A Palladian-style house amidst 7,000 m² of parklands,
planted with outstanding trees, in the town centre of Autun
Autun, SAONE-ET-LOIRE burgundy 71400 FR

Location

In Burgundy, in the Morvan Regional Nature Park, the town of Autun is renowned for its rich heritage and its landscaped surroundings. Its perimeter wall is a reminder of its Gallo-Roman origin, “Augustodunum”, founded by the emperor Augustus. On the heights of the town, the cathedral and the Ursulines tower bear witness to its medieval history. In the 18th century, the bishopric, the military schools and numerous mansion houses were constructed. In addition to its history and its geographic location, Autun is made further attractive by its dynamic economy and its tourist trade as well as its very good schools. Paris is 3 hours away by car and Lyon 2 hours away. Le-Creusot-Montchanin TGV train station, 30 minutes away by car or bus, provides links to Paris in 1⅓ hours and to Lyon in 45 minutes.

Description

This property is located in the protected sector, between Autun’s military school and the square housing the town hall. Constructed around 1860 by a local banker, entomologist and botanist, this house stands in the midst of vast parklands, planted with varying species of centuries-old trees. Its external and internal architecture appears to have been inspired by the neo-Palladian houses fashionable in the 19th century. The land was used as an arquebus firing range in the 18th century, before becoming the parklands of a neighbouring property. In the 19th century, its owner gave the parklands to his banker son who constructed this house in their centre. The parklands, designed with driveways, copses and flowerbeds, bear witness to his love of botany.
Long, wrought iron railings, bordered on either side by elegant pavilions, flank the entrance to the property. The vista from the gateway takes in a giant sequoia, concealing the house, which comes into view along the driveways going around it. At the foot of said tree, a rockery and two statues of goddesses add to the theatricality of the entrance.
One driveway leads to a courtyard, lined with outbuildings, including stables, a garage, a woodstore and a henhouse, as well as to a secondary gateway, opening into a parallel street.

The house

A square building constructed over cellars and under a hip roof with skylights, this house is surrounded by a level area. In the centre of the entrance facade: a portico with two fluted columns, Tuscan order capitals and an entablature of the same style topped with a balcony, adorned with decorative railings. The entrance door is flanked by pilasters, with aesthetics similar to the columns. Large rhododendron bushes surround the portico. The facade walls are laid out with regularly-spaced, inward-opening, casement windows, topped with moulded lintels and enhanced with slatted shutters. The rendered facades are embellished with exposed dressed stone quoins. A cornice, decorated with a Tuscan-style ridge course, enhances the roof. French windows with a porch on the lateral facades make it possible to access the parklands.
This house comprises three levels over cellars. Its interior architecture reflects the layout of Palladian style houses: a square cross-shaped internal layout matching that of the external appearance. The rooms are located in the four corners so as to give an excellent panoramic vista in all directions: from the ground floor, views of the parklands, and upstairs, views of the parkland trees with, in the distance, the glazed roofs of the military school, the cathedral and its canonical district. Said corner rooms are laid out around a central stairway and intercommunicate with one another, making it easy to move around the central newel. A rectangular lean-to, covered with copper, adjoins the parkland facade opposite the portico.


