historic buildings for sale in france near poitiers

A listed, 12th & 18th century abbey,
with woods, meadows and a river, 45 km from Poitiers
Poitiers, VIENNE poitou-charentes 86000 FR


Symbol of the medieval Poitou region’s religious vitality, this abbey founded at the end of the 12th century, on Plantagenet lands, is but 45 km from Poitiers, former capital of the French Empire. Now the second largest city in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, it is in an ideal location between Paris and Bordeaux, both of which can be reached in 70-minutes via the TGV train line. Charles-de-Gaulle airport is 2½ hours away by TGV train. Poitiers airport has flights to London, Manchester and Lyon. The religious vitality has now given way to an economic vitality, supported not only by agriculture but also by cutting-edge technologies, notably in the field of mechanics.


A long, tree-lined driveway, off a road, leads to the abbey which can be glimpsed on approach, through the last few oak trees. But it is not the first building that catches the eye as, on the left-hand side of the driveway, an 18th century abbey house emerges in the midst of a verdant stretch, almost seeking to rival its impressive neighbour. Continuing the last few metres, the abbey and its widely open outbuildings bear witness to the trials and tribulations of history that abolished the seclusion, imposed by the premises. Its site owed nothing to chance, in fact, the search for solitude had to be guaranteed by self-sufficiency which required four essential elements, land, pastureland, woods and water. These elements also enhance the abbey, making its history easier to understand. It appears to be refereeing a natural joust between the woods and the river, on one hand, and the fields and meadows, on the other. All are just waiting to be explored. A little further on, the old tithe barn is on the left-hand side followed, on the right-hand side, by an old dovecote, a wine storehouse and lastly the T-shaped monastery building, the site of the old cloister, the church and an old tower. With the disappearance of the cloister, the building where a stone stairway takes pride of place (vertical section of the “T”) and the church give the appearance of two open arms welcoming visitors and pointing out the entrance. Going around the buildings to the right, an old defence tower appears to be protecting the vestiges of the church, bearing witness to a life devoted to prayer and manual work. The monastery building extends from the apse to a second defence tower, which unlike the first is covered. This property is listed as a French Historic Monument and would be able to take advantage of suitable subsidies, financial aid and tax allowances.

The monastery building

This abbey was founded in the 12th century, but destroyed during the One Hundred Years War. Its renaissance took place over several centuries and it is the 18th century monastery building that is present today. Laid out in a T-shape, it spans two levels and is topped with a flat tile roof. It is flanked on the west side by a tower, converted into a neo-gothic chapel, and on the east side by a church.

Ground floor
The vertical section of the “T” currently comprises the refectory and the old kitchens as well as the vestibule housing the main stone stairway. Set at right angles are a lounge, a library, a vestibule and a chapterhouse which, laid out on either side, face south and look out over the fields. The floors on this level are alternately covered with flagstones, terracotta tiles and parquet flooring. The ceilings are more than 4 m high in the lounge, the library, the entrance hall, the refectory and the kitchen.
First floor
On this floor, a long, wide corridor provides access to seven bedrooms, some of which still have their 18th century decor, including panelling and fireplaces. The style in the others reflects the austerity of the premises. The first floor can be reached either via the main stairway or via another stairway, housed behind the chapterhouse. The corridor is laid with terracotta floor tiles, whilst the bedrooms have parquet flooring.
Second floor
This level comprises nine bedrooms, each with its own wash-hand basin. The very basic decor, composed of parquet flooring and rendered walls, is not worthy of mention. Only one of these nine bedrooms has its own bathroom, the others share a shower room and separate toilet. Once again, On the corridor is laid with terracotta floor tiles and the bedrooms have parquet flooring.

The abbey house

Constructed in the 18th century, its lack of embellishment is reminiscent of the site on which it was built. Exposed stone, with traces of rendering, and a tile roof make it extremely plain. The main building adjoins an outbuilding.

Ground floor
The ground floor comprises three rooms. An entrance hall provides access, right, to a lounge and, left, to a dining room with an adjoining kitchen. The plain materials include flagstones and terracotta floor tiles, fireplaces as well as the remains of rendering on the walls. A wooden stairway, housed in the entrance hall, goes upstairs.
First floor
The landing provides access to two bedrooms and a bathroom area with a toilet. The first bedroom has its own wash-hand basin, with a toilet, and the second has been divided into two areas. Both bedrooms have a fireplace and wooden flooring.

The church

The porch, composed of four arches, supported on slightly engaged columns, with refined capitals, is topped with a wide opening which should house stained glass to filter the divine light. On the upper corners of this facade are two bartizans. The roofing framework is no longer in existence but the spiritual imprint remains courtesy of the fact that the architectural and decorative vestiges are reminiscent of the rites associated with the premises. Its nave is flat. The cloister nestled between the church and the monastery building.

The outbuildings

The outbuildings are composed of a first building, a 350 m² wine storehouse, an old tithe barn, of which only the walls remain, a 130 m² caretaker’s lodge and a mill, currently missing its wheel. Constructed from exposed stone and topped with tile roofs, these outbuildings act as a reminder of the manual labour that, together with prayer, filled the days in order to ensure self-sufficiency.

The parklands and the land

The grounds are laid out on either side of the river. On the nearest bank, the abbey parklands reflect a simple combination of lawns, enhanced with decoratively trimmed yew trees, in keeping with the historical austerity of the premises. Meadows then border the monastery buildings, followed by 9 ha of farmland and a first wood. The second wood, on the far bank, can be reached via a ford.

Our opinion

This old abbey bears witness to local, national and international history. It has resisted historic ingratitude but now deserves to have attention paid to its architecture in order to restore its former glory. The renovation works required are equal to the size of the premises. Patience will be necessary but the satisfaction gained from the task will be as great as its spiritual imprint. This will then be the start of a new era, whether used as a private residence or for a profit-making activity.

1 272 000 €
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur

Voir le Barème d'Honoraires

Reference 636500

Land registry surface area 25 ha 98 a 67 ca
Main building surface area 1400 m2
Outbuilding surface area 800 m2

Regional representative

Jérôme Broun       +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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