a stable, meadows, woods and an orchard near to Albi in the Cocagne Country
Near to the town of Albi well-known for its medieval architecture and its cathedral classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO, this chateau benefits from a location that not only appeals to tourists but is also in a verdant, secluded setting with a magnificent vista.
Toulouse, together with its international airport and its TGV train station, is an hour’s drive away (A68 motorway).
The local surroundings include the Cocagne Country and two of France’s most beautiful villages, Lautrec and Cordes-sur-Ciel. Artists, craftsmen, farmers growing organic produce, Gaillac vineyards, golf courses and the Aveyron Gorges for river sports are, therefore, all part of the French art of living in this countrified area. The Occitania region is further renowned for its pleasant, sunny climate.
On the west side are a recent, natural swimming pool with its frogs and dragonflies, an organic vegetable garden and a spring. Below the chateau are 5 ha of pesticide-free meadows and an orchard. A copse and the parklands are planted with some rare species.
The main chateau
Struck by lightning in 2014, the chateau, spanning a floor surface area of approx. 800 m² over two levels, built over vaulted cellars, was reconstructed in accordance with good trade practices using traditional materials (lime, mud, straw, wood wool) and ecological techniques. Solar thermal panels, a firewood-fired boiler with a smart heating network, and straw insulation are just some of the economic and ecological solutions that make it so remarkable. Its facade is lime-rendered: three layers with a finish reflecting sienna and umber hues. Its hip roof is covered with Roman tiles. Inside, the lime-rendered walls, the oak wood door and window frames as well as the double-glazed windows provide optimal comfort all year round. The high ceilings, the marble fireplaces and the floors, covered with terracotta tiles on the ground floor and, upstairs, oak wood parquet flooring, laid in herringbone and ladder patterns, are all in an excellent state of repair.
Double, oak wood, entrance doors on the courtyard side open into a vestibule, with terracotta floor tiles. This vast, bright room houses a large, wooden stairway going upstairs. Composed of through rooms, this level includes a reception lounge on the south side, a west-facing dining room and small adjoining lounges on the east side. The large, lounge, overlooking the garden, is flooded with daylight via two vast windows and a French window looking out over the parklands, with the hills in the distance. Its black marble fireplace contrasts with the white-washed walls. The herringbone pattern parquet flooring and high ceilings are typical of the 19th century. On one side of the fireplace, a bedroom in the tower has its own bathroom and toilet; on the other, a set of adjoining rooms comprises a study, a dressing room and a second bedroom in the west tower, also with its own dressing room, bathroom and toilet. Adjoining the chateau, the kitchen is in an old section, as is proved by its large, exposed beams and its stone fireplace (1550), right next to the dining room.
A balcony corridor landing provides access to seven bedrooms, including a master suite as well as a linen room. The floors are laid with ladder pattern, oak wood parquet flooring. Sound proofing has been installed between the levels to provide absolute tranquillity. The bedroom walls feature natural-coloured lime-rendering or are left bare, with a red brick wall here and an exposed local stone wall there. The six bathrooms and six toilets have been restored and decorated. It is worthy of note that one of the bedrooms is laid out in the old chapel, certain vestiges of which were saved from the flames. Numerous hall areas make it easy to move from room to room. The views from the first floor are both varied and unobstructed.
The parklands and their gardens
The pathways are grassy and the flowerbeds exuberant; the species rare and old. The French formal garden and the copse provide a contrasting effect. The orchard and the vegetable garden produce organic fruit and vegetables. The parklands are characterised by an abundance of colours and shapes, enhanced with light and shadow. Fragrances float through the air and birds hide there.
The holiday rental accommodation units
Facing the chateau and separated by a square, grassy courtyard with gravel pathways, the traditional, long farmhouse has been converted into two holiday rental accommodation units. Renovated using ecological materials, these two 2-storey flats (144 and 162 m²) have a total of six bedrooms. Each lounge opens into a fitted kitchen. They both have their own separate entrance.
A third, 36 m², holiday rental accommodation unit adjoins the stables.
Other old buildings could still be transformed to increase the property’s accommodation and reception capacity.
The natural swimming pool
With its biological ecosystem, the natural swimming pool functions autonomously. Fed by a spring, its water has no need of any chemical products for its upkeep, thus guaranteeing its softness. This large, 9x18 m, swimming pool keeps its clarity and its natural balance, courtesy of three pools, each playing a role, and cleverly selected plants. The frog chorus is, therefore, to be heard of a summer evening and dragonflies can often be seen skimming the water’s surface. A pool-house contains showers and toilet.
The equestrian facilities
The stable houses nine wide horse loose boxes, with automatic watering troughs, an outdoor shower for the horses, a pool-house and a machine room. The upper level is taken up by a hayloft.
However, a lung ring and a 20x40 m dressage arena are in need of attention. The 5 hectares of meadows are enclosed with fencing.
This property, made remarkable by its ecological and authentic features, has been fully renovated, in keeping with current day standards of comfort using natural materials, and abounds in qualities that will appeal to ecological housing enthusiasts, respectful of the environment.
Its current holiday rental accommodation unit and bed & breakfast activity could be continued. Its accommodation capacity could still be increased, by possibly welcoming groups, conferences, events and even an equestrian activity. A home shared by three or four families could also be a possibility. Living in such a chateau would be a dream come true for lovers of unspoilt natural surroundings, with countryside free of all visual pollution stretching for as far as the eye can see.
|Land registry surface area||8 ha|
|Main building surface area||800 m2|
|Outbuilding surface area||870 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||15|
Florence Lenfant +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.