8 km from Valognes and the beaches on the Cotentin Peninsula
This property is in a land of bocage countryside, between the Saire Valley, its little fishing ports and Utah-Beach, a historic place and memorial of the last world war. Valognes and its train station are 10 minutes away. Paris can be reached in three hours by train or by road. Shops, beaches and a golf course are just a few kilometres away.
The 15th & 16th century manor house
This manor, constructed from quarry stone blocks and granite, bears witness to the Cotentin Peninsula’s late flamboyant gothic style architecture. It is composed of two buildings, separated by an impressive round stairway tower. The latter is flanked by a watch-turret and preceded by a wide, semi-circular porch, accessed via a dozen steps. The 15th century building is laid out in an L-shape and spans but one upper floor and attic space. Spanning an additional floor, the other building dates from the 16th century. This main building, with no through rooms, features tall, casement windows.
The 15th century building can be reached via the courtyard and the stairway tower. The slightly arched door opens into a kitchen, with a monumental fireplace, the dressed stone lintel of which, supported by two stone pillars, extends the full width of the room. The floor is paved with large stone tiles. An old stone “potager” (a secondary hearth where soups and other previously prepared dishes were cooked on embers) is still in place under a window. The kitchen provides access, on one side, to a vestibule which, in turn, leads to a shower room and, after a flight of steps, to the stairway tower. On the other side are a room, with a door to the garden, and a straight stairway going up to the second level. Following on, a vestibule gives access to two rooms, one of which features a large stone fireplace. Beams and joists are exposed throughout.
The ground floor section of the Renaissance building is used for cellar and storage purposes. It can also be reached from the outside via a door in the centre of the house. It is dimly illuminated by small rectangular windows and has a packed mud floor as well as a low ceiling.
The straight stairway goes to two adjoining rooms, illuminated by tall windows. A fireplace and its moulded, stone chimney breast heat the first room, set in the corner of the 15th century house. The second gives access to a vast area with a very high, sloping ceiling, laid out above the outbuildings.
On the same level and above the kitchen of the 15th century house, a door in the stairway tower opens into a single-depth room, illuminated via tall windows. It features strip pattern parquet flooring, exposed beams and joists as well as a stone fireplace.
The tower provides access to the floors in the 16th century house. A door opens into three adjoining rooms. Single-depth, they have stone fireplaces and strip pattern parquet flooring. They are illuminated via tall casement windows. The beams here are also exposed. The last room has been converted into a chapel, with windows looking out over the garden.
This level in the 16th century house comprises a large, single-depth lounge, illuminated via six large windows. A low door provides access to the attic, laid out above the biggest of the outbuildings.
The tower houses a spiral stairway, with wide stone steps. It is illuminated via windows with ogee lintels. Both the tower and the watch-turret are topped with slate, candlesnuffer roofs. The stairway, which also goes up to the attic space, leads to a sentry box, with a fireplace, topped with a room, enclosed with wooden facing. A little, spiral, stone stairway leads to a second look-out room in the watch-turret. An ideal place from which to observe the countryside stretching to the horizon.
The outbuildings delimit the square courtyard. They are composed of cowsheds, barns, one of which has an outside stone stairway, a press-house, a woodstore, a “charretterie”, where carriages were once stored, and a stable, with three horse loose boxes. A wash-house adjoins the entrance porchway, with arched carriage and pedestrian gates. A stone well marks the centre of the courtyard.
Laid out on the other side of the moat and reached via a grassy bridge, it features the codes of medieval herb gardens, modernised with mixed flowerbeds. A few fruit trees as well as the usual palm trees bear witness to the mildness of the climate on the Cotentin Peninsula. A stone well marks its centre. Watering is made easier by a little river that runs alongside and feeds the moat.
Some twenty or so hectares of bocage meadows as well as a pond complete this property.
With its moat and its impressive tower adjoined by a watch-turret, this stronghold is hardly making a mystery of its original defensive vocation. But in the 15th century, the Middle-Ages were coming to an end and the manor was already leaning towards the Renaissance style. As of this time, the main building featuring wide openings provided its owners with comfort and light. Although the roofs as well as the door and window frames are now renovated, restoration works are still required for the vast interior rooms, where exposed stone walls resound with the echoes of an age-old history. The outbuildings could also eventually be used to significantly increase the living space. As in the days of the lords, the view from the top of the tower, sheltered from the arrow-loops, takes in the estate’s land, currently free of tenants.
|Land registry surface area||21 ha 70 a 90 ca|
|Main building surface area||500 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||6|
|Outbuilding surface area||800 m2|
Jean Gatellier +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.