adjoining the Purple Périgord region in the French department of Lot-et-Garonne
This little chateau stands between Monflanquin and Villeréal, two outstanding “bastides” (fortified towns), just a stone’s throw from the border of the French department of Dordogne. It is only 10 minutes from Cancon, the “hazelnut capital”.
This property is equidistant from Bergerac and Agen airports with their flights to Orly, England, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Bordeaux international airport is 140 km away, whilst that of Toulouse is 150 km away.
The heritage and tourist trade of the nearby Périgord region has become famous courtesy of sites such as Lascaux, Les-Eyzies, Beynac, Domme and many others.
All around, meadows and a few woods dominate the countryside which stretches for as far as the eye can see.
The manor house
This little, 17th and 18th century chateau is reminiscent of a traditional chartreuse house, with its classical style facade, a central door, with a fan-shaped fanlight, stone pilaster framing and an upstairs under the roof. A tower stands at each end, both featuring very steep, tiled roofs. An example, no doubt, of the turret dovecotes, typical of the Upper Quercy region. These farm-manor houses were enhanced with corner towers, thereby associating rural and stately architecture.
The entrance courtyard provides access to a vast inner courtyard formed in the middle of the buildings, where the old living space and the outbuildings were joined by a central building in the 1950’s.
All the buildings have been renovated in accordance with good trade practices.
The oldest section can be reached via a French window, with a fan-shaped fanlight, from the inner courtyard. It opens into a through gallery, paved with terracotta floor tiles, with a similar French window, opposite, opening on to the driveway, bordered by lavender bushes. This part of the house is only one room deep and, therefore, has a double aspect, making it extremely luminous.
On the left of the entrance, two adjoining lounges, exuding an 18th century air, are decorated in a Gustavian style.
The first lounge, paved with terracotta tiles, has a wooden, Directoire style fireplace, painted to imitate grey marble. Two windows face one another on the east and west sides.
It precedes the little lounge which, with carpet and white-painted ceiling beams and joists, ends this section of the property. Illuminated via two windows, it opens on to the inner courtyard via a wide French window. This square room forms the base of the dovecote-tower. A spiral stairway, with wrought iron railings, goes up to a library.
On the right of the entrance is a dining room, with a straight ceiling, terracotta floor tiles, an old cupboard, with double, moulded doors, on the right-hand side of the window, and a stone fireplace in good working order.
A door to the bedroom at the end of this wing is preceded by a small hall, housing a stairway going upstairs and leading to a small bathroom, with wall and floor tiles.
This square room, like the library, is at the base of the other corner tower. It is vast and bright, with its windows, wide strip pattern wooden flooring and a ceiling featuring exposed joists and white-painted beams. Large cupboards are set on either side of the grey marble fireplace which has been condemned.
A door under the stairs goes to a cellar, laid out beneath the bedroom. This is ideal as a wine cellar as it has a packed mud floor, two basement windows and a door leading outside on the south side.
A wing, set at right angles, links the manor house to the outbuildings, forming an almost enclosed courtyard. A small, so-called children’s dining room provides access to a laundry room, a kitchen and the courtyard. The roof, projecting the length of the courtyard facade and supported by wooden pillars, forms a covered area. It is overlooked via several French windows in the kitchen, all the units of which are aligned on the opposite wall.
A door at the end of the kitchen provides access to a little courtyard, set between the buildings. A wisteria-covered pergola provides shade and coolness in the summer. One of the surrounding walls features the opening of the old bread oven, bearing witness to the former rural activity. The view under the large lime tree stretching over a backdrop of countryside provides pleasant serenity.
A child’s bedroom, following the kitchen, can be reached via three steps. With a cement floor, covered in sisal matting and a painted, panelled ceiling, its window overlooks the inner courtyard.
Next, reached via a door on the north side, is a room used as a cellar in the old wing of the outbuildings. It features old terracotta floor tiles, exposed ceiling joists and exposed stone walls.
A library, directly above the little, ground floor lounge and still in the dovecote-tower, is illuminated on three sides.
The spiral stairway, leading to it, continues up to the top floor where a bedroom and its bathroom are preceded by a small landing, with a window overlooking the courtyard.
A door, on the library level below, opens into an attic which runs the length of the main manor house building, connecting the two dovecote-towers. The roofing framework is exposed and reveals the extensive insulation in this section. This attic space contains storage areas and a children’s games room. It would obviously be possible to convert this area into additional bedrooms for a very large family.
The attic communicates at the end with a little landing which, identical to the ground floor, has a door leading to a small bathroom, a large bedroom, fitted with an astonishing Prussian wood-burning stove and the stairway going back downstairs.
Garages open on to the courtyard via wide, slatted, wooden doors with windows. The first and bigger garage, able to take at least two cars, has a cement floor. In a corner is the pump which is connected to a well and used for watering purposes. The second, small, adjoining garage opens on to the courtyard via a superb stone archway. It has a packed mud floor. This section was, at one time, considered for a conversion project, intended to separate the generations.
The current owner being a car enthusiast, a third garage has been constructed adjoining the rear, extended by a small, very modest stable.
An impressive, circular, stone well enhances the inner courtyard. Deep and still providing water, it is extremely useful for watering the garden-parklands surrounding the house.
Near to the large swimming pool, a small, old building must once have been the manor house’s henhouse as it is still possible to see stone alcoves at chest height in the walls so as to protect the clutch from predators. It has been converted into a pool machine room. It is followed by a storage area for the summer equipment.
The view from the inner courtyard towards an alleyway features a tall stone urn which creates an Italian air.
The highly calcareous soil ideally suits a magnificent wisteria that covers an entire corner of the house. Three tall cedar trees shade the meadow. The view from this side extends over gently rolling hills, fields and woods.
The view extends over the gently undulating fields and woods to the distant hills. Two robust square towers wear their roofs like tall hats. One is higher than the other, thus breaking the monotony. Horizontal lines are to be found in the central building and the wing, the latter featuring a portico, formed by the projecting roof, where warm summer evenings can be spent discussing the day’s activities, in a region abounding in heritage sites. The inside exudes an air of an old family home, extending its welcome to newcomers.
|Land registry surface area||4 ha 35 a 10 ca|
|Main building surface area||390 m2|
|Outbuilding surface area||110 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||4|
Armelle Chiberry du Vignau +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.