a small, poetic and individual period country house
The property is situated among fruit trees, protected by an olive grove bordering a large shady garden, facing the medival village of Boulbon, nestled in a fold of the Montagnette, culminating in the Rochers de Raous, to the west of the Abbey of Saint-Michel de Frigolet.
A rural parish since the Middle Ages, Boulbon is essentially composed of forests and orchards and is one of the least populated parishes in France. This is undoubtedly the reason why it has been chosen by artists and media personalities as a privileged resting place, famous for its gentle way of life and its timeless beauty.
10 minutes by car from Avignon TGV station - without having to cross the City of the Popes -, 30 minutes from Arles, 60 minutes from Marseille and Montpellier airports and Nîmes.
The elegant elevation on the garden side, built in cyclopean masonry, with rough-cut stones bonded in white mortar, bears the date 1875. Facing south/south-east, the house features high windows and large glass doors. This is very unusual in Provençal architecture, which normally favours small openings that provide better protection from the heat.
Above the door frames feature probable traces of the period when a local notable lived here, as if to confirm the nobility of this rural farmhouse: sculpted ornaments decorated with a mascaron, a basket of plenty, and an antique head. A sundial punctuates the corner of the south-east wall. A large unfinished hayloft adjoining the main building opens onto the countryside through a carriage entrance, further evidence of the building's rural past.
The interior of the farmhouse, very rustic, with its Ardèche chestnut beams bearing the branding marks from being floated down the Rhône, preserves the quaint atmosphere of the country houses of yesteryear. The stone walls, often unplastered, in the same type of cyclopean masonry as the exterior, feature small recesses intended to house votive statuettes. Each window and door opens onto a garden of biblical species: pomegranate, olive, cypress, fig and myrtle trees. Clearings between the discreetly sculpted foliage allow panoramic views of the Virgilian landscapes of the Montagnette, south of the Alpilles.
With a surface area of 180 m² living space and 120 m² with potential for conversion, it faces south. The main facade has two storeys. Windows flanked by shutters lend a symmetrical structure to the building. On the ground floor, the small-paned windows on either side of the entrance door contribute greatly to its elegance. On the first floor, to the south, there are again two identical symmetrical windows with shutters. To the east, two monolithic arched windows open onto the medieval castle and the village. The second floor forms a rustic attic with roof space, it has been converted into a very bohemian artist's studio. A large, unfinished, semi-detached barn with its typical rural structure opens onto both the courtyard and the fields.
The rustic appearance of the interior contrasts sharply with the elegance of the façade and bears witness to the rural past of the place. To the south, the solid carved oak entrance door opens into a large hallway, which leads to the kitchen, scullery and storeroom, all located on the right-hand side. The kitchen opens onto the garden through an east-facing French window, offering the panoramic view of the Montagnette. The sitting room features two cyclopean walls and can be accessed via five turning steps to the left of the entrance, further stairs then continue straight on to the upper floors. To the west, separate from the farmhouse, the hayloft used as a garage offers multiple possibilities for development.
The staircase, made of Barbentane stone, with walls rendered in a bright white rough plaster, leads to a corridor serving two bedrooms and a shower room. The first bedroom opens to the east, with a view of the Château de Boulbon; the second, to the south, is pleasantly protected by the shade of the plane tree. An attic converted into a dormitory with an imposing roof structure holds a large family wardrobe. Next to the attic, a hideaway for the unrepentant loner is nestled in the roof with a Roman terrace opening to the south-west, just above the barnyard.
The staircase leads up to what is actually a subdivision of the attic where a large artist's studio has been installed. Facing south, it opens onto a view of the surrounding countryside. The room was probably intended to serve as a last refuge for the farmers of the 19th century, when they had to face the terrible floods of the Rhone, which have since been reduced thanks to major civil engineering works carried out at the end of the 20th century.
The poetry and the absolute calm in which this haven is bathed, modestly but surely built in the face of the tumult of the world, can suit anyone who wishes to escape from turbulence. It is possible to acquire more than 3ha of additional land, to be planted with olive trees, guaranteeing a small olive production. There is no swimming pool as yet, but it could be installed.
For those looking for country flair, this farmhouse can be lived in immediately and would offer memorable moments of unconventionality.
For the others, small renovation works are undoubtedly to be planned and carried out. The village of Boulbon, with its shops, school and health care facilities, tempers the feeling of isolation. The cultural offerings of nearby Avignon and Arles can easily be enjoyed, yet the dialogue with nature and the rediscovered peace remain the most precious features of this property.
|Land registry surface area||5000 m2|
|Main building surface area||171.65 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||4|
|Outbuilding surface area||127.26 m2|
Francis Rousseau +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.