including a 3,000 m² garden, in the town of Nontron in Green Périgord
Crossed by numerous streams and dotted with lakes of all sizes, this part of the Green Périgord area comprises naturally wooded and undulating surroundings where farming takes pride of place without being invasive.
This property, about an hour from Limoges airport and a 50-minute drive from Angoulême TGV train station, stands in a quiet street in a residential district, just a stone’s throw from the town centre of Nontron. The town, sub-prefecture for the Dordogne department, is renowned for its luxury arts and crafts industries, supported by companies dealing in leather goods, cutlery, saddlery and tableware. It is also home to an experimental centre for arts and crafts, grouping Nontron’s craftsmen and artists.
Its chateau, dominating the valley, was one of the winners in the French 2020 Heritage Lottery Fund. The “Flow Vélo” is a well-known cycle path, 290 km long. It follows the track of an old railway line, linking Thiviers in the Dordogne to the Ile-d’Aix in the Charente-Maritime through the middle of Nontron.
The large, luxurious home
The main building underwent full renovation works between 2001 and 2006. All the historic features that give old houses their charm were meticulously preserved and restored wherever possible. When this was not the case, the owners chose to have the feature remade like-for-like, whilst including modern-day home comforts by using noble materials, extending the bedrooms, standardising the levels and adding double-glazing, centralised vacuum and alarm systems, floor and ceiling insulation, numerous electrical sockets as well as an independent electrical fuse box on each floor.
The ground floor
The main entrance opens into a through vestibule which opens on to the terrace, followed by the garden, and provides access to four rooms. Stone floor tiles, walls lime-rendered such that the stone is exposed and ceilings, with moulded cornices, painted white. It further houses a wood and wrought iron stairway, with a carpet runner. The television and reading rooms, following on one from the other, are closed by double wooden doors. They each have a marble fireplace, respectively red and black, wainscoting and their original parquet flooring. All the doors, including those concealing built-in cupboards, are painted in the traditional manner to give the patina and shading resulting with time. The old kitchen, recognisable via its sink set in the wall, is now a library. The walls are covered with carved, floor-to-ceiling panelling, integrating bottom cupboards and shelving. The stone floor reflects the same hue as the fireplace. A few stone steps lead to a laundry-boiler room as well as to a shower room, with a toilet. The dining room is separated from the entrance hall via double, cherry wood doors. The original half-timbering of the wall adjoining the library has been laid bare and the gaps filled with quarry stone blocks rendered such that the stone is exposed. The window surround is framed with wood panels. The service door opens into a semi-professional kitchen and the laundry room.
The first floor
The original stairway goes up to a vast, through landing which ends in a ladies’ sitting room, delimited by half-timbering laid bare. All the walls are lined with wainscoting, featuring wooden doors, all remade like-for-like. The same goes for the woodwork of the windows, featuring three or four panes. Made from exotic wood, they are double-glazed and fitted with casement bolts. Two of the three existing bedrooms each have a lounge, but all three are enhanced with built-in cupboards and a shower or bathroom, with a toilet. The walls are lined with fabric and the floors laid with chestnut wood parquet flooring.
The main stairway continues up to the attic space, spanning the full surface area of the house. A landing provides access to a study and a vast room divided into four areas, laid out as a games room, a meeting room, an exercise room and a billiard room, with table football. Once again, the quality of the works can be seen in the meticulous detail. The roofing framework has been hand-scraped clean and not sandblasted. The pinewood doors were remade like-for-like and the original studs and metal fittings reused. The small bricks forming the chimney flue have been fed with linseed oil and all electric wires and pipes have been concealed behind removable skirting. The room is fitted with a hi-fi sound system, with five speakers, numerous electrical sockets, a toilet and cupboards. And lastly, with a perfectly insulated, carpet-covered floor and under a ceiling guaranteed to give good acoustics, a 22-person projection room has walls lined with red carpet and real seats, recuperated from the town cinema.
The cellars, running under the two lounges, comprise two rooms, housing the centralised vacuum and water softening systems.
The carcass and the facades of an old barn, spanning two levels, have been restored and topped with a new roof. The exposed beams were dried for five years, followed by an additional six years on site, prior to being installed. The upstairs, reached via a straight stairway, comprise a single room, with a concrete screed, awaiting conversion. The garden level is composed of a workshop, with a packed mud floor discovered during the works and a summer eating area, with a gravel floor, that includes a toilet with its own Roman tile roof. A first lean-to, on the terrace side, houses a bread oven in good working order and a summer kitchen.
The second outbuilding, on the garden side, is a consecrated chapel, restored by a “Compagnon du Devoir” craftsman. Its parquet flooring and white-washed walls are enhanced with a painting of the Virgin Mary, surrounded by cherubs, on the wooden ceiling. The custom-made altar backs on to an exposed stone wall, with a deep red-ochre background as was once customary.
A well, by the side of the chapel, is concealed in the ground under several centimetres of earth. In addition to housing a spring, it recuperates rainwater from the barn guttering. It is fitted with an overflow that evacuates water into the terrace gutter.
A nuisance-free house, fully renovated and well-insulated in keeping with meticulous and traditional practices as well as beautifully and warmly decorated, it is one of those that guests find difficult to leave when the time comes. The bedrooms are individual suites and the numerous reception areas comfortable. Additional assets include a cinema, a bread oven, an exercise room and a consecrated chapel. Although this is a turnkey property, with no need to carry out any work, further projects remain possible in the outbuilding. The terrace is extended by a wooded garden, full of architectural surprises. It is always possible to find a car parking space in the quiet, one-way street. New owners could, if they so wish, build a garage behind the house without detriment to the garden.
|Land registry surface area||3005 m2|
|Main building surface area||585 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||5|
|Outbuilding surface area||120 m2|
|including refurbished area||15 m2|
Jonathan Barbot +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.