alongside a wild river in French bocage countryside, 30 minutes from Le-Mans
On the periphery of Le-Mans, 30 minutes from the town centre and a TGV train station with its 55-minute links to Paris-Montparnasse. Le-Mans has good motorway and rail connections: 1¾ hours from Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport, less than 3 hours from Lyon, less than 5 hours from Marseille, 2½ hours from Lille-Europe train station for London, 1½ hours from Nantes and from Rennes.
Le-Mans, an hour away from the Loire Valley, still has an interesting, wonderfully preserved medieval town, known as Plantagenet City. Protected by a perimeter wall dating from the Gallo-Roman era (the best preserved of its type after those of Rome and Istanbul). Many events are held there such as abundant markets selling local produce and the annual “Entre Cours et Jardins” flower show.
The village’s small shops, bar and restaurant can be reached on foot or by bike.
The three houses are all interconnected. Taken as a whole, they form a spacious, practical home which can be used for a variety of purposes depending on the season and the number of guests. Each house has its own entrance. It would also be very easy to separate these living areas.
The newly converted house: 250 m².
The 15th century house: 142 m².
The house converted in the 18th century: 148 m².
The newly converted house
This is the first house, converted from the old stables, to be seen when reaching the property. Windows have been added to the attic space to give an architectural unity to the entire residence. This rectangular building is built of exposed stone, with a slate roof on the facade side and a tile roof on the opposing side. The door and window frames, some reflecting the Renaissance style, have all been changed and double glazed, without shutters. This house is entered via an outstanding old door, featuring a heavy door knocker. A wide vestibule, with bare flagstones, houses a stairway, with Louis XIII style balusters, which goes upstairs to five bedrooms and four shower rooms, with toilets. On the right-hand side of the ground floor is a spacious lounge, with a fireplace and a piano bar for pleasant evenings. This precedes a contemporary fitted kitchen, with a wood-burning stove. A back kitchen is laid out as a machine room. On the left-hand side of the entrance hall, a small, Louis XV style lounge features a stone fireplace. It is followed by the oldest house.
The walls and attic space are insulated with rockwool. Some interior walls feature exposed stone. Stone fireplaces. Old or local terracotta floor tiles. Exposed beams and joists.
Exposed roofing framework. Old terracotta tiles. Painted walls. A stairway leads from the bedroom corridor to the rear of the buildings, providing access to a garden with a space where it is easily possible to envisage a swimming pool. A bedroom, with a bathroom, awaits its finishing touches.
The house dating from the 15th century
An old door, with stone lintel and jambs, provides access to a superb corridor, featuring a window with a window seat. In a cupboard, a well from the same era feeds a geothermal system, providing the heating in this section. Nearby are a boiler room and a shower room, with a toilet. Then, through another old door, is a large lounge. A stone stairway goes to a half-floor, with a cellar set in the hillside; upstairs are two rooms, one of which is a very large bedroom, with a fireplace, the straight chimney breast of which is decorated with a plain, stone coat-of-arms. It would be possible to add a passageway here that leads to the upstairs of the third house, dating from the 18th century. The ground floor also provides access to this other building via the large lounge.
Floors with wide, 40x60, white flagstones. Terracotta floor tiles. Exposed beams and joists. Lime-rendered walls. An engaged, monumental, stone fireplace.
An underground room, with a small window, at the back of the building.
Reached via a stone stairway. Mullioned windows. Lime-rendered and exposed stone walls. Exposed beams and joists. Fireplace backing on to a wall with a stone mantel. Terracotta floor tiles. Wooden flooring.
The stone stairway goes to the attic space which could be converted as required.
The house dating from the 18th century
Set at right angles, this other rectangular building spans two levels. A large lounge provides access via a little corridor with a toilet, to a kitchen opening into a dining room, with a fireplace, ready to seat large parties gathered for special occasions. This room opens on to a garden terrace, with a view of the river. It is followed by a hall area, preceding a study and housing a wooden stairway, going upstairs. This level comprises four bedrooms, a bathroom and a toilet. The ground floor continues into a bedroom, with through light and a view of the garden, a wide dressing room and a bathroom.
Floors with a variety of coverings: tiles, sisal matting. Exposed beams and joists. Rendered walls. Rooms with through light. Windows, with shutters, opening on either side and on to terraces, one of which faces west. View over the garden and the river.
Exposed sections of roofing framework. Painted walls. Floors with coverings laid on a concrete screed.
These outbuildings could be used for a multitude of purposes such as storage, the running of an activity or more houses. At the entrance to the estate are a hemp drying shed, a dovecote, two barns constructed in the 15th century, the facade of one of which features an old crucifix decoration which was partially torn down at the time of the French Revolution. Another two barns, both of a good size, stand on either side of the entrance to the courtyard. A wooden farm shed is set behind one of them. On the heights, on the border of the property and out of sight, is an old, very large henhouse, spanning a surface area of 400 m². Small sculleries are to be found by the water’s edge.
An old, renovated hemp drying shed at the estate entrance.
Group of buildings
A barn dating from the 15th century, with a 9.5 m high ceiling. The bottom section could be converted into accommodation for a caretaker.
This dovecote features a superb roofing framework and numerous dove-holes which bear witness to the size of this old Seigneury.
With its very high ceiling, it would be possible to double the surface area. Good size for an open-plan, 2-storey flat.
A farm shed, covered with wood and topped with a sheet metal roof. A barn with its old roofing framework, topped with a slate and interlocking tile roof.
Composed of small sculleries and a tack room.
An old, 400 m² henhouse where chickens were raised.
The garden and the meadows
In front of sheltered area formed by the L-shaped, 15th century house, there is a large, east-facing terrace with a view of the river. The edges of the latter are laid out as terraced and grassy areas with low hedges that delimit smaller nooks and crannies. It is possible to glimpse the back garden through a passageway between two buildings. It is flanked by a hill and the banks of the river that continues to run along this side. Beyond the garden, on the other side of the river, are two large meadows.
This first category river flows through the middle of the property. The estate includes a total of 800 m of banks on either side of the river.
Such a residence in our era is a bit like reading a copy of Jean-de-laBruyère’s book “Les Charactères”: a disparate collection that time, with even its most recent additions, links very naturally to us, with its own characters and characteristics. The 20th century additions are no more astonishing today than those of the 18th century in their time. A peaceful continuity that blends beautifully with the general atmosphere of the premises. The vocation could undergo some changes such as a bed & breakfast activity, separating the private section from the accommodation activity or perhaps a place where several families live together. This property has all that is required, just two hours from Paris, to take advantage of an authentic countrified way of life or one that mixes town and country.
|Land registry surface area||7 ha|
|Main building surface area||540 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||11|
|Outbuilding surface area||413 m2|
Catherine Boivin +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.