emblematic of the town, on an estate of more than 4.5 ha
On the edge of the old pirate town, bordered by its legendary ramparts looking down on the Emerald Coastline, with its thousands of blue and green hues that vary in keeping with the seasons and the tides. This dynamic town bustles with cafés, shops and restaurants, alongside the beaches and the marina. All infrastructures, a TGV train station, with 2¼-hour links to Paris, and a ferry port can be reached in a few minutes by car. Rennes, Brittany’s county town, and its international airport are an hour’s drive away. This estate is in a quiet setting, just a stone’s throw from local shops.
The entire estate has come down through the centuries with the spirit of a leisure residence for the large families of local ship owners, sea captains and traders still intact. Constructed in a classical style in the 17th century, during a period of change between Louis XIII and Louis XIV, this house was one of the first country houses of its type to be built. The prosperity of merchants at this time inspired keen interest in a new form of architecture meeting the requirements of holiday havens as well as those of food-production, luxury, reception and communication. Théophile-Briant described it very well: “Saint-Malo was bursting with wealth inside its tight corset of perimeter walls”. These country houses made it possible to retreat, in a perimeter of some 15 kilometres (about an hour on horseback), from the townhouses within the walls of the old pirate town where the professional marine activities took place. This “malouinière” is constructed from local stone and its walls lime-rendered, with some of the quoins left exposed. The symmetry of the original building layout has been modified by extensions added to the gable walls. The naturally sober, front facade is now marked by a little annexe wing and its oculus. A square tower adjoins the rear facade. Both sides of the buildings feature three regular bays. The main facade, receiving the most sunshine, provides living rooms and bedrooms with optimal luminosity. The main entrance door has a semi-circular arch and all the openings are framed with dressed granite stone surrounds. The house gets its elegance from its slate roof, featuring granite dormers with arched and moulded pediments. The roofs give an originality which breaks with the conformity of the building, their hip shape giving the impression of crowning “towers”. Two small pavilion dormers on the gable are topped with very pointed spires and a finial. The house facades, its roofs and its interior stairway are all on the French Historic Monument list.
The house’s arched doorway leads into a vestibule, with a cathedral ceiling and a monumental, dual-flight stairway, with wrought pear-shaped balusters. The marine carpenter who created this wooden work of art cleverly made holes in the risers. The partitions enclosing the area under the first flights of steps are worked in a geometrical style; a door has been included to provide access to the cellar. The floor is laid with two-tone tiles, diagonally laid in a chessboard pattern. Two sets of double, glazed doors on either side of the stairway and the tall upstairs windows, let copious amounts of light into this central room of the house. The entrance hall leads, on one side, to a vast lounge, enhanced with strip pattern parquet flooring, a granite fireplace, wainscoting and large picture windows, with a view of the facing parklands. It opens, on a gable, on to a sunny terrace, surrounded by gardens. One of the alcoves, set in the walls, conceals a piece of wood which was manoeuvred, in olden times, to block the doors on this level. On the other side of the entrance hall, a dining room features wide strip, solid, wooden parquet flooring, studded with forged nails, and an exposed beam system. It is extended by the side wing of the house containing a kitchen, with numerous cupboards, an adjoining pantry, followed by a toilet. The exposed, red and gold-coloured beam system blends with the inlaid decoration of the tiled floor. The dining room also communicates with a second lounge, a room which was originally the kitchen. The decoration is composed of warm coloured panelling. A little bread oven is discreetly set in one corner of the original fireplace, with its raised stone hearth and its granite lintel and corbels. All the rooms on this level intercommunicate with one another via original, Louis XIII style, solid oak wood doors, bearing the patina of time and featuring dressed stone surrounds.
Two hall areas provide access on either side to two spacious bedrooms and their bathrooms. The walls are lined with fabrics depicting scenes reminiscent of the times of the East India Company and the height of Saint-Malo’s commercial dealings. A study, lined with tall bookshelf units, provides access to the attic space. Luminosity and soberness are omnipresent throughout this level, together with parquet flooring and exposed beams.
This level is taken up by four bedrooms, an anteroom, two shower rooms, with toilets, and two bathrooms. It is illuminated via roof dormers, looking out over the gardens. A hanging stairway and its walkway lead to a last mezzanine bedroom. The roofing framework reveals a tracery of beams, intermingled with the structure of the mezzanine, giving the feeling of being fastened to the top of a ship’s mast.
A traditional, long farmhouse, constructed from granite quarry blocks and topped with a slate roof, is enhanced with climbing roses and bordered by lavender bushes. Standing at right angles to the main house, it has been converted into a guest house comprising a lounge, with a fireplace, a dormitory, games rooms as well as a bathroom and a shower room, with toilets. The most beautiful original features have been preserved. The rooms have high ceilings, enhanced with exposed beam systems. This traditional, long farmhouse also has a double garage, a boiler room, a summer kitchen, a storage room and a linen room. Behind it, sheltered by high stone walls surrounded by a row of boxwood, a vast relaxation area has been laid out around a swimming pool. An alleyway then leads to a tennis court in a verdant setting and to a workshop, where gardening equipment can be stored. Concealed in the parklands and laid out around a 19th century greenhouse, several garden sheds provide extensive storage space. Two wells make the property self-sufficient as regards water.
The estate, beyond the trimmed flowerbeds around the main house, is crossed by rectilinear alleyways and promenades in the shade of the rows of hornbeam that delimit the large lawns. The numerous points of view and vistas have been carefully designed. A cloister of lime trees faces a grassy area, planted with pyramid-shaped oak, birch and magnolia trees, dotted with several Judas trees. A rose garden and a flower-covered arbour are ideal for daydreaming, ornamental stone pools provide a touch of coolness. Meticulously kept boxwood hedges delimit a variety of ambiances. Hydrangea and rose bushes are elegantly dotted throughout the estate. The orchard is planted with apple, pear, apricot, peach, cherry and fig as well as Mirabelle and other plum trees. Tall trees grow throughout the parklands, providing much-appreciated shade for the summer months. A vast meadow is on the edge of the estate.
Visitors immediately fall under the charm of these premises. This “malouinière” still reflects its original splendour. All the buildings have come down through the ages so as to appear timeless. The parklands and the house have been pampered for 25 years. Every feature has undergone quality works in the aim of integrating the modern-day home comforts and facilities suited to a main residence. The well-exposed house is extremely luminous. All of its numerous openings provide vistas. The layout of the buildings and the garden exudes elegance and symmetry, to which can be added several novel features. The harmony here appears obvious: a symbiotic character links the parklands and the house, creating an invitation for new owners to live away from the hustle and bustle, without any feelings of isolation.
|Land registry surface area||4 ha 57 a 65 ca|
|Main building surface area||350 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||7|
|Outbuilding surface area||300 m2|
|including refurbished area||150 m2|
Béatrice Viel +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.