and horses, between the Lot Valley and the Guyenne hills
This property is set in the south-west of France, in the midst of the Lot-et-Garonne department, with its hills and undulating countryside that Stendhal himself qualified as “French Tuscany”. In this rolling landscape composed of meadows, fields of cereal crops, thick hedges and woods, approx. 860 m² of living space offers tranquillity and relaxation or any chosen physical activity: tennis, horse riding, gymnastics, swimming, sauna for a well-being session or, quite simply, walking or hiking (the GR654 hiking trail passes nearby).
A village just a stone’s throw away has local shops as well as infant and junior schools. Fortified towns and their local heritage are also nearby for those who enjoy exploring or purchasing local produce from markets.
Agen TGV train station and Bergerac airport are some 45 minutes away. The motorway provides links to Bordeaux and Toulouse, taking about 1½ and 2 hours.
The origins of this old Seigneury, belonging to a local count, date back to the 15th century. Around 1650, two wings were adjoined to the main rectangular building, creating a U-shape around a main courtyard. Nowadays, a low stone wall, vestige of the east wing, still supports the boxwood parterre which shields the swimming pool and its swimmers from onlookers in the courtyard. Adjoining, a dovecote tower with a stone stairway - certainly the old, monumental stairway - going up to the first floor, no doubt once home to the wing’s Great Room. It is followed by a farm outbuilding which, built at the latest in the early 19th century, houses a workshop and a guest house, comprising two dwellings. The count’s heirs lived modestly in these premises until 1996, without carrying out a great deal of maintenance works. The property was almost completely restored, with some sections being entirely reconstructed, by the current owners.
The access road, ending in a dead end, separates the truffle woods and the horse enclosures. Further on is a tennis court set, on a slightly lower level, between shrubberies and vegetation; then a strip of land laid to lawn marks a last breath of air before starting down the gentle slope towards the entrance at the foot of the buildings.
The Seigneurial home
The roof of this main, 3-storey building is covered with flat tiles and features an engaged dormer on its south side and four hip-fronted dormers on its north side. Its facades and those of the west wing reflect a style dating from the 16th century, with ochre-coloured, exposed stone and quarry block walls, featuring wide, wooden-framed openings. The other buildings stand out courtesy of their half-timbered second levels.
The vast exterior courtyard is surrounded by the stables, a carport, a guest house and the main house. It communicates with the interior or main courtyard via a porchway and an impressive stone wall. Boxwood parterres, beds of roses and perennial flowers are dotted throughout; two climbing roses are growing up the wall near to the entrance door.
For fluidity and additional harmony, a choice of uniqueness was applied to the architectural and decorative features such that all the rooms in the main house have French ceilings, indoor oak wood shutters, lime-rendered stone walls revealing the stone surrounds framing the doors and floors paved with stone laid “opus romain” style, whilst those in the west wing have sponge-plastered walls and floors with terracotta tiles, laid in Renaissance geometric patterns.
The ground floor
The main, oak wood entrance door opens into a vestibule providing access, on either side, to a reception room and a dining room. Further on, a stairway goes down to a storeroom in the basement. The wooden ceiling is enhanced with two wrought iron chandeliers. At the end, a solid wooden door opens on to a north-facing, stone terrace.
The dining room includes a fitted kitchen, cleverly concealed behind a bar and an elegant, wood-fired, cast-iron cooker in front of a brick fireplace. The ceiling is 4.40 m high as are all the ceilings on this level. Made by a master glazier, the stained-glass windows filling the room’s wooden-framed windows give pride of place to the coat-of-arms of the property’s ancestor. A right-hand, two quarter turning, oak wood stairway goes upstairs and two solid wooden doors lead back to the main courtyard and the boxwood parterres.
The reception room houses a presentation cupboard in one of its four stone walls which also feature large, stained-glass windows. Two astonishing iron chandeliers, holding 30 non-electrified candles and iron-grill, candle wall-lights give this room its medieval atmosphere. On the left-hand side of the brick fireplace, at the end of the room, double wooden doors give access to a library.
The latter is the first of the wing’s three adjoining rooms. The bookcase is housed very near to an 18th century fireplace, with its carved wooden mantel. A billiards’ table and its green baize enhance the white of the plaster walls.
It is followed by a lounge which, spanning approx. 55 m², gives access to the main courtyard, on one side, and to the stone terrace, on the other. Said terrace has a view looking out over the surrounding hills and heights as well as the little priest’s garden laid out on a lower level. A swimming pool, with its resin gelcoat rendering, adds the finishing touches to the scenery. Inside, a third window completes the room’s openings, filling it with soft light. Here, two elegant fireplaces, with wooden mantels and sculpted plaster chimney breasts, face one another. On the side, a straight stairway leads to the night-time section.
