1.5 hours from Paris in the Champagne region
This property is in Courville, a little village built in a curve of the Ardre Valley, renowned for the stone that was excavated from its quarries and which was, notably, used for building Reims cathedral.
Nestling in a hollow of a little valley, dominated by meadows, woods and vines, the village has ponds that were dug by monks for breeding fish in the 12th century. They are currently managed by the Conservatory of Natural Spaces in Champagne-Ardenne, said area being home to 18 species of birds, 7 species of amphibians and more than 160 species of plants. Visits are organised with a specialist guide.
This house is composed of several buildings, constructed from lime-pointed, quarry stone blocks.
Standing at the end of a courtyard, it spans three levels, topped with a roof which was completely redone in 2000 using robust Angers slate of the historic monument type. Said roof features four roof dormers. The small-paned windows are framed with red brick surrounds. The oak wood entrance door is crowned with a glazed fanlight.
The house communicates with a lower building, topped with a roof covered with interlocking tiles, which extends it at right angles to the porchway. It has an independent, solid wood entrance door, with a ha-ha that opens on to the street, and a large terrace covered with flat tiles as well as two lean-tos.
The main entrance hall, featuring exposed stone, is roughly in the middle of the building. An impressive, Courville stone stairway, with oak wood balusters, is enhanced by the exposed stone walls, rising up two stories. It communicates, on its left-hand side, with a wing once laid out as a restaurant which includes a still fully fitted professional kitchen, a back kitchen and an entrance hall off the street, adorned with geminated windows made of Courville stone and featuring medieval sculptures, comprising a cloakroom and two toilets. The old 60 m² restaurant room, still with its bar and currently used as a large lounge, has exposed stone walls under a French ceiling, with a stone fireplace. It opens via a picture window on to a partially covered, paved terrace, surrounded by low stone walls, with a barbecue area and a lean-to for storing garden furniture.
The second wing, on the garden side, begins with a little corridor, housing a toilet and a shower room that adjoins a family kitchen. The latter precedes a dining room, with exposed stone walls, a French ceiling and a Renaissance-style stone fireplace.
It is followed by the old “chartil”, where carriages were once stored and now housing a boiler room, a study and, lastly, a bedroom, paved with terracotta floor tiles and featuring a wood-burning stove, with an adjoining bathroom.
Four stairways make it possible to access the first floor where there are still numerous rooms awaiting conversion. It is currently composed of two bedrooms, one of which has a toilet and a shower room, a studio flat with a mezzanine, a study, a large library, with a monumental Courville stone fireplace, once a second restaurant room, a reception room, with a stone fireplace and a bar, as well as a kitchen.
The little village has preserved taste and colour from its fortified past.
The surrounding countryside is outstanding and the little town of Fismes, 4 km away, has all amenities.
Having already lived three lives behind its protective, high stone walls, the house itself is imperturbably waiting for a new project to give it a new lease on life.
|Land registry surface area||1440 m2|
|Main building surface area||430 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||4|
North & West Marne and East Aube department
Florence Fornara +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.