and a rental house, at the foot of the Cévennes mountains
This mansion house, heritage of the glorious past of this industrial town in the Languedoc region, is an outstanding example of redesigned local industrial architecture. Standing in the town centre, just a stone’s throw from the banks of the river Orb, shopping streets, a bi-weekly market and a Saturday organic produce market, it is a very pleasant place to live. The town has an ambitious council: modernised schools, a clinic, sports activities to suit all tastes as well as a good range of clubs and cultural facilities, with a cinema, an art centre and a concert hall hosting an extensive programme. Numerous festivals and concerts are held throughout the region during the summer months.
Béziers TGV train station with its 3⅔-hour links to Paris is just 40 minutes away, as are the slip roads for the A9 motorway (Montpellier is an hour’s drive away). It is possible to take a stroll through the historic centre of the delightful town of Pézenas, just 30 minutes away, or to roam the Monts-d’Orb or picturesque sites of Mourèze Cirque and Salagou Lake, just a short distance away. But, it is also possible to laze on the Mediterranean beaches, just a 50-minute drive away.
The porch, topped with a balcony featuring corbels and an Italian-style balustrade, faces a row of plane trees, hundreds of years old. A round, stone, ornamental pool, awaiting restoration, enhances an enclosed garden, planted with various Mediterranean species of trees.
This mansion house is one of the most beautiful examples of this redesigned local industrial architecture. As of the 17th century, the Languedoc region based its economic success on the manufacture of cloth, imitating that made by the Venetians and the English for the Middle-Eastern market. These woollen fabrics, called “mahoux”, “londrins” or “londres”, became very famous.
This old factory was redesigned in 1880 by Léopold-Carlier. Architect of the times under the Third Republic, he worked and constructed buildings throughout the Languedoc region, his favoured place of work. Bearing witness to his prolific work is the impressive number of emblematic squares and edifices that he created in Montpellier, Béziers, Sète, Narbonne and Perpignan.
The golden-hued facade, with its classical, harmonious style inspired by Parisian architecture, feature large openings enhanced with meticulously wrought, iron railings and slatted shutters.
This house spans a total floor surface area of approx. 1,470 m² (650 m² form a private home and 820 m² are used for rental purposes); excluding outbuildings and attic space.
All the living rooms look out over the garden.
The mansion house
This property immediately appears to be the work of one of the town’s oldest clothing families. The decoration (monochrome marble, imitation panelling, terrazzo flooring, gilt door handles, etc.) is especially refined.
The impressive, totally private, 46 m² entrance vestibule features wide moulded panels and attached columns. A flight of white and grey veined, red Caunes-Minervois marble steps goes up to the stairway.
Once composed of utility rooms, the ground floor opens on to the parklands for a reason: the boundaries between the garden and the inside become blurred during the summer months in southern parts. It is currently given over to living rooms, with 3.50 m high ceilings. On one side, a large study-living room. Just a few paces away from a bright conservatory where, during clement weather, the pottery is put back outside and the orangery once again becomes a pleasant place to spend the summer. It includes a kitchen, ideal for family mealtimes. A pantry and a toilet are at the back.
This level is reached via a large wooden stairway, illuminated by a recently restored stained-glass window. Wall frescoes, composed of irises, thistles and butterflies, enhance the stairwell.
