A 16th century, country mansion house and its gardens
near to Villers-Cotterêts and 90 km from Paris
Soissons, AISNE picardy 02200 FR


In the heart of Picardy, on the edge of Retz forest, on the heights of an authentic, local stone village that still has its rural appearance and several character buildings. This old land, proud of its past, stands out courtesy of its varied landscapes featuring forests, gardens and pastures as well as its considerable heritage with numerous abbeys, castles and farmsteads. Less than an hour from the French capital and 30 minutes from Roissy-CDG airport.
The setting is peaceful and the surroundings pastoral.


The original Christian and Latin name of the place is cited as of the 11th century. The village Seigneury was long shared between two fiefdoms, one dependent on the county of Soissons, the other on a neighbouring “châtellenie” (an officially recognised castle and its land), prior to becoming a market town in its own right. This site has suffered greatly from wars since the One Hundred Year War through to the First World War, including the invasions of the 19th century. The seriously damaged, 12th and 13th century church was restored to its original condition after 1918. Stone extracted from the village quarries was used for restoring historic monuments and for constructing contemporary buildings.
A lawned esplanade, dominated by the church and lined with trees, extends over the heights in the centre of the village. At the end of this green, open space stand the large wrought iron gates that mark the entrance to this property, spanning a surface area of more than 3,700 m². A small, partially converted, annex house borders its left-hand side along a little quiet street. All around are gardens and village houses, beyond which stretch the countryside and its rustic, wooded landscapes with a large forest in the distance.

The country mansion

The lower sections of this stone building, such as the cellar and the ice cave, date back to the 12th century; the rest was rebuilt after the bombing in 1917. Once through the gates, visitors go around the right-hand side of the crow stepped gable wall to reach the main entrance, adorned with lanterns and sculpted stone. Set at the base of the tower, it dates from the 16th century. The building, spanning more than 200 m² was fully restored in line with its character; said works having provided a certain level of home comfort. Immaculately kept, it has a slate roof and its facades feature large, small-paned windows which are slightly smaller in the upper section. A mullioned window has been preserved upstairs.
The heavy, wooden entrance door provides ground floor access to a vestibule, housing a spiral stone stairway. Its floor, column and walls feature exposed stone. A toilet is on the right-hand side. It leads straight on to a fully fitted kitchen that precedes a vast reception room adorned with a large stone fireplace. This room extends on either side of a wall, with a central flue, into a dining room with a marble fireplace opening out on to the garden level.
On one side, a low stone wall protects a little stairway going down to the cellars. A long corridor on the first floor leads to two bedrooms, one of which has a stone fireplace, as well as to two bathrooms. A stairway leads up to the top of the tower. On the gable wall, on the church side, is a delightful balcony with a small terrace dominating the gardens. On a lower floor, level with the garden, are a projection room with exposed stone walls, a wine cellar, a boiler room and a stairway, going down to the old ice cave, laid out as a lounge. It can also be reached via an outside stairway. An outbuilding, on the other side of the inner courtyard, spans close to 100 m². Laid out in the old stables, it is used as a guest house. It comprises a summer kitchen, a living room and a toilet on the ground floor. On one side is a small stable with a manger and a feeding rack.
Upstairs are two bedrooms and a bathroom.
On the side of the little house is a small fountain.
The wooded, terraced gardens are then set out in a French formal style down towards the national forest.
They all face south.

Ground floor

First floor

Garden level

Our opinion

Only the outstandingly talented would be able to read details in the stone of the centuries of trials and tribulations to which this building has been subjected and from which it has survived courtesy of praiseworthy restoration works. The unusual atmosphere currently exuded by this residence mixes a note with these historical circumstances that is both pleasant and welcoming, all enhanced by the attractiveness of the peaceful, picturesque market town enclosing it. With its beautiful gardens on either side and forest for as far as the eye can see, it is difficult to remember that the French capital is not far away especially as the natural surroundings appear unchanged. New owners will be able to add their own personal touches by converting the outbuilding’s additional floor surface areas in the same vein.

575 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense

See the fee rates

Reference 763618

Land registry surface area 3778 m2
Main building surface area 220 m2
Outbuilding surface area 90 m2
Number of bedrooms 4

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Regional representative

Jérôme Ferchaud +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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