An old Cluniac priory, redesigned in the 18th century,
an hour from Lyon in the south of Burgundy
Cluny, SAONE-ET-LOIRE burgundy 71250 FR

Location

This property, along the Paris-Lyon-Marseille economic and tourist route, is near to Mâcon-Loché TGV train station as well as the A6 and A40 motorways. Consequently, the towns of Lyon, Paris, Geneva and Dijon can easily be reached in less than two hours. The clunysois and mâconnais regions are set between the “langue d’Oc” and “langue d’Oïl” dialects, between flat and Roman roof tiles, and where the borders of the administrative powers as well as the aesthetic influences of Paris and Rome meet. La-Roche-de-Solutré, Cluny Abbey, vine-growing hillsides and the literary work of Alphonse-de-Lamartine are but a few examples of the region’s natural, architectural, historic, and cultural wealth.

Description

This site is set on a rocky, limestone spur, admirably dominating the surrounding hills, dotted with bocage countryside, vineyards and deciduous forests. As of the 11th century, under the rule of Abbot Hugues-de-Semur, the priory was closely linked to the neighbouring Cluny abbey and therefore became one of the 1,400 properties belonging to the Cluny Order throughout Europe. In addition to its farming vocation, it was used for accommodating important guests, away from the hustle and bustle of the main abbey. The buildings, currently for sale, were reconstructed in the middle of the 18th century. Sold as National Property in 1791, the estate retained its farming and, notably, wine-growing vocation up until the middle of the 20th century. A porchway provides access to a vast courtyard, delimited by the buildings, pleasantly preserved since their construction and laid out in a circular shape following the lie of the rocky spur. Beyond the perimeter wall, an independent caretaker’s cottage provides access to the road.

The large, luxurious home

This large, luxurious home was constructed between courtyard and garden in 1740. With a quadrangular layout, it spans two levels under an impressive hip roof, covered with flat tiles. It is flanked to the south-west by a robust tower, rising up four floors and topped with attic space, housing dove-holes, and a steep hip roof. This tower, like a lookout post keeping watch on the surrounding countryside, is a cross between a stately tower and a traditional local dovecote, marking the ambivalence of the estate between its noble and farming uses. On the courtyard side, a wide porchway delimits the food crop activities from those of the main house and the chapel dedicated to cultural and accommodation needs. Inside, a dogleg, stone stairway with a central newel wall, goes up to all the floors.


Garden level
In the tower, an independent summer lounge, exuding a frivolous air, looks out over the parklands. It is paved with hexagonal terracotta tiles and enhanced with moulded cornices, a dark marble fireplace and walls covered with motifs resembling Toile-de-Jouy wallpaper.
In the main building, two rooms are laid out on either side of the stone stairway. A vast kitchen, paved with terracotta tiles and featuring a stone fireplace as well as a stone sink, faces a more refined room, embellished with panelling, terracotta floor tiles and an alcove, housing a ceramic wood-burning stove. These are followed by a few steps providing access to two vast, vaulted, stone cellars.

First floor
The mezzanine makes it possible to access the courtyard and the outbuildings. The first floor, with the function of a “noble floor”, is given over to reception rooms. On one side of the stairway, a flat, paved with terracotta tiles, comprises an anteroom, with a Louis XVI style stone fireplace, a bedroom and a dressing room. On the other side of the stairway, an authentic dining room, exuding old-fashioned charm, is enhanced with parquet flooring, walls lined with wallpaper, featuring chestnut leaf motifs, and a marble fireplace. In the tower, a vast lounge, spanning approx. 35 m², is enhanced with hexagonal terracotta floor tiles and a marble fireplace, topped with a trumeau. All of these rooms have solid French ceilings.
Set at right angles, a corridor, paved with cement tiles, provides access to several utility rooms and, notably, a bedroom, a toilet, a kitchen, with a stone fireplace, and a bedroom with a bathroom.

Second floor
The central stone stairway goes up to the attic space at the top of the house, where a bedroom has been laid out, followed by another area which could be converted. A hall area, with a mezzanine, provides access to a library in the tower. This large room, a place of learning and literature, looks out over the surrounding countryside. It is paved with terracotta tiles, features a French ceiling and is enhanced with a Louis XVI style stone fireplace. A wooden stairway goes up to the top floor in the tower, featuring a high roofing framework comprising dove-holes.

The outbuildings

Following the lie of the rocky spur, the outbuildings are laid out in a circle, like a lanyard, forming an enclosed courtyard. They are composed of buildings required for the running of the estate. Beyond the perimeter wall, an independent house can be directly reached via the communal lane.


Outbuilding
This long building, on the west side of the property, is almost 50 m in length and is covered with a flat tile roof, one slope of which was recently restored. It notably comprises a vaulted cellar, a woodshed, an old stable, a garage and miscellaneous rooms used for storage purposes.
Winery
This building, covered with Roman tiles, houses the old outbuildings used for wine-making purposes. It comprises a vast “tinailler”, the local name for a wine storehouse, a barn, several rooms used for storage purposes and an old, 2-roomed dwelling, awaiting renovation. It also includes an impressive and outstanding wine-press, dating from the early 18th century. Two semi-underground, large, vaulted, stone cellars, spanning a total length of almost 30 m, bear witness to the importance of wine-making to the estate in the 18th century.
Guest house
This guest house stands in the courtyard. Reached via a stone stairway, it spans a surface area of approx. 95 m². Comprising three large rooms, it awaits full renovation works.
Caretaker’s accommodation
This house, beyond the perimeter wall formed by the buildings, is independent. Spanning a surface area of approx. 110 m², it could easily be made habitable. A caretaker’s cottage, a holiday accommodation rental unit or a main house whilst devoting the rest of the estate to an economic activity, it is an invaluable asset and could be used for a multitude of purposes.

The grasslands, the vines, the garden and the courtyard

All of the land included in the sale represents a surface area of more than six hectares and, like the buildings, reflects coherence and homogeneity.
The untenanted plots, making it possible to go around the buildings, represent a land registry surface area of approx. 7,800 m². They notably comprise a vast area to the south, with two terraces, where a garden could be created. On the west side, a row of lime trees runs alongside the buildings and, in the centre, a large courtyard provides access to them.
Below the house, grasslands and a plot of vines, currently rented on a farming lease, protect the property’s setting and continue the history of the premises.

Our opinion

This property, frozen in time, with old-fashioned charm and an age-old history, stands, ever-eternal like a lighthouse, looking out over the surrounding landscapes. It is one of the region’s historic and architectural symbols, with unfailing links to the neighbouring Cluny abbey. In search of a new lease on life, new owners will have to invest money as well as their time and energy in these premises in order to continue its history in keeping with the past centuries. The region’s attraction to tourists as well as the fiscal advantages and leverage that can be obtained will help all renovation projects with a cultural and economic aim. The neighbouring chapel, not included in the sale, is currently managed by the French National Monument Centre and already receives 10,000 visitors per year, constituting an additional asset as regards the estate’s development.

695 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense


See the fee rates

Reference 653207

Land registry surface area 6 ha 21 a 41 ca
Main building surface area 440 m2
Outbuilding surface area 1000 m2
Number of bedrooms 5

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Consultant
Southern Burgundy


Gautier Dumontet +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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