A 19th century folly with parklands and 13th-17th century castle ruins
On the outskirts of Soissons, an old history-filled town, dominating a region with a rich and varied heritage. In a landscape of vast plains, interrupted by infrequent valleys, are a scattering of peaceful villages built of local stone, where numerous vestiges and character buildings remain.
At a distance from a village, in the peace and quiet with an unobstructed view over the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, between woods and forests.
A little more than half an hour from the main, regional towns, less than an hour from Roissy, and approx. 100 km (63 miles) from the French capital.
The history of this place begins at the very beginning of the 13th century at the same time as the Order of the Knights Templars came into being. It cannot be separated from the history of the latter and the various invasions. The Lords of the castle sold their land situated near to the neighbouring Templar’s residence. At this time the castle and said dwelling, approx. 1.25 miles apart, could communicate by means of a long underground tunnel, that partly used the natural cavities in the limestone, and, something particularly rare, a water table cavity, forming an underground lake. But, due to a risk of subsidence, the underground passageways were walled up relatively recently. Lasting for close to 800 years, lords, viscounts, advisors and squires succeeded one another at the head of the estate. Situated in a highly strategic region, the castle also sheltered various army corps, headquarters and rest points during the conflicts. Throughout its history the castle was redesigned a number of times (15th, 17th and then 19th centuries) and, on many occasions, was destroyed during the successive wars. All that is left today are the lower sections of the castle, a 17th century entrance door, with corbelling featuring carved bases, vaulted service quarters, a former water reserve, also vaulted and fed by a source, the basements and cellars, once situated under the castle, some orchards, and partially walled parklands. Unfortunately, to our knowledge, no engravings or plans exist for the castle built in the 13th century. A document, created at the end of the 19th century, which was drawn up on the basis of elements from departmental archives, represents the west facade of the castle, rebuilt in the 15th century.
Worthy of note on the first level are the stables that are still visible today, and the right-hand tower which marks the beginning of the east side.Opposite the main dwelling and forming a large inner courtyard, are the ruins of the former feudal castle, of which only the former stables and the carriage shed remain. The top of these stables currently form a large grassy terrace that could easily be converted into a roof garden.
Near to the residence, on the road side, a former caretaker’s cottage, typically built out of dressed stone with a slate roof, adjoins the 17th century entrance gates. Said cottage is currently used as offices for a self-employed person, and the former stables are used as an artist’s studio.
The outbuildings, a large caretaker’s cottage, the former castle’s stables and the small old chapel have considerable potential for both private and professional purposes.
The parklands, situated on the hillside, stretch over almost 6 ha (14.8 acres), and contain numerous species of trees, a great many of which are over one hundred years old: hornbeam, oak, maple, lime, beech and pine trees. They are crisscrossed by wide driveways, one of which, named after a Seigneur, once led down to the village on a lower level.
Unfortunately, a violent storm felled many of the one hundred year old trees.
The estate, originally attached to the neighbouring Knights Templar residence, used to contain some sumptuous orchards that stretched along the hillside to a small lake situated at the end of the valley. All that is left today, after numerous reorganisations is one large, southwest-facing, sloping orchard, a walled vegetable garden, and a long walkway that is now transformed into a rose garden.
A history-filled site, a mysterious mecca, an undreamt of situation that is definitely worth the detour. The comfort of the main residence, combined with the numerous possibilities of the outbuildings, will enable the new enlightened and enthusiastic owners to finalise a project or to make a dream come true. They can then take advantage of an exceptional view and rare vestiges that bear great witness to medieval castle architecture. A very real possibility of an enjoyable return to a distant past, in unusual surroundings.
A place which totally captivated us.
640 000 €
Our fees are included in the stated sale price.
|Land registry surface area||6 ha (14.8 acres)|
|Main building surface area||230 m² (2,475 sq ft)|
|Outbuilding surface area||460 m² (4950 sq ft)|
Bruno Van Montagu       +33 (0)6 43 61 86 27
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.