Ground floor
The vestibule opens on to a central, wooden stairway, illuminated via an opening in the roof with an atrium. A lounge and a dining room are laid out on either side of the vestibule. The period decor in these reception rooms features moulded ceilings, pink and black marble floor tiles laid in a chessboard pattern in the vestibule and dining room, with parquet flooring in the lounges. The main lounge is enhanced with a central fireplace, with white marble decor, and panelled walls featuring insets with wall-covering. The moulded doors have sculpted lintels, pediments above the panelling, decorated with flowery motifs, and decorated, gilt ironwork. Two doors on either side of the fireplace provide access to a little lounge, with wainscoting, a marble fireplace and a French window opening on to the parklands via a porch. The dining room is embellished with curved panelling on the main wall with an oval concave alcove in the centre, housing an old, Alsatian, ceramic wood-burning stove. Behind this panelling: two concealed doors lead to a pantry cupboard, on one side, and to a kitchen, on the other. The kitchen comprises an eating area, with a dressed stone fireplace, and a kitchen area separated by a central unit. A French window provides access to the garden via a porch. It leads to a pantry which, in turn, opens into the lean-to building, comprising a laundry room, a toilet, a study and a little lounge.
First floor
On either side of the landing, openings with vaulted panelling provide access to the bedrooms. Two bedrooms looking out from the main facade give access to a central bathroom, with a toilet, itself leading to a balcony. The other facade features two bedrooms, with a shower toom, a toilet and a library.
Second floor
This level, laid out under the rafters with hexagonal terracotta floor tiles, has three bedrooms, with sloping ceilings, illuminated via skylights, as well as a bathroom, with a toilet. The other half of the floor is attic space.
Cellar
The house is constructed over a full basement comprising four vaulted and five small cellars, aired by basement windows, two of which are wine cellars. There are also a fruit-store and a boiler room, housing a gas-fired boiler.

The entrance pavilions

On either side of the railings flanking the property entrance are two pavilions, with exposed dressed stone on the upper section and rendering on the ground floor. They span two levels, linked via a quarter-turning, outside stairway. Climbing wisteria adorns the facades on the parklands side.


pavilion
This pavilion, on the right-hand side of the railings, comprises two rooms on the ground floor, the bigger of the two was probably once an orangery. The two upstairs rooms can be reached via a corridor and central hall areas.
pavilion
According to the archives, the pavilion on the left-hand side of the railings was originally used for banking purposes, probably the lower rooms. On the ground floor, two rooms and a toilet. Upstairs, a bedroom, a living room, a kitchen and a bathroom, with a toilet.

The outbuildings

This property includes numerous outbuildings ideal for maintenance and leisure purposes.


Outbuilding
In the old outer bailey, shown on the 18th century plans, this building is rendered with a Burgundy tile roof. A henhouse, enclosed with chicken wire, adjoins the building which comprises an old stable, with stalls, a garage and a woodstore. A stairway in the central garage goes up to an attic floor.
Garage
Near to the greenhouse, a storage building, with three separate rooms: a workshop, a bike shed and a storage room for garden furniture and other leisure objects.
Gardener house
Composed of red brick, this building once housed the harvests. A large thermometer on its facade still shows the temperature, giving the name of the countries or living areas for which the temperature is ideal.

The parklands

The house was constructed in the centre of these parklands in the 19th century. The driveways, which have been preserved along the walls enclosing the property, are bordered by hornbeam and make it possible to stroll through various copses on the edge of the property. The central driveways are also bordered by boxwood and St-Peter’s wort. A majestic giant sequoia in front of the house indicates the wealth of the parklands, planted with eminent trees: ginkgo-biloba, sweet gum, outstanding hazelnut, bigleaf magnolia, rhododendron and climbing roses. An oval-shaped, ornamental pool is set in a lawn parterre in front of the facade of the little lounge.


Orchard
This orchard is planted with cherry, apple, pear, walnut and peach trees, vines and asparagus as well as gooseberry and raspberry canes.
vegetable garden
Hardly cultivated nowadays, this vegetable garden is laid out near to a greenhouse, awaiting restoration, and seedling planters.

Our opinion

A verdant setting in the midst of town, a preserved property in the midst of this setting, a home in the midst of this property.
Courtesy of its architecture unique to Autun, this house is ideally positioned in the centre of the town below the heights. Living in the country in a town is a precious luxury nowadays. The many character and period constructions pave the way to a multitude of activities. The two entrance pavilions are but waiting for a new lease on life as a caretaker’s cottage, a guest house or a showroom for a professional activity, anything is possible. And lastly, the quality of the interiors reflects that of a 19th century home, exuding a subdued and elegant atmosphere that is muted and almost festive.

Exclusive sale

650 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense


See the fee rates

Reference 904626

Land registry surface area 7188 m2
Main building surface area 417 m2
Number of bedrooms 7
Outbuilding surface area 420 m2

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Consultant


Marie de La Ville-Baugé +33 1 42 84 80 85

contact

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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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