The landing is wide and takes the form of a gallery, providing access to the reception rooms, with their 4.50 m high ceilings. The floors of almost all the rooms on this level are covered with parquet flooring, laid in a herringbone pattern. Period features are widely present with panelling, moulded or trompe-l’œil-painted ceilings, refined gilding and fireplaces. It is followed by a corridor leading to two bedrooms, one of which has a separate toilet, a dormitory and a bathroom. Adjoining rooms running from east to west include a 36 m² library, adorned with wall panelling, a coffered ceiling and a tall carved wooden fireplace, decorated with ceramic tiles. Double doors in the library provide a view of a succession of rooms, all overlooking the garden. A 37.5 m² lounge-dining room where the herringbone parquet floor alternates two brown hues. A polychrome coffered ceiling and a fireplace resembling the previous one. The set of double doors gives access to a “small lounge”. Moulding and trompe-l’œil embellish the ceiling. A white marble fireplace, silk-covered walls, trumeau and gilding. The music room, ideal for daydreaming, features an Erard piano. Chopin’s Nocturne op 9 no 2 can be played under the trompe-l’œil sky. A black marble fireplace and ever-elegant ornaments. A last door and these adjoining rooms come to an end in the main bedroom. Once again parquet flooring, a white marble fireplace, panelling as well as moulded walls and ceiling, reflecting light-coloured hues, contribute to the elegance of this 31 m² bedroom. A hall area, leading from the stairwell to the east end of the corridor, opens into an 11 m² fitted kitchen, a bathroom and a toilet. On the north side are four additional bedrooms and a bathroom which communicates with two of said bedrooms.
The west side of the residence has a large, sunny terrace which can be reached from the kitchen, whilst the east side features a loggia.
On the west side of the first floor of the residence is a large, sunny terrace which can be reached from the kitchen, whilst the east side features a loggia.
The attic space, covering the full surface area of the building, is empty apart from the lift machinery.
The garden is predominantly laid out in front of the south facade of the house. Enclosed by walls, it is laid to lawn and adorned with topiary bushes, shrubs and a bed of agapanthus in the shade of a row of plane trees. It is characterised by the presence of an ornamental pool and vegetation in the form of trees and shrubs that appear left to themselves. A magnificent sequoia adds to the nobility of the premises. The southern gardens created at the time of construction are a reflection of nature, taking inspiration from its wild side and aiming to recreate the effect produced by nature on the human soul. A pleasant place for relaxation and daydreaming alone or in company. The installation of a natural swimming pool could be envisaged. There are two garden sheds.
The flats and commercial units
Nine flats, spanning between 52 and 101 m² rented on standard leases, and two units, used for professional purposes, are part of the building and predominantly laid out on the second and third floors of the mansion house. Regularly maintained, each unit has a cellar on the ground floor of the house. All the flats can be accessed via a lift as well as an independent stairway on the other side of the building, reached via a private courtyard. On the garden side, the abundant foliage of the plane trees creates a verdant and natural screen as regards the upper floors intended for rental. Everyone, therefore, retains their privacy. These units produce an interesting rental income.
The flat and the commercial unit laid out on the ground floor could easily be reintegrated into the mansion house, once a few works have been carried out.
Independent from the mansion house, an adjacent house, widely open on to the outside, very bright and in an excellent state of repair, spans approx. 200 m² of living space over two levels, topped with an attic floor. Independent entrance, enclosed garden, terrace and swimming pool.
Ground floor: an entrance hall, a hall area, a living room, a kitchen, a toilet and a garage. First floor: four bedrooms, a shower room and a balcony. This house is available for purchase for the additional sum of €250,000. The layout of the premises makes a separate sale perfectly feasible without causing any problems as regards authenticity, the surroundings and the residents’ privacy.
The nobility of this mansion house, set in the midst of a little town in the Languedoc region, makes it stands out. The quality of its upkeep makes it possible to live there and yet experience its original atmosphere. A family residence, it gives free rein to the imagination in the heart of a little town with all shops and amenities in outstanding natural surroundings.
This old factory appears to be assured of a future equal to its past. It is known that such buildings were quietly redesigned in the last century, often being saved from demolition. And now, their real worth, inherited from the clothing industry more than four centuries old, really ought to be brought to the fore. The elegance of the 19th century, a renowned architect from the end of the Second Empire, almost 1,500 m² of living space restored in accordance with good trade practices using noble materials, outstanding original features and spacious reception rooms are all characteristics that make this house so very special.
This privileged address, blending comfort, old charm and spacious rooms would be perfect as a family home or could be used for a first-class hotel and catering or care home activity.
|Land registry surface area||2053 m2|
|Main building surface area||1998 m2|
|Outbuilding surface area||10 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||6|
Fabrice Delprat +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.