A surprising holiday home for bishops in a village
on the banks of the river Charente near to Angoulême
, CHARENTE poitou-charentes FR

Location

This property, easy to access, is but 5 minutes from the N10 linking Bordeaux, Angoulême and Poitiers, putting it 4½ hours from Paris by road. 20 minutes from Angoulême TGV train station, with 2-hour links to Paris. The landscape around Angoulême is composed of meadows, fields and numerous copses. It features a wealth of hamlets and bustling villages as well as outstanding churches and houses, with origins dating back to the 12th century, just like this building standing on the edge of a square in a village on the banks of the river Charente. The luminosity characteristic of the region illuminates the dressed limestone and quarry blocks, materials used to construct most of the houses in the local area.

Description

This property, on the edge of the village square, can be reached either via the garden gates near to the church or, for cars a little further along the street, via the carriage gates set in a monumental, dressed stone entranceway, providing access to the property via a bamboo grove. This L-shaped chateau forms a patio with the church, to which it is closely linked.
The main facade extends at right angles to the latter’s entrance steps. The roofs are covered with the Roman tiles that are typical of the region. The main, Renaissance-style facade spans three levels. A projection, taking up half of the facade, is topped with a curved pediment and features two bays with large rectangular openings. The other section of the facade also features two bays of openings. The window sills are extended horizontally by one string course, whilst a second represents the division between the floors. The vertical lines are enhanced by protruding dressed stone quoins and window architraves. The garden includes a bamboo grove and numerous tall trees as well as an orchard. An above-ground swimming pool and its terrace are set at a distance from the house. Some 5,000 m² of meadow gives free rein to any development projects.

The chateau


Ground floor
One of the entrances provides access to the oldest section dating from the 12th century. A few stone steps go down to some astonishingly wide walls that form the base for the arch crowning the living room, with its fireplace typical of the local style. Said fireplace is flanked by two windows illuminating the room. The packed mud floor is laid with very small stones, bearing the patina of time, a traditional paving known as “cœurs de demoiselles”. On one side is a fitted kitchen whilst, on the other, a door opens into a large vaulted cellar. The second entrance, also with “cœurs de demoiselles” paving, opens into a corridor, providing access, left, to a vaulted room and, right, to a room, with its white marble fireplace, followed in turn by a bathroom, enhanced with a corner alcove laid out on the same side as the church, the entrance to which can be seen from the window. The wide stairway is illuminated by large windows and an arched door leading to the patio.
First floor
The monumental stairway, reminiscent of Italy, goes up to the first and second floors. It is worthy of note that certain heavily worn steps have been turned around. Extremely bright, it is on the patio side, between the property and the church. The grey of the doors contrasts with the overall clarity. This level, taken up by vast rooms, has 4.50 m high ceilings. The landing leads to a first door, opening into the former bishop’s bedroom via a little hall area forming an alcove for the room which is enhanced by a fireplace and parquet flooring laid in a Versailles pattern. The room, now used as a dining room, adjoins a kitchen with terracotta floor tiles. Said kitchen features a window next to the church entrance and an alcove via which the clergymen could take part in the church services. A lounge, spanning almost 80 m², is made very bright by its large, Renaissance-style windows. It can be reached either via the dining room or via the landing. This room, also laid with Versailles pattern parquet flooring, communicates with a room housing a billiard table, set on a floor tiled in a chessboard pattern with white stone inlaid with slate. In a corner, on the patio side, a small toilet has been fitted with a wash-hand basin. The billiard room opens into a large bedroom, the corners of which are rounded on the garden side. A cupboard has been installed in one of them. From there, a bathroom opens on to the patio terrace via a French window.
Second floor
More than 200 m² await conversion. This level also has very high ceilings and is extremely bright. It could accommodate four or five large bedrooms.
Outbuilding
This building spans a surface area of approx. 200 m². Taking the form of a traditional, long farmhouse, without a roof and featuring a floor paved with old stones to be uncovered, it is but waiting to be revamped. A bread oven is in need of restoration. An old laundry room still has its “ponne”, an enormous stone vat used for washing purposes.
Garden
The main building and the walls of the outbuildings are surrounded by trees of all sizes, enhancing parklands spanning almost 4,500 m², with, in the background, on the west side, a sparse bamboo grove by the car entrance. Said grove further delimits the neighbouring properties. At the end of the orchard, an above-ground swimming pool and its terrace have been installed. Beyond, a meadow spanning almost 5,500 m² gives free rein to any landscaping or development projects.

Our opinion

Worthy of being called a chateau because of its architecture, both inside and out, this house stands in a quiet village on the banks of the river Charente. The fact that it adjoins the church makes it very unusual. Future owners will benefit from the age-old aspect of the premises which could possibly be given French Historic Monument listing. In addition to the 450 m² of living space, the second floor of the main building, spanning more than 200 m², gives free rein to the imagination as regards conversion projects such as a vast artist’s studio, an atrium, etc. The same can be said for the outbuildings.

745 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense


See the fee rates

Reference 865907

Land registry surface area 9299 m2
Main building surface area 650 m2
Number of bedrooms 6

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Consultant


Ariel Dormeau +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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