Following on is a kitchen, spanning approx. 30 m²: spacious and cleverly organised, it is laid out around a central unit; a brick fireplace is in good working order.
The first floor
A converted attic floor is laid out under the roofs; it houses bedrooms, their shower rooms and the Great Room. All the ceilings are painted and the wooden rafters are exposed. The walls are plastered or feature exposed, pointed stone and quarry blocks, whilst the floors are covered with sea-rush matting. The roofing framework’s queen posts and struts enhance the bedrooms, each of which is filled with light filtered via a dormer. They communicate with a corridor, lined with a succession of cupboards along its length. The first bedroom, in use as a study, adjoins the first shower room. The next two bedrooms are slightly smaller than the first. The fourth bedroom adjoins the second shower room. Following on and set at right angles, the Seigneurial home’s Great Room, spanning approx. 90 m², is steeped in soft light filtered by the stained glass in the roof dormers. Enhanced with wainscoting in the lower section, the wood of the roofing framework forming the upper section of the walls is covered with fabric; the floor is laid with oak wood parquet flooring. At the end of the room, a straight, alternating-tread stairway gives access to a mezzanine, forming a cosy relaxation area, spanning approx. 4 m². Below and adjoining the Great Room, in keeping with the usual layout of Seigneurial homes, is the main bedroom. Said bedroom is now a suite, with a bathroom.
The garden level
This level houses the boiler and all swimming pool machinery as well as a workshop and a large room used for storage purposes.
The guest house
The ground floor of the dovecote tower, accessed via the main courtyard and via an opposing arched doorway, opens into a living room. The floor is tiled and the walls sponge-plastered. Returning outside, a stone stairway goes up to a first bedroom, with a separate shower room. The view looks out over the roofs of the house opposite. The second-floor bedroom is laid out under the exposed roofing framework of the hip roof. The floor, covered with sea-rush matting, gives this room a holiday atmosphere, just like the view out the window of the verdant countryside and the rolling hills.
Adjoining the dovecote, a covered passageway provides access to a room, with a bar and kitchen area, the utility areas - boiler room, linen room - and the house. First of all, two bedrooms share a shower room. Here, two pointed, exposed stone walls alternate with two sponge-plastered walls and a wooden lower level. A corridor goes back towards the living room and an open-plan fitted kitchen. A picture window gives a view of the covered, tiled terrace and the trimmed shrubberies near to the swimming pool. Two bedrooms, with separate shower rooms, complete this section. The floors are laid with contemporary tiles imitating an old style throughout.
On the other side, an independent dwelling comprises a living room-kitchen area and an alcove bedroom, adjoining a shower room. A narrow flight of steps gives access to a mezzanine - currently a children’s games room. The outdoor terrace is a suntrap in the summer. The workshop extending it could also become a parking area for a car.
The group of buildings
The main, salt-water swimming pool, near to the guest house, is installed in a verdant setting, below a slope carpeted with decoratively trimmed shrubs. It forms a swimming area spanning approx. 100 m². A more private swimming pool is installed on the terrace of the west wing of the main house. An exercise and sauna room, upstairs in the guest house, encourage both dynamic and relaxing activities. Further up, near to the woods, a natural clearing with its rocky perimeter has been transformed into a horse-riding arena. A grassy pathway leads from there towards several hiking trails and to the stables. 7 horse loose boxes backing on to a farm storage shed make the organisation and practice of an equestrian activity possible.
A “fast surface” tennis court, spanning approx. 800 m², is set back at a good distance from the main house and the swimming areas.
The carport: this open space built from old wood is able to take up to three parked cars.
The art of landscaping is to be seen all around the buildings and the facilities in a tamed countryside: shrubberies, bushes growing naturally or having been decoratively trimmed, boxwood lining borders or sculpted for decorative purposes, flowerbeds under the arbour, various species of trees and fruit trees and a vegetable plot, all forming a clever, varied and colourful combination.
This house nestles in a verdant setting, whilst all the buildings both blend in with and stand out from the surrounding countryside. The commitment of the owners and their decision to use first-class materials during the restoration works such as copper for the guttering, stained glass for the windows, Burgundy oak wood panelling and stone for the floors, to name but a few, have given nobility back to this Seigneurial home which could even justify the designation of “chateau”, a title already used by the locals.
In addition to the usual uses for such a property in the midst of an unspoilt setting, the presence of horse facilities, in a very good state of repair, is a major asset for the potential development of an equestrian activity. Furthermore, the possibility of purchasing additional land constitutes an opportunity to expand the activity or the property boundaries.
|Land registry surface area||8 ha 40 a 5 ca|
|Main building surface area||860 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||11|
|Outbuilding surface area||157 m2|
Francine Tamenne +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.