An elegant, 18th century house and its outbuildings
in a 54-ha, verdant setting, in the French department of Lot-et-Garonne
Lafitte-sur-Lot, LOT-ET-GARONNE aquitaine 47320 FR

Location

In the area known as Pays-de-Serre, near to the Dordogne and Landes departments as well as the Quercy region. Just a short distance from Agen, where a TGV train station provides 190-minute links to Paris.
The A62 motorway, also near, provides access to Bordeaux or Toulouse in just 75 minutes.
Local history is marked by the One-Hundred-Years-War, fought in part over the nearby Bastide town of Saint-Sardos.
The surrounding countryside is unspoilt and fortunately still exudes its rural character. The region has a wealth of heritage and a strong identity.

Description

This house, standing at the end of a little lane, bears sole witness to a hamlet, no longer in existence; a location that makes it appear timeless. The oldest sections of the house perhaps witnessed the long period of conflict that so divided the south-west of France.
Wrought iron gates, flanked by two stone pillars topped with spheres, open into a garden, enclosed by a laurel hedge. Higher up, adjoining the wall of a round tower, a narrow postern with a decorated stone lintel is the vestige of the old entrance. It now opens on to the garden and a sandy courtyard that enhances the facade’s regular stone walls: a central building, extended by two slightly lower wings. The high, Mansard-style roof, covering all three, gives them unity. Two flights of stone steps lead from the entrance courtyard to a terrace on a lower level which runs along the south side of the house. The areas laid to lawn are enhanced with gravel alleyways that lead eastwards to a little house, standing a short distance away. Another flight of steps goes to a third terrace, by a swimming pool. A chalet on one side houses the pool machinery and changing rooms.
Even further down and concealed by a hedge of trees are the farm buildings. (This large property was, in fact, used for raising cattle, sheep and horses.) Still in use for a little while longer, these buildings could, in the future, easily house a function activity or be converted into a horse-riding centre. There is already an ideal spot for a schooling arena.

The chateau

The main building, constructed over a cellar and spanning two levels, is topped with a Mansard-style roof, flanked to the north by a round tower, with a candlesnuffer roof and a pavilion in the south-west corner.


Ground floor
The classical layout of the entrance facade looks out over the courtyard via three French windows. On either side of a central dining room are a large kitchen and a study. The kitchen is, without doubt, the oldest section of the house, as is shown by its very large, stone fireplace, with its little brick lintel, and an old, nearby sink. Behind it, on the north side, is the base of the round town. Curiously there is no passageway connecting it. Wall cupboards bring wooden panelling to mind, whilst terracotta tiles cover the floor. The ceiling beams are dark and the interjoists painted white as throughout the rest of the house. The dining room is a very bright room, with cement floor tiles featuring coloured motifs. It opens on to the entrance courtyard via wide, double French windows. It is extended by the house’s central lounge, marked with three arches. Further to the south, a study also opens on to the terrace. Panelled ceiling and narrow strip pattern wooden flooring. A wonderful fireplace, featuring a stone trumeau with raised, moulding. Adjoining this study is a large, very bright living room, with its two south-facing windows, providing a view looking down across the pleasant surrounding hillsides. Strip pattern parquet flooring as well as exposed ceiling beams and joists. It opens into the lounge via a 3-leafed, glazed door. The lounge does not actually have any windows, light coming in on the east side via the dining room and on the south side via the widely open living room. A large, wooden fireplace, with a carved trumeau is set on the west wall. These four rooms form a square in the centre of the house. A passageway leads from the lounge to a hall area, with sisal matting, illuminated via two small windows. This, in turn, provides access, on one side, to a games room in the corner tower and, on the other, to a linen-laundry room. A door, in the narrow corridor set between the laundry room and the lounge, opens on to the stairway going down to the cellar. It is laid out directly below the southern section of the house. This vast area houses the oil tanks, the boiler room, a workshop as well as farm tools and opens, all on a level, on to the second, south-facing terrace. The corridor then continues at right angles and, widening, leads to a back kitchen.
First floor
The wooden stairway goes upstairs from the main lounge. It leads to a large room, in the middle of the house, with a glazed section in the ceiling, letting natural light illuminate a billiard table underneath. The bedrooms and a library are laid out all around this central area. A passageway leads northwards towards the corner of the house, marked by the postern’s round tower. It provides access, on one side, to a bathroom, with a bath and a wash-hand basin, as well as a separate toilet and ends on a landing leading to a large main bedroom, a dressing room and an old-fashioned bathroom, with a shower and a wash-hand-basin, laid out in the round tower. Three bedrooms, with their own bath or shower rooms, take up the entire east section and look out over the entrance courtyard. On the south facade are a bedroom, with a shower room, and a library that opens into the billiard room via double glazed doors. On the east side, forming a self-contained unit, is a small corridor leading to a main bedroom, a shower room, a separate toilet and a children’s bedroom.

The little house

A recent, little house, standing below the main house, can be glimpsed behind its laurel hedge. Although it does not have a particularly strong character, it is very pleasant. A French window under an arched porch provides access to the house’s main living room. Against the west wall is a large, white plaster fireplace, the flue of which is currently condemned.
Two bedrooms, separated by a communal bathroom, take up the northern section. A corridor leading outdoors, on the west side, provides access to a toilet and a door leading to the attic space, part of which could be converted.
A good-sized kitchen communicates with the living room. Very bright, with a south and a west-facing window, it is set in the corner of the house. White ceiling and walls, laminate flooring. It is well fitted with storage cupboards and domestic appliances.
White and light grey hues dominate the decoration throughout.
This discreet, well-designed house, with a pastoral view over the valley, could be used for guest house or holiday accommodation rental purposes.

The exteriors

A small stone house, awaiting rehabilitation, stands on the other slope amidst meadows, facing the chateau and the little house. At the bottom of the valley, three farm sheds of exceptional proportions are currently used for housing sheep, storing straw and sheltering farming equipment. This activity is due to stop before the summer 2021. A small lake, on a lower level, abounds in fish (tench, roach, carp, etc.).

Our opinion

An almost secret setting in an unspoilt valley. Its pasturelands and its wooded slopes exude a pleasant timelessness that is reminiscent of Tuscany. Whether the new owners wish to start a farming or equestrian activity or whether they are grandparents doting on their progeny, this property will easily suit any undertaking.

1 280 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense


See the fee rates

Reference 483559

Land registry surface area 54 ha 86 a 75 ca
Main building surface area 427 m2
Outbuilding surface area 1630 m2
Number of bedrooms 8

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Consultant
South-West Lot-et-Garonne


Armelle Chiberry du Vignau +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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