In the Ain department, in the heart of the Bugey,
an 18th century house in a park covering more than three hectares
Annecy, AIN rhones-alps 74000 FR

Location

The region formerly belonged to the Counts of Savoy and was ceded to France by the Treaty of Lyon in 1601. Set in the heart of the Bugey, the estate forms its own miniature enclave with the backdrop of the final peak of the Jura mountains and the Alps in the distance. The location is widely open to southern influences and forms a preserved natural ensemble, marked by a rural landscape of fields and hedgerows. The valleys, crests and creeks follow one after another in this landscape shaped by rivers.
Ideally situated at 500 m altitude, the property is just over an hour from Lyon, Geneva, Chambéry. A train station with a dozen daily services to these cities is only a 15 km drive away. The property is conveniently close to a neighbouring town with all services and amenities.

Description

The property covering more than three hectares (7 1/2 acres) is situated in a small peaceful and calm hamlet. A painted iron gate opens onto the courtyard with the caretaker's house on one side. A little further on, on the other side, a wisteria covered dovecote lines the driveway to the house. The north facade of the main building is flanked by a square tower, while the south-facing facade stands out for its size and sobriety. The exposed gable enhances the impression of grandeur. Perfectly symmetrical openings punctuate the façade, with three Jacobean gabled dormers dividing the length of the roof. A covered gallery links the main building to the workshop, partitioning the space at right angles, and opens out onto the picturesque park. A large variety of centuries-old trees surround a wide meadow stretching out towards a genuine forest. Here and there, a meadow, a small hut, an orchard, a path and a vegetable garden.

The house

The building with currently exposed stone walls dates back to the 18th century, only the gable may be older as several aspects recall the nearby 12th century chapel. In the 1960s, an extension was built with a view to creating a holiday camp. Openings were inserted in the existing roof and walls and changed the initial appearance. It has since been greatly improved and renovated by the present owners, thus restoring its original character. The surface area is approximately 860 m² over three levels, the third could be converted. The main staircase leads to the upper floors. A service staircase gives a secondary access to all levels. The roof frames have been renewed and the roof is made of flat tiles. The attic is insulated with wood wool and the north, east and west walls with linen and hemp. The installation of a wood pellet boiler and solar panels is part of the European Franco-Swiss INTERREG IIIA programme - AMETER (Aménagement du Territoire et Energies Renouvelable). Rainwater is collected in underground cisterns and tanks.


Garden level
The entrance hallway, in the centre, crosses the whole building. The suspended stone stairs opposite have a carving in the outer string dating it back to 1773. The wrought iron banister gives a certain lightness to the staircase. In the back, a passage leads to a small space in the tower used as a toilet, as well as to the staircase leading to the basement. On one side, a cloakroom leads to a storage room, followed by a small drawing room with panelled walls painted in light colours, contrasting with the dark beamed ceiling. A marble fireplace faces the two French windows. Another door opens onto the large living room, which is currently being refurbished, featuring a beamed ceiling and a polished concrete and wooden floor. Two doors open onto the study and the service staircase. On the other side is the dining room with its light yellow tones and herringbone parquet flooring which echoes the beamed ceiling and its natural tone. The marble fireplace also faces the two openings. Double glass doors give access to the delightful winter garden. Four interior openings with fan-shaped frames light up the room. One of these leads into the open gallery. Behind the dining room, the kitchen with breakfast area is open to the north. The floor is made of terracotta tiles and wood, the ceiling is coffered. The pantry and the laundry room follow.
First floor
The landing in the centre of the floor serves both sides as well as the antechamber opposite the staircase. A toilet is located in the tower between the two floors. A corridor leads on one side to the bathroom and on the other to the first sober and bright bedroom, with a study. In the south-west corner at the back, next to the service staircase, lies the large master bedroom, lit by four windows. The white walls and ceiling enhance the spaciousness of the room, which comes with its own walk-in cupboard and bathroom. The latter remains to be refurbished, all the water and electricity connections having been installed. On the other side, a spacious bedroom with beamed ceiling is in need of redecoration. A living room, where the subtle northern light plays gently with the surfaces, leads to three further bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and toilets. Each room is different, due to its orientation, layout and decor.
Second floor
Of sound structure, partly under an attic level, it could be converted. The large room at the top of the gable of the house, facing south/west-north, would only need some redecoration. The corridor leads to the former shared sanitary facilities, the service staircase and a room of about 100 square metres. Another large open space completes the floor. It faces south/east-north.
Cellar
In the oldest part of the house there are two vaulted cellars with exposed stone walls and crushed stone floors. In the more recent part, an old stone staircase leads to a corridor serving the fruit larder and the room used as a technical room where the boilers, water softener etc. are located.

The caretaker's house

Completely renovated, it is built of stone, with a floor area of about 65 m². On the ground floor, the kitchen, breakfast area and the living room are arranged in the same space. Upstairs, there are three bedrooms, a bathroom and a toilet. It is currently used as a gîte. Fibre optic internet and telephone connection. There is a storeroom in the basement of the house.

The workshop

The two-storey stone building provides approximately 67 m² on each level. The walls are sound; the staircase and the floors are in good condition. The main entrance is on the garden side, and another one, on the first floor, is accessible via the gallery. The electricity has just been completely rewired. To the front, on the gravel courtyard, is a small glass and metal greenhouse.

The dovecote

The stone dovecote of about twenty square metres lies opposite the workshop creating a symmetry with respect to the main building. It has two levels, the garden level is used for storage and a new metal staircase leads to a separate room which used to be a painter’s studio. The adjacent lean-to is used as a vehicle shelter. A water point.

Our opinion

The residence in the heart of the Bugey has been comprehensively restored and upgraded by the current inhabitants, private individuals who have converted part of the building into guest rooms. The owners have succeeded in restoring the property to its former glory, lost during past transformations, while adding comfort using renewable energy sources. With the gîte, the estate would be suitable for people wishing to continue a hospitality business. It could also be ideal as a family home for those in search of peace and quiet and the beauty of the environment. The breathtaking surroundings with wells, gorges, plateaus and waterfalls allow for all kinds of outdoor activities, from hiking or riding to mountain biking. And it’s just one step to infinity with the nearby astronomical observatory and planetarium. Culture and scenery mix and overlap in this preserved valley. Many artists have settled here and together with a renewed tourism trade a new life has been breathed into the region, rich with tradition and history.

1 380 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense


See the fee rates

Reference 314260

Land registry surface area 3 ha 18 a 36 ca
Main building surface area 860 m2
Number of bedrooms 6
Outbuilding surface area 125 m2

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Consultant


Annie Berthet +33 1 42 84 80 85

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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.

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