2 hours from Paris, in Burgundy’s Nièvre department
A territory with as many as four destinations between the river Loire, the Puisaye region, Nivernais Canal and Morvan Regional Nature Park. This property, 45 minutes from the famous historic town of Vézelay and Menou castle which belonged to well-known decorator, Jacques-Garcia, is within easy reach via the A6 motorway and by train as an SNCF station provides 2-hour links to Paris Bercy. Close to amenities, it is some 2.5 km from a village and several good restaurants.
The little market town has a rich historic heritage including a 12th century episcopal castle, constructed by Hugues-de-Noyers, Bishop of Auxerre, as well as a church, characteristic of the radiant gothic style, with two bell-towers and a nave, spanning three stories and featuring six bays. In the Middle-Ages, one twelfth of the abundant local wine production went to the village canons who stored it in the “Banvin cellar”, named after the feudal law and located in front of the church apse.
The large, luxurious home
Constructed from local stone, this 1830, rectangular building is topped with a hip roof, covered with traditional, flat, Burgundy tiles and featuring shed dormers. It spans two stories. The facade is enhanced with numerous small-paned, double openings, framed with stone surrounds. Facing south-east, it looks out over the terrace. The main entrance comprises double, wrought wood and glass doors.
A double entrance vestibule, paved with oxblood-coloured terracotta floor tiles and lined with moulded cupboards, provides access, on one side, to a dining room, with a Norwegian soapstone, wood-burning stove set in a recess. Hand-coloured wainscoting runs the length of the room. The ceiling moulding is adorned with a central rose and the paving is identical to that of the main entrance hall. An opening provides access to a kitchen which opens on to a second terrace installed in the enclosed courtyard. This very bright, functional room, with a central unit, features wall tiles very probably coming from the Gien or Nevers factories. Blue ceramic tiles, enhanced with rectangular geometric patterns, line the walls, creating a highly decorative effect. On the other side of the main vestibule is a lounge, of an ideal size, illuminated by numerous windows and featuring views over the parklands. It is enhanced with an open-hearth marble fireplace. The original terracotta floor tiles are to be found here once again. In the second section of the vestibule, a hall area gives access to a guest toilet and a wrought door, opening on to the interior courtyard. An impressive, wooden stairway, with worn steps, goes up to the bedrooms. The stairwell is enhanced with a bull’s eye window.
An elegant landing, paved with old terracotta floor tiles, is extended on both sides by a corridor leading to the bedrooms. At the top of the stairs, a wrought picture window, with glazed fanlights, reveals a study, with strip pattern parquet flooring. It is set between two bedrooms, laid out along the main facade. These bright, spacious rooms have a fair number of cupboards, some of which are moulded, and notably offer an unobstructed view over the Nièvre hills. 19th century features are present as is meticulously kept, oak wood parquet flooring. Also along the main facade, another fairly large bedroom, where it is possible to glimpse white-coloured, wrought railings through the window. On the enclosed courtyard side is another bedroom, with old terracotta floor tiles, enhanced with an open-hearth, marble fireplace, topped with an old mirror. The presence of light-coloured hues brings 19th century colours to mind. A bathroom exudes a romantic air courtesy of its tiling, enhanced with foliage and flowers, above a bath. It also has a wash-hand basin set in an old wooden vanity unit. Between the enclosed courtyard and the main facade, a last bedroom, with strip pattern parquet flooring, looks out over lush vegetation. A shower room completes this level.
The little guest house
This house, constructed entirely of stone, has a gable roof covered with traditional flat tiles. It features openings that reflect the architecture of those of the main house, accompanied by solid, wooden shutters. A terrace laid out behind the building enhances this little house.
A large room, currently in use as a bedroom, features old, white beams and old terracotta floor tiles. An adjoining bathroom, with a toilet, completes these premises.
The second house
This house reflects the same architecture as the other buildings, embellished with large, small-paned windows, with glazed fanlights, providing glimpses of the inside. Jasmin, vines and old climbing roses run the length of the stone facade and enhance the small windows on the first floor. This house comprises two workshops, with cement floor tiles; one spanning approx. 25 m² and the other approx. 30 m². These are followed by a third room, an old stable, paved with stone and featuring a wooden stairway, going up to the first floor, with its one reception room. The latter, spanning a surface area of approx. 85 m², is characterised by its exposed roofing framework and an open-hearth, stone fireplace. Adjoining the building is an old orangery, spanning approx. 20 m², with exposed beams and stone floor tiles. A vaulted cellar, a 13x7 m swimming pool as well as a 2-car garage complete the constructions on this property.
These parklands extend over 5 ha of land, dotted with several species of centuries-old trees. For instance, in front of the main house, the parklands feature several lime, hornbeam, oak and horse chestnut trees, not forgetting some maple and beech trees. A driveway provides access from the entrance all the way to the interior courtyard.
The entrance to the house is enhanced with two old climbing roses, exuding heady fragrances. Facing the enclosed courtyard and its stone well, a little garden laid out in the French formal manner, comprises several rows of boxwood as well as a few fruit trees such as apple, cherry and Mirabel plum. A little lane next to it enables residents to go up to a higher level, alongside a wood spanning approx. 1 ha that belongs to the property, and to take advantage of an unobstructed view over the undulating landscape which embraces the property from one horizon to another.
This property, combining aesthetics and comfort, bears pure witness to 19th century refinement and the French art of living. A postcard published in the last century by Edouard-Barrat, grandfather of the late painter Rex-Barrat (1914-1974), already portrayed the silent majesty of these premises. This property’s haughty and protective appearance has resulted in local residents referring to it as “the chateau”. Whether in its bedrooms, crossing its thresholds or sitting down behind a window or by the fireside, residents are promised a blend of elegance, the warmth of a fire and a protective, welcoming setting.
Other assets include a reasonably-sized building, in a good state of repair and unobstructed views over an undulating landscape. Nuisance-free, it has no need of any works.
|Land registry surface area||5 ha 34 a 15 ca|
|Main building surface area||250 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||5|
|Outbuilding surface area||175 m2|
Isabelle Ponelle +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.