An 18th century rural house and its outbuildings with almost 7 hectares
in undulating countryside, near a forest, on the borders of the Maine and Perche regions
Alençon, SARTHE pays-de-loire 61000 FR

Location

Near to Alençon, less than 15 km from the town centre, 200 km from the centre of Paris and 15 km from the A28 motorway. 50 km from Le-Mans, with its excellent road and rail networks (Paris-Montparnasse train station in less than an hour, Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport in 1¾ hours). Local shops and restaurants are to be found in the surrounding villages. The Saosnois Country, on the outskirts of the Normandy-Maine Regional Nature Park and the majestic Perseigne Forest, 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

Description

Set in the hollow of a valley with views not only of a lovely rural village but also of the countryside. This estate extends over a little less than 7 ha of parklands, meadows, a lake and woods. A driveway planted with oak trees and lined with beech trees crosses the meadows and runs alongside a wood, before leading to the house which, therefore, stands in verdant surroundings. The residence initially presents its north facade, facing a courtyard with, at its feet, a lawn parterre flanked by two large buildings. On the garden side, terraces laid out on three levels provide vistas of undulating countryside stretching into the distance beyond the property. On one side of the residence, near to the cellar door, is a masonry well; a vegetable garden and an orchard are planted on the other side. A beech tree lined pathway forms a promenade going down to a lake, spanning a surface area of about a hectare. Said promenade goes around the lake, under superb trees, and continues as far as a wood planted with tall oak trees, before coming to an end in the entrance courtyard in front of the house. This was originally a vast estate, spanning more than 70 ha, built up over the centuries by an aristocratic family, trading in wood taken from the nearby forest. The house, completed under Louis XV in 1772, was constructed as a stately country home. Abandoned in 1838 by one of the heirs, it was used for housing farmers up until 1987. As of 2001, the greatly neglected and heavily dilapidated estate underwent numerous works under the aegis of an architect from Bâtiments-de-France for two and a half years. Particular attention was paid to the materials and traditional techniques used. Renowned gardener, Louis-Benech, was commissioned to redesign and landscape the parklands. Herculean works were undertaken, all plumbing and cabling was put underground, the surroundings and pathways were excavated and large numbers of miscellaneous species were planted and set out over several levels.

The 18th century house

This house, virtually facing north-south, features a sober, regional architecture, typical of residences constructed in the 18th century. A rectangular building, it spans three levels, partially over cellars. Its hip roof is covered with small mould tiles. The guttering and down pipes are made of copper. The facades, covered with traditionally-made, lime-rendering, are symmetrically aligned with openings, composed of double, tall windows or French windows, with arched fanlights on the ground floor, wooden-framed, small-paned windows on the first floor and roof dormers on the second, their sides covered with chestnut shingle. They all have indoor shutters. The rooms are all bight courtesy of their through light. Numerous outstanding architectural features have been enhanced such as Louis XV fireplaces decorated with plant motifs, Louis XV doors or casement bolts remade like-for-like or copies of old doors. Spanning approx. 400 m², this residence houses a succession of reception rooms and a kitchen on the ground floor. A central wooden stairway, with terracotta tile treads, wooden nosing and Louis XIV balusters, goes up to the first floor via a wide landing providing access to three bedrooms with bath or shower rooms and toilettes, as well as a dressing room. The stairway continues up to the second floor where a corridor leads to three bedrooms and two shower rooms with toilets, one with a bathroom.


Ground floor
The entrance, with double doors, opens into a wide vestibule. Behind the main stairway, steps go down inside to the cellar. Adjoining Louis XV style doors open into two, large, intercommunicating lounges. Each room has a fireplace in good working order. A corridor provides access to a separate toilet, a dining room or study, with a fireplace, and a spacious kitchen, fitted with Bulthaupt units and featuring a Roussard sandstone fireplace. The reception rooms have walls covered with hemp and lime rendering and feature old stone fireplaces with sculpted ornaments. The exposed ceiling beams with panelling between the joists go beautifully with the 15x15 cm terracotta floor tiles, laid diagonally.
First floor
The stairway goes up to the wide first-floor landing which, behind two doors on either side, provides access to two sleeping areas. On one side, a spacious room in use as a dressing room is followed by a bedroom and a large bathroom, with a shower and toilet. On the other side, a corridor leads to two bedrooms, each with a fireplace and a bathroom, with shower and toilet. The floors have strip pattern oak wood parquet flooring, laid on floor joists. The ceilings feature exposed beams. Indoor shutters.
Second floor
This stairway continues up to the second floor and provides access to a wide landing with numerous cupboards. The attic space has been converted. Sections of the roofing framework are exposed. On one side, a bedroom and a private shower room with a toilet; on the other, two bedrooms, with cupboards and a shower room with a toilet. The floors are laid with strip pattern oak wood parquet flooring. The sloping ceilings are insulated and rendered or lined with Lebanon cedar wood.
Cellar
These vaulted cellars can be reached from the inside via the vestibule or from the outside, on the gable side near the well. They are divided into three sections. One, used as a boiler room, also houses the oil tank, a water tank with a submerged pump for watering the parklands and a water softener; another is used as a storeroom and a linen room; the last is a wine cellar.

The outbuildings

The outbuildings, standing in an east-west direction on either wide of the main residence, form a U-shape. Facing one another, both have lime-rendered walls, topped with hip tile roofs. One is used partially as a barn, partially as garages. Under a traditional pillar-beam structure, a “charreterie”, where carts were once kept. The other outbuilding could be converted. Two large areas feature windows, protected by wooden shutters, and a third is in use as a bakery with a bread oven in good working order. The upstairs awaits the fitting of windows.

The exteriors

These areas are composed of a wood, spanning a surface area of approx. 1 ha, a lake spanning a similar surface area, some 4 ha of meadows and parklands, as well as an orchard and pathways totalling a surface area of approx. 1 ha. The landscapes of the parklands are laid out as different gardens, composed of decoratively trimmed boxwood and yew trees. They are planted with a large number of miscellaneous species set out on various levels. Wonderful views are to be had all along the promenades. Lines of fruit trees (including apple, pear, cherry, plum, Mirabelle plum and apricot) are planted on the east and west sides of the residence. The meadows are free of any tenants.

Our opinion

The overall architectural appearance bears witness to a complicity between a family and the land lasting more than three centuries. The last owner took on the mission of restoring the estate’s splendour of yesteryear by carrying out quality works, at the same time as bringing everything in line with current day standards, without upsetting the general equilibrium. This estate, well-balanced as regards its composition and size, can now quite tranquilly be sold on. New owners will still be able to add their own personal touches through the conversion potential of one of the outbuildings. The geographical location with direct access to Paris is extremely practical. It is an ideal place for living in the country with the French capital within easy reach.

Exclusive sale

980 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense


See the fee rates

Reference 940783

Land registry surface area 7 ha
Main building surface area 405 m2
Outbuilding surface area 414 m2

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Regional representative
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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