in a clearing in the midst of woods in Burgundy
In Burgundy, 20 minutes from Le-Creusot and Autun, a farm occupied in the 11th century by monks from a priory. 15 km from a TGV train station with 1⅓-hour links to Paris and 45-minute links to Lyon. Geneva is 3¼ hours away. This property is near to a village with the French “Cité de Caractère” (Character Town) distinction courtesy of its medieval heritage, a 14th century keep and an 11th century priory, as well as its natural heritage with a dam built at the beginning of the “Belle Époque” intended to supply the factories in Le-Creusot. The setting is preserved by a national forest, criss-crossed with paths for hiking, walking and horse-riding which link Autun and Le-Creusot. All local shops, a school and a doctor’s surgery are to be found in the village as well as a good range of clubs.
The monastic farm
The main farm building, dating from the medieval era and spanning a surface area of approx. 170 m², stands facing the entrance gates. The main entrance door, topped with a little awning covered with flat Burgundy tiles, is set in a tall gable wall, rendered such that the stone is exposed. The surrounds framing the double-glazed windows are also composed of dressed stone.
An entrance hall, with terracotta floor tiles, provides access to a study and a guest toilet. A fully fitted kitchen adjoins a lounge. An old stone sink is set in an alcove. The hearth of a large, dressed stone fireplace houses a cast iron closed-hearth fire. The French ceiling features moulded main beams. The floor is covered with hexagonal terracotta tiles. The lounge opens on to a large, bright veranda, with dining room and lounge areas. A door provides access to a little courtyard enclosed by a low stone wall, the permitter wall, the outbuildings and a water well. A gate opens on to the estate’s meadows and the forest.
A landing provides access to three bedrooms under the rafters, one of which faces the stairway and leads to a bathroom, with a bath, a shower and a toilet.
The tack room
The tack room, spanning approx. 100 m² and adjoining the stables, is now used for accommodation purposes. Its facade features four doors, including a large picture window, with brick lintels. Both the entrance and its outside shutter are still stable doors.
The hall has two entrance doors. The first, in the courtyard, leads to the rest of the building. The second opens on to the outside so as to make a flat, laid out upstairs, independent. A kitchen adjoins a dining room, illuminated via a picture window, once the barn door. The walls feature exposed stone. A closed-hearth fire completes the central heating provided by a wood-fired boiler. A winding stairway, with open steps, goes up to a mezzanine lounge. A shower room and a toilet.
This level could be used as an independent flat. A kitchen takes up the central landing with, one either side, a bedroom under the rafters, featuring the exposed roofing framework and exposed stone walls. A bath, a wash-hand basin and a toilet are installed under the sloping roof.
Now habitable, it spans a surface area of approx. 50 m². Its walls, rendered such that the stone is exposed, feature solid shutters repainted in the original red hue. The openings are framed with a stone sill, the original lintel and red-painted, wooden shutters. A private courtyard, with its own garden delimited by a low wall and the perimeter wall of the property, provides direct access to the meadow.
The entrance door opens directly into a lounge-dining room, with an open-plan kitchen area. On either side, two narrow flights of steps go up to the bedrooms. A shower room with a toilet.
Each flight of steps leads to a bedroom under the rafters, illuminated via openings set in the gable walls. The two bedrooms are separated by the exposed roofing framework purlins.
The right wing of the stables, spanning a surface area of approx. 55 m², is now converted into guest bedrooms, heated by the wood-fired boiler in the tack room. The old space for showering horses at one end is now a covered area for parking cars or tractors.
The building’s main entrance is reached via the courtyard, whilst another door in the entrance hall provides independent access from outside of the estate. The hall is panelled with light-coloured wood. A bedroom, converted for used by disabled persons, includes a shower and a toilet. A concealed door opens on to a stairway.
A large room, with a sloping ceiling and spanning the entire floor, includes a child’s bedroom at the entrance, visually separated by the exposed and whitewashed roofing framework, and, then, a main bedroom. A shower and a toilet have been installed under the sloping roof.
Several of the hamlet’s outbuildings still partially have their original function.
The stables date from 1070 and were used by the monks for working the farm. In the centre of each gable wall of the stables, rendered such that the stone is exposed, double doors make it possible to enter either from the courtyard or from outside of the estate, with direct access to the meadows or the riding arena. Ten wooden horse loose boxes are laid out on either side of a paved corridor. Five loose boxes with water-fed troughs can still accommodate horses, the others are used for storing garden tools. The hayloft, upstairs, spans the full floor surface area of the stables
The barn also dates from 1070 and once housed the monks. Like the stables, its facade is rendered such that the stone is exposed; double doors open into a large room. A narrow flight of steps goes up on one side to a mezzanine attic; on the other, a bedroom with a shower and a wash-hand basin. One door opens into a workshop. Another opens into a vaulted wine cellar. Adjoining the outside facade of the barn, a loose box could be used for a horse or for parking a tractor.
An outbuilding, adjoining one side of the barn in the enclosed courtyard, has three doors providing entrance to the old horse loose boxes. Two rooms are currently used for storage purposes and a third houses the oil tank.
In the monastic farm’s courtyard, the building housing the bread oven still has its dressed stone fireplace and the section which was the bakery. It is now home to an oil-fired boiler and is used as a storeroom. The brick ceiling is vaulted. This very rare architectural feature was designed by the monks in order to use this attic, reached via an opening set above the entrance door, for keeping rabbits.
This estate, spanning a surface area of 2.5 hectares, is essentially composed of meadows that surround the buildings. A plot, running alongside the entrance driveway, is composed of meadows, then the edge of a deciduous and coniferous forest. It ends in an overgrown horse-riding arena that could easily be cleaned up. It is bordered by a few cherry and apple trees. The forest adjoins the national forest.
Monks in the Middle-Ages always chose sites that were ideal for meditation with fertile land for farming. This setting does not appear to have changed very much since they left: the living areas, the stable, with its horse loose boxes, the meadows and the waterfall in the woods. The current owners have given these premises a new accommodation vocation, by converting some of the outbuildings, whilst preserving its initial character through the raising of horses. Hikers, pilgrims following the Way of Saint James, tourists and even employees working for companies set up in Le-Creusot have appreciated the tranquillity of these premises. These conversion works could be continued by transforming the spacious areas in the monastic barn as well as the hayloft in the stables into more living space or function rooms for training courses or conferences. It would also be possible to purchase a larger surface area of meadows. Its location, 15 minutes from a TGV train station and just a few minutes from a village, is also an invaluable asset for reconciling a professional way of life, spent partially in the office and partially working from home.
|Land registry surface area||2 ha 73 a 53 ca|
|Main building surface area||170 m2|
|Outbuilding surface area||620 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||9|
Marie de La Ville-Baugé +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.