A 15th-century country house and its grounds
in the Maine Saosnois region, 2 hours west of Paris
Bonnétable, SARTHE pays-de-loire 72110 FR

Location

The property is located in the Maine Saosnois region, on the edge of the Perche, in a hamlet of a few houses. Paris is 185 km from here and Le Mans 30 km. Two A11 motorway junctions and two TER (regional express train) stations are less than 20 km away. Nearby is a small town with a wide range of services, shops and schools. A countryside of fields with hedgerows and forests, this is a popular destination for lovers of outdoor sports. A wide range of activities is on offer, providing an excellent opportunity to discover the region's landscapes and hidden treasures.

Description

The hamlet is situated on a plateau. A small, quiet road leads past a few houses to the property, which is steeped in unspoilt nature, enclosed by hedges and planted with tall trees. The dwelling stands in the middle of its verdant grounds. Beyond tall wrought iron gates, a shady driveway leads up to the manor house, the eastern facade of which gradually comes into view. The drive encircles around the buildings on the south side. On the other side, hidden behind a hedge, there is the old swimming pool in need of renovation. From here, the west facade can be made out. Low hedges punctuate the grounds, with a few large trees at the bottom of the plot of land. At the foot of the building, a vast lawned area stretches out across two levels.

The manor house

Built at the end of the 15th century, in 1480, after the Hundred Years' War, this east-west-facing former stronghold was a refuge for the "impoverished nobility". At the end of the 16th century, it was modified and enlarged, and in the 17th century, a wooden spiral staircase was added.
With a floor area of roughly 320 m², the residence is on a human scale. Rectangular in plan, the central section is of coursed rubble masonry topped by a gable roof clad with traditional tiles. There are four bays on the front and back facades. The western facade features two mullioned windows along the upper level and large 18th-century openings on the ground floor. To the east, the windows are smaller, as was customary at the time. The architectural style of the dwelling is simple, with two storeys above a basement extending beneath the entire ground floor area.


The ground floor
On the western side, the layout was modified in the 19th century, when an entrance from the adjoining outbuilding was created on the south side. A wide hallway opens onto the kitchen, which is almost directly connected to the outdoors. There are two flights of four approach steps on the original gable end of the manor house. One leads down to a cellar, the other up to a first sitting room that also serves as the dining room. This is a vast, bright room, where light pours in through the windows on both sides. There is a door leading to the eastern part of the grounds. On this level, the flooring is terracotta and the ceilings are beamed. The spaces between the joists are shingled with brick forming the upper floor. There is a stone fireplace topped by an overmantel with a mirror. The walls are plastered and painted with imitation woodwork. The rooms are arranged in a row. A door opens onto a room with a wooden staircase to the first floor on one side and a lavatory on the other. A doorway with dressed stone lintels and surround leads into a large sitting room. Between the joists, the ceiling is wood-lined. The stone fireplace is painted, as are all the walls, featuring trompe-l'œil or figurative motifs. There is a "potager" (an ancestral masonry cooking appliance) on one side of the fireplace. On the other side, a door provides access to outdoors and the garden to the east. Two windows face west.
The upstairs
The upper floor is accessed from the centre of the dwelling via a 17th-century spiral wooden staircase and is divided into two areas. One part is situated on the upper floor of the manor house, followed by a corridor and a series of bedrooms in the roofspace of the 19th century outbuilding. The landing leads on one side to a vast room above the large sitting room, featuring mullioned windows with internal shutters on either side. Opposite, there is a lavatory next to a bathroom. A corridor leads to a succession of seven bedrooms, a lavatory and a bathroom on a split-level. The walls are of plastered brick and the ceilings of plasterboard. The floors vary from straight strip hardwood to brick shingles and pitch pine.
The basement
These are accessed from the hallway leading to the kitchen. Three spaces follow on from one another, aired by window wells. The ceiling height is rather low.

The outbuildings

Set against either side of the manor house, they date from the 19th and 20th centuries. A building to the north serves as garage and workshop. On the south side, a rectangular building with a tiled roof contains a former double cattle shed and provides plenty of storage space. In the converted roofspace above, there are four bedrooms accessed via the manor house. The bedrooms have roof windows.


The garage
It abuts the manor house on the north side and has a good ceiling height. Two large wooden doors provide access to the garage.
The former rural farm
Set against the southern wall of the manor house, this structure has been used to create the entrance hallway and the kitchen. The remaining space is currently a large storage area.

Our opinion

Sheltered by lush foliage, this sleeping beauty was the holiday residence of a large family for many years. The country house and its outbuildings have retained a typically French bourgeois atmosphere, exuding old-fashioned charm and elegance. Many original features are still in place. This property is of a comfortable size, comprising two large reception rooms and many bedrooms, thereby forming the perfect country house barely 2 hours from the capital. The future masters will simply have to add their own personal touch to the estate's more than five centuries old history.

Exclusive sale

300 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense


See the fee rates

Reference 188010

Land registry surface area 9375 m2
Main building surface area 320 m2
Number of bedrooms 7
Outbuilding surface area 90 m2

Consultant
Sarthe

Catherine Boivin +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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