A 60-ha estate, a horse stud farm, its 16th century priory and an equestrian farm
in the land of the horse in the Orne department
Mahéru, ORNE lower-normandy 61380 FR

Location

This property stands in a hamlet, near to Alençon and the Perche region, in an area known as ‘the land of the horse”, not far from the “Haras National du Pin” (the oldest of French national horse stud farms). Dating from the 12th century, the village church contains 19th century frescoes, painted by Pierre-Chadaigne and restored by the French Heritage Foundation. The town of Sées and its Notre-Dame cathedral is 20 minutes away. Paris can be reached in 2 hours via the N12 or via one of the many daily 1¼-hour train links from Aigle station. Also nearby, the town of Moulins-la-Marche has numerous shops and schools.

Description

This property comes into view at the end of a row of apple trees and rose bushes, bordering a riding arena. A gravel forecourt is used for parking cars. Once through the impressive entrance porchway, all the equestrian facilities are laid out in an orderly fashion around a square courtyard. Following on, a groom’s house, fitted with cameras, adjoins an infirmary. Behind the stables, a barn and a fodder storage shed stand facing a 300 m² priory, which looks out over the parklands from a porch with a dual flight of steps. Just a stone’s throw away, a Havrincourt ring for show jumpers is fitted with resting stalls. An old railway line, now a path, crosses the forest to the surrounding pastures, all laid out as paddocks with hayracks. Nearby annexe buildings form a 100 m² equestrian farmhouse and its stables, extending alongside the estate’s wooden rail fencing which blends in with the Norman bocage landscape.

The horse loose boxes

Perfectly designed and converted, these horse loose boxes are of a good size and guarantee not only the safety of the riders, but also the well-being of the horses. The siting of the water trough on the door side enables the groom to check on the state of the animals. The semi-barred, box walls keep the horses separate, whilst letting them see one another. Only the best materials have been used and a horse infirmary completes this area with a tack room.

The priory

Constructed with a cellar in the 16th century, this priory spans 300 m² over two levels. It previously provided a stopover for pilgrims on their way to Santiago-de-Compostela. The hip roof, covered with terracotta tiles, features Jacobin-style dormers that illuminate the attic space. The upper section of the facade is constructed like a brick and dressed stone chessboard. A double, sculpted stone, Renaissance-style colonnade enhances the surrounds framing the wide openings. The outside walls of the house are lime rendered. Adorned with wrought iron railings, the vaulted porch with its granite steps provides access to the first floor, embellished with honeysuckle. Facing it, wisteria blends in with a fir tree.


Garden level
A few steps under the vault of the porch give access to an open, medieval-style kitchen, illuminated via two doors glazed with small panes. Copper pans and dishes, hanging above the cooking range form rustic, old-fashioned decoration. Impressive oak wood beams line the ceiling and the walls are composed of lime-rendered sandstone quarry blocks. Hewn in the granite, an old, double pig’s trough separates the pantry from the living room. On the same level, a contemporary shower room adjoins a boot room and a boiler room. Reflecting the patina of time, terracotta floor tiles are laid throughout the house, including on the stairway. Adjoining the pantry, an underground, vaulted wine cellar completes this level. A wide, Versailles-stone-paved terrace extends as far as the landscape garden, planted with a multitude of species and bordered by a pond. Behind the house, a tunnel comprising several rose-covered arches delimits the vegetable garden which opens on to a swimming pool, awaiting rehabilitation, and its wooden gazebo.
First floor
This level can be reached from the kitchen where the vestiges of an old stone stairway are also visible in the corner of a wall. A door opens into a reception lounge. The colours are pale and the atmosphere muted. Embellished with sculpted characters, two wrought pillars support the mantel of the lounge’s Renaissance-style fireplace. The doors are made of bare wood. A white piano takes pride of place in an adjoining music room. The exposed ceiling beams are at a height of more than 3 m and the rooms span a surface area of 30 m². Covered with lapis lazuli blue ceramic tiles, a 3-ring “potager” (a secondary hearth where soups and other previously prepared dishes were cooked on embers) stands in the light under a window. Next come a spacious bedroom and its bookcase. The terracotta tiles reflect some superb cream hues. The rooms, all looking out over the garden, are steeped in light. A door opens on to the porch.
Second floor
On the first-floor landing, a second door gives access via a wooden stairway to the second floor. The flight of steps was tilted to make it easier for loading flour sacks. The overall impression is one of spaciousness. Two bedrooms, one of which has a shower room, share this floor with a workshop. The area under the roofing framework has made it possible to create a mezzanine and a cabin area. Roof dormers filter the rays of the sun.

Our opinion

With its 40 horse loose boxes, its 60 ha of pastures and its Havrincourt ring, this estate is equipped with first-class facilities for raising racing and show jumping horses. It must be said that Normandy is a land of horse stud farms, renowned for producing the most famous of horses. This one, furthermore, has already had its moment of glory, with “the world’s best breeder” and several European titles to its credit. Affiliated with the Corderie-Royale-de-Rochefort (once a royal rope-making factory) for the protection of birds, this estate is also a wild animal reserve and a vast natural area, that houses the property’s various buildings. The particularly outstanding priory will make a delightful, authentic home for the new owners of these premises.

1 850 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense


See the fee rates

Reference 875134

Land registry surface area 60 ha
Main building surface area 400 m2
Number of bedrooms 7
Outbuilding surface area 150 m2

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Consultant


Sandrine Torossian +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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