seasons, the summit of Mount Ventoux, giant of Provence, completely covered with its white stone sometimes interpreted as snow, bringing a smile to the lips of the locals, or the little pleasures of village life. The simplicity and the authenticity of the materials and the privacy of the rooms immediately make this house welcoming. Time, heritage of the long history of the premises, appears to be standing ever still, and yet the pleasant, harmonious way of life goes on.

795 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense


See the fee rates

Reference 248550

Land registry surface area 276 m2
Main building surface area 220 m2
Number of bedrooms 3
Outbuilding surface area 85 m2

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Consultant


Fabienne Pillard +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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