in the Poitevin marshland, without being secluded
Seen from the sky, the Poitevin marshland is a Paul-Klee style grid. From the ground, its semi-aquatic, semi-plant landscapes are an endless source of wonder. Niort and its TGV train station, with 110-minute links to Paris, are 30 km away. The village, where several water courses meet, features low, pastel-coloured houses stretching along the street leading to the “port”. Salt has passed through here since the 12th century. The church has one of those local, Romanesque facades, featuring a wealth of sculpted decor. Hiking trails and cycle paths set off in every direction. Little boats make it possible to navigate the miscellaneous canals, of varying sizes, that crisscross the marshland. The Marais Poitevin Regional Nature Park was initially created in 1979. The immense Vendée beaches are an hour away and La-Rochelle is 45 minutes away.
In addition to the vast lounge and dining rooms, with their cathedral ceilings, there are four or five bedrooms, a games room, a bathroom, two shower rooms and two toilets; all spanning a total of 210 m². The ground floor features travertine stone floors, whilst the upstairs has parquet flooring throughout. Residents can use the terraces, laid out all around the house, to follow the sun. Fully double-glazed, the house has very efficient oil-fired central heating.
Set in the islet-garden vegetation are a swimming pool, a French bowls pitch, bicycle sheds and two little landing stages.
Several plots of land are on the other side of the bigger canal.
The water in the front and rear canals, of different sizes, protects this house like the moat of a castle. The entrance gate, under an awning supported by two pillars, opens on to a wooden bridge, crossing the front canal and leading to the garden. Wisteria climbs over the railings. The house is composed of three adjoining buildings, varying in height and including the outbuilding. The roofs are covered with Roman tiles, the shutters are painted a pale greyish-blue. On the right-hand side, in front of the dining room-kitchen, a large paved terrace, ideal for eating outside on the many sunny days, blurs the boundaries between the inside and the outside. A little canopy protects the front door.
The large bedroom to be found on the immediate left-hand side of the vestibule is a much-appreciated asset. Two of its walls feature exposed stone, the outside wall is insulated. A bathroom, at the end of the vestibule, has a window overlooking the smaller canal, to the rear of the house. A separate toilet. Next to it, a bedroom also has a little window overlooking the same canal as well as a French window opening on to a terrace, set in the corner that it forms with the outbuilding.
The walls of the large lounge, on the right-hand side of the vestibule, extend up two levels to the roofing framework of the gable roof with its unequal slopes. A mezzanine and its stairway, both made of wood and elegantly sober, take up part of the height. Three of the walls feature exposed stone. A French window overlooking the garden, a high window and two skylights let in copious amounts of daylight. A tasteful, closed-hearth fire has been installed in a large, limestone fireplace, with refined lines. Old openings have been transformed into decorative alcoves: one, the size of a window, is under a stone lintel, the other high one is smaller, arched and lined with keystones.
As refined and welcoming as the lounge, the dining room-kitchen, taking up the entire second building, is both contemporary and timeless. It has two perspectives: one, from the entrance hall, stretching to the fireplace and a second, perpendicular one, extending from the large facade terrace across to another more private terrace, overlooking the smaller rear canal. All four walls feature exposed stone. The two slopes of the roof with its roofing framework, all painted grey, constitute the ceiling. The kitchen area is flanked by a very plain worksurface which is supported on a stack of bricks. The lounge provides access to the third ground-floor bedroom: it has its own shower room, a dressing room, a window looking out over the smaller rear canal and, above all, its own terrace.
The lounge mezzanine is a private area. It gives access to the rooms upstairs, all of which have parquet flooring. A large bedroom, under the exposed roofing framework, has a shower room and toilet, illuminated via a skylight, whilst two windows looking out over the garden and the front canal, make the roof particularly bright. Another two rooms, with skylights, could become additional bedrooms or as is already the case, a study and a games room.
Adjoining the two sections of living space, this third section houses a boiler and an oil tank. It could be put to better use after a few works.
The islet garden
Plants growing between the well-kept banks include banana, oak, acacia, walnut and kiwi trees. The garden also has a 4x4 m, swimming pool, with a bar safety cover and a counter-current feature, as well as an authentic, 12x3 m, French bowls pitch. Two sheds, housing the pool machinery and bicycles, adjoin the gable wall of the dining room-kitchen. A flight of steps goes down to the smaller rear canal, where two little boats are moored, one being typical of the marshland area.
It is always heart-breaking to leave the captivating canals, the light and the painting-like landscapes of the Poitevin marshland. One answer is to own a house there. This one for example, without generality or pretention. The surrounding water is not a wartime defence or a haughty protective feature: a little privacy has simply been asked of nature. The familiarity of the stone, the warmth of the tiles and the sober elegance of the travertine as well as the garden, full of trees and flowers, take care of the rest. Notably, comfort, good taste, conviviality and a pleasant way of life.
|Land registry surface area||6290 m2|
|Main building surface area||210 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||4|
|Outbuilding surface area||36.51 m2|
Jean-Pascal Guiot +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.