an hour from Paris on the edge of Compiègne Forest
This is a land of faith. It was, in fact, in the Automne Valley that Christianity first appeared in Picardy with the development of churches and abbeys as of the late Middle-Ages. The valley, like the entire Valois region, became part of the royal estate under the reign of Philippe-Auguste in 1185 with, as an epilogue, Henri III last king of France, descended from the House of Valois. It is in this region, steeped in history and monuments, that this large, dressed stone building is to be found. Crépy-en-Valois is 10 minutes’ drive away, with its shops, schools and doctors; Compiègne is 15 minutes away and Paris an hour away.
Constructed in 1890 using large blocks of local limestone, this building was part of the neighbouring manor house estate. Rings on the ground floor prove that it was originally a cattle shed. The upstairs was the hayloft which was used for almost a century as the manor was the centre of a large, regional farm. Converted in the 1970’s, it is now a house, spanning three levels. It has been renovated by its current owners who have made the most of its rustic architecture. The sober facade is composed of perfectly aligned blocks of dressed stone. The ground floor of this facade features two large openings, once carriage doors, with two semi-circular arched windows on either side. Upstairs, two small windows, with wooden railings, are topped with an impressive roof, covered with flat tiles. The building is enhanced with a south-west facing, wooden terrace.
The immense living room gives an initial impression of force through its vertiginously high ceiling and its omnipresent roofing framework. A set of stairways and mezzanines enhance the floor surface area of this central room, combining a lounge and a dining room, which alone measures 144 m². A large stone fireplace is made to appear almost modest. Natural materials, like the terracotta floor tiles, laid in a diagonal pattern, and the wooden beams, take pride of place. A kitchen, a pantry and a door leading to a vaulted cellar complete this level.
The open stairway, with its solid wood treads and railings, appears to be suspended in mid-air. It goes up from the lounge and leads to the first floor which is laid out around a circular mezzanine looking down on to the living room. This open-plan gallery, with its parquet flooring, provides access to four bedrooms, a bathroom and a shower room. Furthermore, a study area in the gallery looks down on to the lounge.
This level comprises three bedrooms, all with a view of the garden. A bathroom could be created as a space has been left for this purpose. Above, a vast attic awaits conversion.
The house has its courtyard and its garden sides; in this instance, a priest’s garden. Lawn, primroses in the spring and plants climbing over the old mossy wall, bordering the property.
A little, old chapel, mentioned in the 18th century as belonging to the neighbouring manor house, adds a romantic touch to the garden.
A small house in use as a shed is home to the heating system and a laundry room, with a toilet and a shower.
This property appeals courtesy of its simplicity: that of its initial vocation of course and, above all, that of its internal layout created in the 1970’s. The entire house is, in fact, laid out around a vast living room, forming the very centre of the home with a vertiginously high ceiling, mezzanine passageways and open stairways. This house has no corridors. The vast area, created in this way, is especially convivial as it is possible for the residents to see one another whatever level they happen to be on. All of this contributes to a simple, relaxed way of life so typical of the 1970’s. Near to Paris and, just a few minutes’ walk away, Compiègne Forest is but an invitation to go for a stroll. This is an ideal place to watch a family grow up, to receive friends, to run an original bed & breakfast activity or, with such a theatrical interior, to put on shows.
|Land registry surface area||694 m2|
|Main building surface area||400 m2|
|Outbuilding surface area||50 m2|
Jérôme Ferchaud +33 1 42 84 80 85
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.