some 12 ha of woods and meadows in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region’s Gascony countryside
In the midst of the Aquitaine region, not far from the town of Agen, with its TGV train station and its airport, both with links to Paris respectively taking 190 and 80 minutes. Near to slip roads for the Bordeaux-Toulouse motorway. The wealth of the French department of Lot-et-Garonne is just waiting to be explored, the surroundings comprising fortified “bastide” towns as well as a large variety of landscapes and extending from the hilly area known as Pays-de-Serre and the wide Garonne plain to the French department of Landes, all within easy reach.
A high, medieval perimeter wall, in front of a shady meadow used as a carpark, features a central porch way, topped with a brattice.
A little hamlet, out of sight of the castle, is close by and chestnut tree-lined alleyways blend in with the wooded surroundings.
The history of this residence goes back a long way: its tower, a square keep dating from the 13th century, was integrated into a residence set at right angles with a round tower in the 15th century. The perimeter wall, with a miniature castle gatehouse, dates from the same era; as do the still visible mullioned windows, arrow-loops and watch-turrets.
A dwelling and outbuildings were added, thus forming an inner courtyard. This is reached via the long, vaulted passageway of the exposed stone porch. Against the miniature castle gatehouse wall, a stone stairway goes up to a games room. The other side houses a large woodshed.
The castle is a long, traditional building, with a tall central door, two windows on either side and five windows on the first floor. Two wings set at right angles are extended by outbuildings, the walls covered with well-trimmed Virginia creeper. A vaulted passageway, on one side between a garage and a stable, opens into an area looking down on the meadow below; on the other side, near to a little, round, corner tower, a stone stairway with curved steps, leads down to the meadow below. The landscape extends for as far as the eye can see. Sports facilities include a discreet swimming pool installed here on a lower level, with a tennis court a little further away.
All the alleyways are lined with gravel and the lawns are immaculately kept. Hibiscus, rose and climbing hydrangea soften this property’s somewhat imposing air.
The main residence
In the middle of the central building, a tall door with an arched lintel, like all the windows on this facade, opens into a through gallery. The latter provides access to two lounges, facing one another. Four windows, on either side of the door, look out over the courtyard, letting in copious amounts of daylight. On the rear facade, it is possible to see the large pieces of dressed stone that make up the keep, set in a more recent building. In the centre of the gallery, a long passageway, running alongside the wall of the keep, opens into the rear section of the castle. A stone stairway, with wide steps, goes upstairs.
This residence predominantly features French ceilings.
A few steps go down from the gallery to a large, very bright lounge, with three north-facing mullioned windows, fitted with indoor shutters. This room has old terracotta floor tiles and a large straight fireplace with a small brick mantel and a stone lintel, in good working order, just like all the other fireplaces in the house.
This room opens into a dining room and a little lounge which takes up the corner of this wing and opens on to the terrace bordering this facade. This refined room features wide strip wooden flooring, panelled walls painted a dusky pink and a grey French ceiling. Its 18th century fireplace has a polished wooden, fluted mantel, topped with a trumeau. In the corner, a small study, set in the round tower, adjoins a large study that opens into the little lounge and the gallery.
The through dining room has one mullioned window overlooking the swimming pool and, another, looking out over the inner courtyard. It also features terracotta floor tiles, and a fireplace with a sculpted lintel, topped with trumeau, as well as a tall, polished wood cupboard. Near to a kitchen, a narrow corridor provides access to two laundry rooms, a toilet, a boiler room and a linen room.
A vast kitchen, at the end of this wing, opens on to the inner courtyard. It still exudes its traditional character, with a “potager” (a secondary hearth where soups and other previously prepared dishes were cooked on embers) and a large stone sink as well as a large rural fireplace, with a small brick mantel and a wooden beam as a lintel.
