all set in 8½ ha on the edge of the former province of Angoumois
Near to Nanteuil-en-Vallée and Verteuil-sur-Charente, both recognised as French “Towns of Character”, in a land of marked relief, composed of plains and woods, where nature appears to be playing with colours. 8 minutes from a town with 4,000 inhabitants, all amenities and a bi-weekly market selling home-grown produce, where such local delicacies as “Grillons Charentais”, made from grilled pork, and La-Taupinette cheese can be tasted. Its train station is on the regional line between Poitiers and Angoulême. The latter, 35 minutes away and capital of the comic strip, is also renowned for its international film festival and its wealth of heritage. Its TGV train station provides 2-hour links to Paris. The French capital is 450 km away and Bordeaux 125 km away via the A10 motorway.
Although the first traces of the Commandery are to be found as of the 12th century, the house would have been redesigned or rebuilt in the 15th century. Conversion works carried out in the 20th century somewhat perturbed the original layout. However, the way in which it was organised is revealed through examination of the openings, the sites of fireplaces and the spiral, stone stairway. The house looks out over the courtyard and the land belonging to the property on the south side.
The rooms that were originally very large have very recently been converted into a living room with an open-plan kitchen, three bedrooms, a bathroom and a toilet. Floors are tiled.
The upstairs can be reached via the spiral, stone stairway as well as via a recent wooden stairway. Recent partitioning has been erected and two large rooms remain, one of which has a fireplace and terracotta floor tiles. A door opens directly into the chapel tribune.
A narrow flight of steps goes up to this level as the stone stairway tower has been levelled off and no longer goes up to this floor. A corridor provides access to several rooms with their fireplace. They look out on the south side and over the village. Floors are covered with terracotta tiles. The roofing framework is composed of rafters bearing trusses, reminiscent of an inverted boat.
The chapel has been divided, only the northern section having been preserved, opening on to the courtyard. The door, with triangular arched moulding, indicates the internal structure. The jambs, columns and capitals are extremely sober. Once across the threshold and past the tribune, a pointed barrel vault goes up to a height of 8.50 m. No decorative features. The original flagstones, present in the other section, are said to be preserved under the wooden flooring.
Covered areas, a dairy, a pigsty, a barn, a bread oven, a curing shed and a vaulted cellar compose the impressive outbuildings. The dairy roof was redone some ten years ago; that of the pigsty in 1999 and the others are checked regularly. In the vast courtyard are a 48 m deep well and an underground, 20 m² water storage tank.
A continuous field comprises most of the land. A copse and, in the courtyard, a lime and a cherry tree as well as birch and walnut trees soften the austere appearance of the stone buildings.
Potential buyers will find themselves dreaming of a new way of life, less austere than when it was constructed, but with a self-sufficiency that 8½ ha of land are able to guarantee. Its architectural appearance is severe but very quickly compensated by its layout’s protective aspect and miscellaneous prospects. Former trading post as on the crossroads of main roads, this Commandery is but waiting for a new lease on life in order to regain its hospitality of yesteryear.
|Land registry surface area||8 ha 53 a 18 ca|
|Number of bedrooms||5|
|Main building surface area||415 m2|
|Outbuilding surface area||1600 m2|
Jérôme Broun +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.