A listed, 13th century chateau and its outbuildings, including 9 flats,
with 3 ha of parklands bordered by a river, in a village in the Auge Country
Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives, CALVADOS lower-normandy 14170 FR

Location

In a region renowned for its architecture and its undulating landscape, this property is less than 200 km from Paris and 35 km from the “Côte Fleurie” (Coast of Flowers). Lisieux, its train station and all the infrastructures of a town with 20,000 inhabitants are 25 km away. The train provides 1¾-hour links to Paris. The village is 2 km from a town typical of the Auge Country, famous for its cheeses, with all local shops and amenities.

Description

Carriage gates and a pedestrian gateway, both flanked by large outbuildings, open off a village street into a grassy courtyard. Standing facing it are the chateau and its tower, both listed as French Historic Monuments. This courtyard is totally enclosed by buildings. Car access is a little further down the street, on the corner of a wing, converted into nine flats and bordered by private areas. Parklands behind the chateau slope down to the old millrace and the river.

The chateau

The origins of this construction date back to the 13th century. It still features most of its primitive structure, despite having been redesigned in the 16th and 19th centuries. The 16th century carriage gates and pedestrian gateway, with their drop arches, are set in a dressed stone wall and open into a vast courtyard, delimited by buildings. Vast farm buildings extend at right angles on either side. At the end stand the two houses with their many openings. Regularly spaced, these are geminated, feature basket-handle arches and are surrounded with prismatic moulding. A stone string course enhances the first floor, illuminated via wide, moulded stone casement windows. Protruding buttresses break the straight lines of the walls. A late 15th century stairway tower, set where the two buildings meet, is polygonal in shape. Protruding, it spans three levels, illuminated via drop arch windows, with moulding. The upper section of the tower becomes square in shape by means of squinches. A stone gable, with slopes adorned with curly leaves with two lions, completes a saddleback roof. In a corner of the courtyard and adjoining the porchway, an old medieval door has been transformed into a stairway. It is topped with a gothic arch and flanked by two massive columns, crowned with capitals with floral decor. In the 19th century, a building was extended in a corner by a neo-gothic pavilion which creates a link with a wing of outbuildings. The rear facade of the house features new openings. A porch, topped with a balcony, has been built in line with the turret on the parklands side.
All the buildings are constructed from quarry stone blocks under gable roofs (the neo-gothic pavilion has a hip roof) covered with flat tiles. The quoins, the string courses and the surrounds framing the openings are all made of dressed stone. The windows are rectangular. Those which were redesigned in the 19th century have basket-handle arches. The roofs feature tall, drop-arched roof dormers. Buttresses, most with two shoulders, flank the walls. A brick terrace runs alongside the chateau and the wing housing the flats.


Ground floor
The richly moulded entrance door is set in the tower housing the spiral stone stairway. A drop-arched opening, adorned with sculpted animals, leads to a vast living room, notably illuminated via the large openings of the 19th century loggia. The floor is paved with old white tiles with black inlaid decoration. The lintel of a monumental, sculpted dressed stone fireplace, rests on column-shaped jambs. It now houses a wood-burning storage heater. The walls are covered with imitation, hammered Cordoue leather, above neo-gothic wainscoting, heavily inspired by the medieval era. The beams and joists are painted and rest on sculpted stone corbels. Facing the entrance door, a wide, oak wood stairway goes upstairs. Also inspired by the neo-gothic era, it is richly carved.
A second, adjoining lounge, with identical flooring, has exposed quarry stone block walls and a monumental dressed stone fireplace. And lastly, a study where the walls are covered with panelling as well as bookshelf units and the floor laid with herringbone pattern parquet flooring. Another wood-burning stove is installed in this fireplace.
On the other side, a kitchen is greatly illuminated via two large sliding windows. The floor is paved with large contemporary stone tiles, the walls feature exposed brick or quarry stone blocks, the beams and joists are painted and a wide fireplace is made of dressed stone. Two sets of small, light columns, with ornate capitals, support corbels with ogee moulding, on which rests a wide stone lintel. Following on, a back kitchen has been laid out in an old cellar. A semi-circular arched window has been created.

