in a little village crossed by a river in the Haute-Loire department
This property stands in the middle of a little village in the French department of Haute-Loire, amidst the Allier Gorges, a majestic setting from wild gorges to basaltic cliffs. The tranquil, little village is a real haven of peace with a few inhabitants. There is no shortage of outdoor activities with, amongst others, canoeing, swimming, fishing, rock climbing and hiking. The proximity of the small town of Langeac (just 15 minutes away) makes it possible for residents to visit a lively and colourful, little town centre with numerous shops and amenities. Local markets are held weekly. The famous town of Puy-en-Velay is less than an hour away. The large towns of Clermont-Ferrand and Lyon, with their TGV train stations and airports, are respectively 1½ and 2½ hours away by road.
This property was once a Benedictine abbey, intended to accommodate the young daughters of noble families. Redesigned in the late 18th or early 19th century as a house, it stands on the site of the old abbey church. The foundations of the abbey, with the 15th century chapel, are on a level with the garden. This house spans two levels of living space, topped with an attic floor under a hip roof. The rendered facade features numerous openings, laid out in a symmetrical manner. A flight of four stone steps in the centre of the building goes up to the front door of the house.
The garden level
The basement of the house can be reached via the garden level. These are the vestiges and foundations of the old abbey. From the Romanesque era, they date from the 11th and 12th centuries. The chapel dates from the 15th century. Today’s house was built on the very site of the old, Romanesque abbey church using a part of its structural features. These rooms are currently used as cellars.
The ground floor
The front door opens into a vestibule, paved with flagstones. It houses a stairway, with stone steps, and provides access, on either side, to a dining room and a large lounge. At the end of the vestibule is a vast bathroom. Under the stairs, a flight of steps goes down to the cellars. The flagstones on the floor in the dining room blend with the filled ceiling interjoists. A wide stone fireplace is fitted with a wood-burning stove which heats the room. A few stone steps at the end of the room go up to a kitchen, with its lime-pointed, exposed stone walls. The joists are exposed and their wood matches that of the room’s old wooden doors. A scullery, still with its stone sink, can be reached via the dining room. Following on and adjoining the dining room, a bedroom looks out over the garden. Its parquet flooring is laid in a wide strip pattern under filled ceiling interjoists. A large lounge adjoins a library. The lounge, featuring panelling and parquet flooring, is heated via a marble fireplace. Its trumeau is painted, enhancing the stucco decoration. A French window in the library opens on to the garden. At the end of the library is a small room. The large bathroom adjoins a vast room which houses the old bread oven. It provides access to the tower and the curtain wall set between the main house and the little house.
The first floor
This level is reached via a stone stairway. A mezzanine provides access to two bedrooms and a shower room, all of which look out the rear of the house. Their view takes in the neighbouring stone houses and the wild surrounding hillsides. Of a similar size, the bedrooms are laid out on either side of the shower room. Their parquet flooring matches the exposed ceiling beams. One of them communicates with the top of the tower, housing the old dovecote. The stairway provides access to the bedrooms looking out over the garden. Two adjoining bedrooms are laid out on one side of the stairway. Both are enhanced with alcoves. The filled ceiling interjoists blend with the wide strip pattern parquet flooring. The bigger of the two bedrooms features a fireplace, the trumeau of which is embellished with decorative plasterwork. The main bedroom is on the other side of the stairway. This spacious room is richly decorated: filled ceiling interjoists, Versailles pattern parquet flooring, an alcove and a fireplace, embellished with a trumeau. A private shower room is illuminated via a window. It is adjoined by another bedroom.
A wooden stairway continues up to the top floor of the house, laid out as attic space. This area is illuminated via a series of little windows. It has a sloping ceiling with exposed beams. The roofing framework and the roof are new. The renovation works were supervised by architects from “Bâtiments de France”.
This little house has two floors, each spanning approx. 30 m². Standing on the edge of the property, it is in need of renovation works to make it an independent house. It is entirely constructed from stone and looks out over the courtyard near to the barn.
This barn stands above the old cowshed. It is a stone building. A gentle slope leads inside. The year 1809 is engraved on a beam above the heavy wooden doors. Small windows illuminate the vast area under the restored roofing framework. In the cowshed, flagstones still cover the floor. Small windows and a heavy wooden door open on to the stone-paved courtyard. The mangers for the animals are still in place, giving the impression that time has stood still.
A pavilion, with rendered facades, stands at the entrance to the property and dates from 1901. Its hip roof has been restored with glazed tiles. Inside, three windows let copious amounts of light into a room spanning approx. 15 m².
This family home, in a region exuding rural beauty, is as vast as it is radiant. Restored under the experienced eye of architects from “Bâtiments de France”, the plain, delightfully old-fashioned character of this listed house has been preserved through a multitude of features which create its timeless appeal. It is in an outstanding state of authenticity and has a sunny, unpretentious garden, spanning approx. 700 m². The outbuildings remain unchanged. The cloister and the chapel are reminiscent of the original spirituality of the premises. This property’s distinctive architectural character and its proximity to Puy-en-Velay, a town classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO and the European capital of the Way of St James, make this a house in harmony with French history.
|Land registry surface area||3 ha 11 a 62 ca|
|Main building surface area||320 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||7|
Sophie Batsch +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.