area of France, on the Camino de Santiago pilgrims’ way
The property lies near the charming towns of Sarlat-la-Canéda, Montignac and Les Eyzies. It is just a stone’s throw from the picturesque Château de Commarque, which towers on a hillside and overlooks the Grande Beune valley – a Natura 2000 conservation zone. The region is known worldwide for cave exploration, for its built heritage and for its gems of prehistory, not to mention its fine cuisine. Two small towns with shops and amenities lie close to the property. Sarlat-la-Canéda town centre is 15 minutes away. Brive-la-Gaillarde, with its international airport and train station, is an hour from the home. And the nearby A20 and A89 motorways take you to Toulouse in 1 hour and 45 minutes and to Bordeaux in 2 hours and 15 minutes.
The country house
The house is rustic in style and its renovation has kept this rural charm. The materials that form it give the dwelling its beauty alone: age-old stones from local quarries. The edifice faces south-east with a sweeping view over the valley. It seems to float above the mist in a backdrop of prairies that stretch to the horizon and are criss-crossed with hedges. It has a cellar, a ground floor and a first floor. The south-east-facing facade looks out at a medieval garden. This elevation has a tall, broad door and a variety of windows. Three dormers with shell motifs punctuate the gabled roof, which has a hipped end. This roof, covered with stone tiles, bears witness to early use of lofts as living spaces. The elevation on the other side faces the house’s tree-dotted courtyard. A monumental chimney stack rises up from the roof on this side.
The ground floor
The ground floor lies upon a medieval cellar in good condition. The year 1801 is engraved into a lintel, though the edifice dates further back. The hallway has a cobblestone floor of river pebbles. It leads to a large lounge that features a Renaissance fireplace between two narrow windows with stone window seats. An office with ochre lime-coated walls and a cross-window forms an intermediate space connecting to a dining room, which leads out westwards to a terrace. Lower down, in the part at a right angle to the house’s main section, there is a dual-aspect kitchen and a pantry. One particularity of this kitchen is that a bedroom lies above it. This bedroom, which you reach it via a ladder staircase, was probably once a servant’s room. It adds to the three other bedrooms on the first floor. Following the gentle slope of the annexe sections, you reach a bedroom, a shower room with a lavatory, and a separate court entrance. Terracotta tiles adorn the floor. The windows are fitted with shutters of sculpted wood. The rooms have French-style oak-beamed ceilings, often from before the 18th century. Electric heating warms up the ground floor.
The first floor
A plain quarter-turn staircase leads up to a landing that connects to three bedrooms. Two of these bedrooms connect to each other. They are dual-aspect rooms. These three bedrooms share a single bathroom with a lavatory. This bathroom lies in the property’s former dovecote, the pigeonholes of which remain. Once the parts of the roof requiring repair (costed) are restored, this bathroom could be redesigned to create a separate passage to the eastern bedroom. All the bedrooms have sloping attic ceilings. They have rather different styles, but they are all high-ceilinged because the roof is very steep. There are exposed stonework walls and plastered walls on this top floor. In some spots, the insulation needs to be improved. There are old window frames. Old oak strip flooring extends across the two western bedrooms, whereas the other two bedrooms have more recent oak strip floors.
This charming property is full of history. It is a sleeping beauty that lies in a bucolic backdrop at the top of a lush viewpoint. Though the house is currently inhabited, it awaits a new owner to give it a fresh lease of life. The dwelling needs a little renovation, if only to bring back the splendour of its first restoration 50 years ago. It is the perfect family home with so many precious assets: fruit trees that dot the property, the possibility to create a swimming pool on the south side, a water reservoir that naturally forms behind the bakehouse when it rains, and the property’s remnants to restore so you can leave your own mark on this unique place. And of course, there is the dwelling’s quaint character, which makes this noble home look like it has come straight from a fairy tale. In fact, in its long story, this rare gem has never stopped being an idyllic haven.
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Ilan Libert +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.