In the gallery, another cosier lounge, like a reflection of the large lounge facing it, has exposed stone walls and a French window opening on to the courtyard laid to grass, which borders the south wing. It also features a large fireplace, with a small brick mantel and a stone lintel on corbels. This convivial lounge is surrounded by a billiards’ room and three bedrooms. The billiards’ room is illuminated via two windows overlooking the courtyard. Its corner fireplace is made of carved wood, like the mirror trumeau above it. Each of the three, spacious, independent bedrooms has a little entrance lobby, with cupboards, a fireplace and a bathroom.
A hall area, between two of the bedrooms, houses a quarter-turning, wooden stairway that goes up to the first floor.
A wide, stone stairway in the middle of the ground floor gallery goes up to an upper gallery. The landing, half-way up, is paved with large flagstones and illuminated via a coloured stained-glass mullioned window. Upstairs, five arched windows, overlooking the entrance courtyard, make this gallery extremely luminous.
It is also possible here to see the structure of the square keep, composed of large pieces of dressed stone and featuring a balistraria at head height. This gallery provides access to three bedrooms as well as a library in the north wing and five bedrooms in the south wing.
A few steps go down from the gallery to a library, a room facing north via a stained-glass mullioned window, featuring coats-of-arms, fitted with indoor shutters. The terracotta floor tiles enhance the large stone fireplace with its fragmented tile mantel. Shelves cover an entire corner. They are flanked by wide, flat, fluted columns that give this unit a great deal of refinement.
A double aspect bedroom opens into the library. It has a large stone fireplace and sisal matting. A door in one corner opens into a bathroom housed in the corner tower, above the little study on the ground floor. A few steps lead to an adjoining bedroom, with a view over the terrace via a large, small-paned window, adorned with old wrought iron railings. This bedroom communicates with the gallery via a buffer room, housing a wooden stairway that goes up to the top floor. The last bedroom on this wing, on the other side of the library, has its own bathroom.
The wing set at right angles at the other end of the gallery provides access to five bedrooms. A first landing leads to two bedrooms. The winding stairway, in a corner of the landing, gives private access to this section from the lounge on the ground floor. A corridor, with a large panelled cupboard, provides access to three large, bright, double aspect bedrooms.
The shared bathroom in this wing of the house is on a lower level, reached from the gallery via a wooden stairway. A few steps higher up, the stairway leads, via an ogee door, to a square room in the medieval keep. The walls are constructed from dressed stone. The floor is covered with small period tiles (10x10 cm). It also features joists supported on a stone cornice, a narrow ogee window, reached via a flight of steps, and an arrow-loop overlooking the gallery. A splayed opening closed by a wooden door corresponds to the old entrance door to this keep, still laid out on the upper floor. Above, a refuge room, reached via a wooden stairway with two roof dormers, provides a view of the round tower roof.
The concealed stairway on the second floor provides access to the vast games room, illuminated via a Velux skylight. Four bedrooms. The first, opening on to the landing, shares a bathroom (bath, two wash-hand basins and a shower) with the first two bedrooms; the toilet is separate. The third, at the end of the corridor, takes up the full width of the wing. It has its own bathroom.
All these bedrooms have small-paned windows. Painted white, they let in copious amounts of light.
The outbuildings, intended to close the courtyard, house a garage separated from the stables by a porch way. A woodshed adjoins the miniature castle gatehouse.
This vast and yet cosy property, with its clearly stately appearance that is impressive but easy to live with, has regained all of its elegance courtesy of its owners’ constant work and attention. It has undergone undeniably faultless restoration works, a respectful compromise between architectural requirements and modern-day home comforts.
The proximity of a hamlet is reassuring without being a nuisance and the thermal baths nearby in Casteljaloux add medical comfort. These premises are of a size that makes them ideal for use either as a permanent residence or as a holiday home.
1 950 000 € Negotiation fees included
1 857 143 € Fees excluded
5% TTC at the expense of the purchaser
|Land registry surface area||12 ha 10 a 55 ca|
|Main building surface area||1300 m2|
|Outbuilding surface area||630 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||15|
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.