with seven hectares in the White Quercy region
In the south of the French department of Lot, in the White Quercy region. An area with gently undulating countryside where hills covered with pubescent oak trees as well as boxwood, hazel tree and juniper undergrowth alternate with barer areas, providing glimpses of the white limestone, symbolic of this part of the former province. There where numerous rivers and streams have gouged fertile valleys in which cereal crops, fruit and vines are grown. The architectural heritage is outstanding with medieval fortified “bastide” towns, hilltop villages, castles, Romanesque churches, Gallo-Roman vestiges and windmills. Agen and Toulouse (TGV train stations and international airports) are some 80 minutes away; Cahors, Montauban and Caussade are about 30 minutes away; Lalbenque, one of the truffle capitals, is less than 20 minutes away. Ten minutes by car from a pleasant medieval town where shops and amenities meet all daily needs. Markets, fairs and even interesting cultural events are also held there.
Set in the peace and quiet, it stands on a hillside, providing an unobstructed view over the colourful plain and the tops of the trees surrounding it. The buildings reflect architecture typical of this part of the French department of Lot. The white stone and low, Roman tile roofs bestow the property with a virtually southern atmosphere. A small, 21 m² building, once a grape-drying shed and now used for storage purposes, marks the entrance to the property next to a traditional “caselle” or dry-stone cabin, covered with lauze stone slabs. The curving driveway makes it possible to identify numerous trees of various species, dry-stone walls, vegetable patches and, above all, several areas ideal for taking a peaceful stroll or eating outside and appreciating the different aspects of the estate. The drive comes to an end near to the main house characterised, on the one hand, by a south-facing “bolet” or porch typical of local houses and, on the other hand, by its outbuildings and a swimming pool with its 41.5 m² pool-house, all looked down on by a very pleasant terrace. The house is of a reassuring size and the layout of the buildings provides the property with genuine privacy.
The main house
Although the origins of this property most probably date back to the 15th century, these buildings were constructed during the 19th century and were then extended and fully restored by the current owners at the beginning of the 2000’s. Both plain and harmonious, the house spans approx. 200 m² of living space (excluding the cellar and the machine rooms on the garden level) over three levels. Forming a quadrilateral, it has numerous openings, letting in copious amounts of light and helping to maintain permanent contact with the delightful surroundings. The “bolet” or porch, typical of traditional local houses, provides access to the rooms, lounge and study, on the upper floor and acts as a covered terrace. The inside, restored in keeping with the spirit of the premises whilst installing modern day home comforts, comprises comfortable, convivial rooms and a somewhat refined style, enhancing the quality of the materials used and the period features which have been preserved such as fireplaces, a stone sink, exposed sections of the roofing framework, old doors, a small-paned interior window and period shutters. The main rooms include a lounge, a dining room with an open-plan kitchen area, a study, four bedrooms, two bathrooms, two shower rooms, a laundry room and, following on from the boiler room, a superb, perfectly sound, vaulted cellar.
Although the upstairs rooms can be reached directly from the outside via the porch, the entrance vestibule on the ground floor leads to the dining room with its open-plan kitchen area. Terracotta floor tiles, bare walls, exposed sections of the roofing framework and a stone fireplace contribute to the welcoming convivial atmosphere. A few steps lead upstairs to the lounge, whilst a corridor provides access to three bedrooms on this level. The main bedroom, enhanced with a stone, now ornamental fireplace, is laid out on the far east side and has its own bathroom and toilet facilities, with a shower room standing facing a separate bath area. The other two bedrooms are on the north and south sides. They share a communal bathroom, reached via the corridor. The bedroom on the garden level and the upstairs rooms are reached via little intersecting stairways.
The lounge, followed by the study, takes up this level. Both rooms are enhanced by a partially exposed roofing framework. Floors are still covered with terracotta tiles. The old attic space having been removed, the ceilings are very high and the ridge in the lounge is approx. 4.60 m high. There is also an old stone sink, enhanced by a lighting system, as well as a stone fireplace. Both rooms are bright and open on to the porch.
A little stairway provides access from the ground floor corridor to a fourth bedroom. With its own bathroom and toilet facilities, it opens directly on to the outside, thus making it possible to independently accommodate any guests. It is also via the outside that access is gained to this level’s three other rooms, a laundry room, a boiler room and a storage area as well as the vaulted cellar. The latter, following on from the boiler room, is perfectly sound and ideally suited not only to the laying down of wine but also to its tasting in a muted atmosphere.
The independent guest house
This independent guest house is laid out on the north side of the swimming pool, adjoining the pool-house. It comprises a living room, a bedroom on a mezzanine, reached via a straight wooden stairway, as well as a shower room and a separate toilet. It, too, features terracotta floor tiles and exposed sections of the roofing framework.
The bread oven
Standing on the east side of the main house, this bread oven faces the pool-house and the guest house. The inside, approx. 20 m², has been laid out as a games room, the old oven having been perfectly preserved. It currently houses a billiards’ table. Both the roofing framework and the stone of the walls are exposed, whilst the floor is covered with terracotta tiles.
This construction, on the west side of the main house, spans a total floor surface area of approx. 58 m². It is divided into three separate areas: a 31.5 m² woodshed, a 15.5 m² workshop and an 11 m² shed for garden tools. In the section taken up by the woodshed, it would be possible to create an additional level, spanning approx. 30 m² as the ridge is 5.1 m high. Moreover, the current owners have drawn up plans for converting it into an additional dwelling.
This property, on the outskirts of a superb fortified “bastide” town in the White Quercy region amidst countryside somewhat reminiscent of Tuscany, has the benefit of a tranquil setting with an unobstructed panoramic view. It appeals courtesy of its soberness, featuring refined lines, and proves itself a complete success as regards its restoration works and the layout of its immaculately kept outside areas. This is a wonderful family home which could delight those wishing to invite or accommodate family and friends, without compromising privacy; whilst others will no doubt rightfully see a chance to develop some form of a hotel and catering activity, especially as further conversion works could be envisaged.
|Land registry surface area||7 ha 16 a 13 ca|
|Main building surface area||197 m2|
|Outbuilding surface area||205 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||5|
Dordogne, Lot et Corrèze
Ilan Libert +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.