First floor
This level can be reached via the wooden stairway in the lounge and the spiral stairway in the tower. They lead to a landing, separated in two by a few steps. The floors are covered with strip pattern parquet flooring. On one side, a corridor provides access to three bedrooms (one of which has a shower room), a library, a toilet and a hall area. One set of double, wooden doors opens on to an outside stairway, not far from the tower, and another opens into an old bathroom. On the other side, a corridor provides access to two large bedrooms. One of the latter communicates with the balcony above the loggia via a wide basket-handle arched opening. At the end of the corridor, a door opens into a small flat. A kitchen area has been laid out in the hall area with three openings leading to a bathroom, a bedroom and a back stairway, housed in the neo-gothic pavilion.
Second floor
The wooden stairway goes up to a landing, illuminated via a lightwell, followed by a corridor leading to five bedrooms. This level has sloping ceilings. Furthermore, the spiral stairway in the tower gives access to the attics in this building. These are vast areas where the outstanding, 16th century roofing framework is exposed. A door opens on to the back stairway which goes to the flats in the neo-gothic pavilion.

The outbuildings

These are large areas, spanning a floor surface area of approx. 600 m² laid out over two levels, in the old farm building facing the chateau and in the wing set at right angles (opposite the wing housing the flats). Their walls feature large carriage doors and windows, some of which are arched.
Two large areas on the second floor of the wing housing the flats, reached via the medieval stairway, have been converted for use as artist’s studios (approx. 135 m² and 48 m²). The trusses of the 16th century roofing framework have been left exposed. A wooden stairway goes to a mezzanine, with a kitchen area, where a door opens into a vast area, with a very high ridge. This has been meticulously restored as a bright living room, heated via a central brick fireplace. The floor is laid with strip pattern parquet flooring.

The rental units

A wing and the neo-gothic pavilion have been converted into nine flats intended for rental purpose. All the openings face the exterior of the property.
On the ground floor:
A 3-roomed flat spanning a floor surface area of approx. 83 m²,
A studio flat spanning a floor surface area of approx. 32 m²,
A 2-roomed flat spanning a floor surface area of approx. 54 m²,
A 4-roomed flat spanning a floor surface area of approx. 75 m².
On the first floor:
A 2-storey flat spanning a floor surface area of approx. 38 m²,
A 3-roomed flat spanning a floor surface area of approx. 70 m²,
A 3-roomed flat spanning a floor surface area of approx.67 m² undergoing renovation.
On the second floor:
A 3-roomed flat spanning a floor surface area of approx. 53 m²,
A 3-roomed flat spanning a floor surface area of approx. 54 m².

The parklands

The parklands, behind the chateau, are surrounded by hedges, composed of shrubs and tall trees, as well as the river. They are crossed by the old diversion canal. Plane trees, hundreds of years old, isolated or in clumps, fir, chestnut and lime trees are mixed with apple and cherry trees.
The large expanses of lawn are bordered by shrubs.

Our opinion

Varied contrasts make this an unusual property. The enclosed courtyard is austere to the point of being severe, the architecture sober and measured. It inspires protection and confidence. In comparison, the parklands, concealed behind the chateau, are open and cheerful. Centuries-old plane trees appear to be watching over the large lawns, crossed by channels, dotted with landscaped areas and crisscrossed with pathways going down to the river. The chateau facade is cheerier on this side. Large windows were created in the 19th century and a peristyle adjoined to the centre to let in copious amounts of light. The rooms in the chateau are spacious, the outbuildings extensive and, above all, the rental section is completely separate.

2 280 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense


See the fee rates

Reference 648248

Land registry surface area 3 ha 27 a 39 ca
Main building surface area 540 m2
Number of bedrooms 8
Outbuilding surface area 800 m2
including refurbished area500 m2

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Consultant
Caen region


Yann Campion +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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