of grounds in the Falaise region, on the borders of Normandy
In the Calvados region, at the crossroads of former major trade and pilgrimage routes, the Falaise region attracts visitors from all over the world for its rich cultural and historic heritage. The landscapes combine hedged meadows, deep valleys, wooded banks and meandering rivers.
It takes less than 3 hours to drive to Paris, or 2 hours by train via Argentan station, 22 km from the property. 60 km from the Côte de Nacre (Mother-of-Pearl Coast). The village is 10 minutes from the town of Falaise. Between the 11th and 13th centuries, Falaise was a stronghold of the Dukes of Normandy. Today, the old medieval town is bustling with shops, a market and sports and cultural facilities.
From the centre of the village, a small road winds for 2 km, lined with meadows and woods, leading to a wooden gate flanked by stone pillars topped with decorative finials. This gate opens onto the wooded grounds, revealing the guesthouse, dating from the early 14th century. The gothic edifice has been painstakingly restored, retaining its ribbed vaults.
At the edge of the park, there are a coach house and a former lodging. On the opposite side, a pedestrian gate leads to a path through a wood with a pond.
The estate also includes a barn and its meadow, surrounded by a wall, around 100 m from the main house. The guesthouse overlooks a rolling, green landscape fringed with woodlands, where the Traîne-Feuilles stream gently burbles.
The monastic guesthouse
Built in the early 14th century and extended in the 18th century, the guesthouse was restored over a period of thirty years, starting in the early 1970s, under the aegis of the French Historic Monuments Agency and the Caen Conservation Authority.
The rectangular, two-storey Gothic building is built of dressed and rough-hewn sandstone masonry. The corner buttresses are of limestone. The symmetry of the tracery windows with pointed arches adds a sense of harmony to the southern gable. The gable roof of flat brown tiles features three chimney stacks.
The adjoining extension, which is lower but also two storeys high, has a gable roof of traditional flat tiles. It is of rendered sandstone masonry and the window surrounds are of dressed limestone. Finally, a stone outdoor staircase leading to the second storey flanks the northern facade.
The ground floor
On the orchard side, a wooden lattice entrance door opens into a hallway with a solid oak quarter-turn staircase. A large lattice-window illuminates the slab-paved floor featuring red hexagonal terracotta tiles. The wood-panelled ceiling is supported by exposed beams. The walls are of dressed and grouted rubble masonry. The entrance hall leads on one side to a lavatory and boiler room followed by an open-plan kitchen on the other. On the opposite side, it provides access to a vast vaulted room with ribbed and cross-vaulted ceilings. The capitals and central columns of coquina limestone are remarkably well preserved. The ogee windows and the large triangular file opening in the gable, adorned with stained glass windows, radiate soft light across the floor, which is laid with stone slabs and clay tiles. An inset fireplace abuts the rubble masonry wall and rises up to the vaulted ceiling. Its mantel is of dressed Caen stone.
The oak staircase leads to a landing with hardwood flooring, serving a shower room, a bathroom and a sitting room. The latter features a French beamed ceiling and a magnificent inset fireplace of finely dressed stone. The flooring is of square red clay tiles. Dressed rubble masonry embellishes the entire level. Three large windows with fine latticework illuminate the space. A glass door, also with a lattice pattern, opens onto an external staircase leading to the grounds. From the landing, a flight of steps leads to a corridor. This serves three bedrooms illuminated by stained glass windows with pointed arches. Finally, a door provides access to the attic, whose roof structure, in the shape of an inverted hull, was created by naval craftsmen. Part of the roof space can be converted.
Situated on the edge of the grounds, this stone and red brick building has a gable roof of flat red tiles with a window and dormer door.
The gardener house
Facing a meadow, the cottage is of thick, dressed rubble masonry topped by a gable roof. It awaits restoration.
Set away from the guesthouse, it faces the stone-walled meadow. The building and the roof are in need of restoration.
Surrounding the guesthouse and protected by fences and hedges, the park provides a sense of privacy. Beds of pruned shrubs and box hedges add some character to the grassy area. Various species of trees are planted next to an orchard, a pond and a covered well. Finally, slightly off-centre, a path crosses the wood with its pond.
Located on the edge of the Gouffern forest, this relatively isolated edifice, sheltered by its lush grounds, is steeped in history. With its elegant and singular silhouette, the guesthouse is in an excellent state of repair and presents a sober, old-fashioned interior, where a number of original architectural and decorative features remain. Undisturbed and hidden from view, this country retreat, an emblematic building of the Falaise region, is the ideal place from which to discover and admire the treasures of Norman Switzerland, whose fields and hedgerows stretch as far as the famous beaches of the Côte de Nacre.
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Frédéric Reiman +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.