A listed Benedictine priory, its original, 15th & 16th century chapel, its outbuildings
and just over 3 ha in a hamlet on the borders of the Maine and Perche regions
Mamers, SARTHE pays-de-loire 72600 FR

Location

200 km from Paris, 15 minutes from an A28 motorway slip road.
On the outskirts of the Perche and Normandy-Maine regional nature parks and the majestic Perseigne forest.
The Haute-Sarthe region has a rich heritage with many religious buildings. The area is also ideal for practising nature sports, hiking, mountain biking and horse riding. A wide range of activities makes it possible to explore its landscapes and hidden treasures.
In a rural hamlet. Less than five minutes from a small town with all amenities and 15 minutes from a bigger town with a cinema, a hypermarket and a sixth form college.

Description

This sober 13th century priory, enclosed by walls and hedges, is flanked by tall pediments. It was reconstructed at the end of the 15th century, at the beginning of the Renaissance period. A chapel, with origins dating back to the 12th century, stands at the entrance. It can be accessed from outside the property. Once through the gates, visitors pass on the west side into parklands, closed on the left-hand side by the chapel, followed by a 19th century building, after which comes the priory. The estate would originally have been surrounded by moats, of which a small section remains in front of the priory, looked down on by a south-east facing terrace, shaded by tall trees. Behind these buildings, parklands, partially laid out as an orchard, also feature old roses, jasmine and boxwood, planted as close to the buildings as possible. A lane leading to cultivated fields and meadows runs behind the hedges protecting this property. Facing the priory, behind an old, partially open wall, is a farm, once the outer bailey for these premises. Awaiting renovation, it features a communal oven, topped with an outstanding roof and surrounded by an old moat. This section is extended by a field, spanning more than 2 ha, the upper part of which contains another little farm, awaiting renovation, with a house, outbuildings and a hemp drying shed.

The priory

This L-shaped building, spanning three levels, features a defensive tower, dating from after the One-Hundred-Years-War. The tile covered roof is listed. The exposed quarry stone block walls feature loopholes, bearing last witness to the trouble times of the Wars of Religion, rife in the region during the 16th century. Mullioned windows and oak wood door and window frames with indoor shutters. The floor is covered with its original old terracotta tiles. Other outstanding architectural features include 15th century arched doors in the stairway tower and fireplaces, one of which dating from the end of the Middle-Ages has a bread oven and a potager (a secondary hearth where soups and other previously prepared dishes were cooked on embers), another was recuperated from one of Fontainebleau castle’s outbuildings. The walls are painted with an immaculate, good quality whitewash. All the materials are superb, wrought so that they are enhanced by light. It faces south-north. The numerous facade windows on the top floor provide not only light but also a feeling of living at one with nature. Underfloor heating throughout gives the greatest comfort in this type of building.


Ground floor
The south facade features two entrances, one opening into the old dungeons, currently transformed into a vestibule as well as a boot room, and another on to a spiral stairway going up to the old court room. As of the entrance hall, the “technical” section of the house with the back of the bread oven adjoins the dining room with its large fireplace in the monks’ old common room and a door leading outside. A contemporary, beautifully integrated, fitted kitchen. A passageway leads to a little lounge which opens on to the garden on the east side. An arched door provides access from the dining room to a toilet and a refined bathroom. Here, there is also another spiral stairway in a tower as well as a door leading out to the back garden.
First floor
The large lounge is laid out in the old court room, with a Renaissance style monumental fireplace, the mantel of which is enhanced with decor featuring a rose that represents a symbol of devotion to Mary. This vast stately room, generously illuminated via mullioned windows on both sides, opens into the old treasure room, now transformed into a small bedroom. The other stairway provides access to the second, south-east facing, section of the “L” formed by the building. This section comprises two bedrooms with fireplaces and alcoves, highly representative of the 18th century. One of the bedrooms has been converted into a very monastic bathroom, with a view over the fields.
Attic
The stairway goes up to the attic space, laid out under the rafters with insulated flooring. Partially featuring mullioned windows, this level could be converted. A separate room is used for storage purposes.

The 19th century outbuilding

This rectangular building spans two levels. It has a glazed gable wall facing east over the garden behind the priory, a raised roofing framework and a listed tile-covered roof. Hemp wool insulation awaits laying, the materials are ready. Lime screed. Quarry block stone framing around the doors and windows. New door and window frames. Conversion works await completion.

The listed chapel

This chapel is consecrated. Its fully renovated, listed roof features tiles covering a magnificent inverted hull roofing framework, a superb example from the first Renaissance period. There are vestiges of the original 15th century rendering with numerous period decorative features such as 5 consecration crosses, a rose-shaped engraving (devotion to Mary) in the central beam and a Renaissance baptistery. Artists have managed to create a harmonious combination by integrating stained-glass windows featuring contemporary designs in the three late gothic period ogival windows and other oculi. It has underfloor central heating.

The outer bailey

These buildings close the south side of the property and face the priory. With two separate entrances, this area comprises a succession of buildings awaiting renovation. The farmhouse comprises a door opening into a kitchen, a dining room, three bedrooms and a hall area, with a sink and a shower, a toilet and a cold room in use as a cellar. The house is extended by an old cowshed, a boiler room and pigsties. There are attics above.

The old bakehouse

This rectangular building, awaiting renovation, is in the process of being classified as a French Historic Monument. Adjoining the outer bailey, this communal oven features an outstanding roofing framework in the form of an inverted ship’s hull. Near to the old moat, surrounded by water, this building comprises one room on the ground floor. Another room upstairs can be reached via an outside stone stairway, going up the gable wall.

The second little farm awaiting renovation

At the east end of the hamlet, separated by the fields and with its own independent entrance, this harmonious little farm, awaiting renovation, comprises a house with a kitchen, a dining room, with a fireplace, three bedrooms, a shower room and a back kitchen. Attractive stone outbuildings complete this farm, with two barns, including one adjoining, pigsties and a hemp drying shed.

Our opinion

These walls are literally steeped in history. The first-class renovation works recently undertaken have enhanced the architectural and decorative features bearing witness to this property’s long journey down through the ages. Steeped in a monastic atmosphere, this property is an extremely comfortable place to live which was just made for daydreaming within its perimeter wall. It is not isolated or difficult to reach or far from all daily necessities. This could be somewhere open to the public, an extension of the nearby village with a profusion of activities, the two little neighbouring farms giving great potential. The heated, luminous chapel is an invitation to meditate or to create. It could become a place of work. Newcomers will have but to make their choices.

Exclusive sale

1 064 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense


See the fee rates

Reference 992392

Land registry surface area 3 ha 39 a 70 ca
Main building surface area 416 m2
Number of bedrooms 4
Outbuilding surface area 280 m2

Consultant
Sarthe


Catherine Boivin +33 1 42 84 80 85

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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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