an impressive, listed, 18th century chateau set in some 4 ha of land
This residence is set on a hillside, with a panoramic view over the valley marking the boundary with Gascony, which is visible in the distance. Safe from any flooding of the Garonne, it represents the archetype of local stately homes in the 18th century.
The town of Agen and slip roads for the Bordeaux-Toulouse motorway are 20 km away. Paris is now 190 minutes away via TGV train or 80 minutes away via Paris-Orly airport.
The railway line, below, does not disturb the tranquillity of the premises.
A vast esplanade separates the walled chateau from the farm outbuildings and the dovecote.
The building stands above the plain, looking down on to a terrace, featuring robust retaining walls.
This chateau, reconstructed in the first half of the 18th century, was raised in the 1840’s.
The parklands and gardens are terraced.
A wide, vaulted passageway opens into a large inner courtyard formed by the main building and its two wings set at right angles. Outbuildings and the caretakers’ accommodation enclose the courtyard.
The facade facing the courtyard features a classical layout as regards openings: a central French window and two windows on either side, with five windows on the first floor.
The quarry stone block walls, like those of the outbuildings, are covered with an old, sand and lime rendering, displaying the patina of time.
A wide vestibule goes through the chateau in a north-south direction. Extremely bright with two French windows, it is laid with grey and white floor tiles. As of the entrance door, two opposing gallery-corridors provide access to the ground floor rooms, all facing south.
The embrasure of the lounge door is coffered and the doors, like all the others in the house, adorned with carved motifs. A grey marble fireplace is topped with a Directoire-style trumeau. This type of refined decor can be seen above most of the fireplaces. In the west corner of the lounge, a door opening into a little library also communicates with the vestibule, the walls of which are lined with glazed shelves, forming a curved alcove at the end.
A room, adjoining but not communicating with the lounge, is laid out as a billiards’ room. Wide strip parquet flooring, a south-facing window and a grey marble fireplace, topped with a Directoire-style trumeau.
A bedroom in the south-east corner receives light from these two directions. It communicates with a bathroom, shared with two small bedrooms.
The same wide corridor, with wooden flooring, a plaster ceiling and two windows overlooking the inner courtyard, leads from the through gallery to the west section of the house: a lounge, a dining room, a bedroom with a shower room and the kitchens.
The large lounge is completely lined with 18th century, white panelling. Versailles pattern parquet flooring, two south-facing windows opening on to the terrace. It also communicates with the gallery and the dining room. The double doors feature a tympanum composed of painted trumeaux, depicting angels playing musical instruments. A wide, grey marble fireplace, its mantel supported by columns featuring sculpted scrolls. A plastered, beamed ceiling with a central rose.
The dining room, with herringbone pattern parquet flooring, is lined with wainscoting; a grey marble fireplace, topped with a Directoire-style trumeau. On the north side, the wall is fully lined with natural wood panelling, the doors of which conceal cupboards intended for crockery. Said dining room opens on to the end of the gallery-corridor, housing the stairway. A last room, a bedroom communicating with the dining room, is laid out in the corner of this main building. A south-facing window is flanked, on either side, by two wide, arched corner cupboards, featuring panelling sculpted with Directoire-style crossed fasces. A small adjoining shower room also opens on to the corridor at the foot of the stairs.
Opposite the dining room, at the beginning of the west wing, an old kitchen with a monumental fireplace and a door leading to the inner courtyard. Red terracotta floor tiles and a large traditional wooden fireplace. It is followed by a new fully fitted kitchen and a laundry room, bordered by a passageway housing a straight stairway going upstairs: here, three small bedrooms with sloping ceilings, each with its own shower room and toilet.
All modern-day home comforts recently installed in this section: travertine stone flooring, plaster ceilings inset with spotlights. Tiling above the worksurfaces features Azulejos motifs. A superb old stone sink protrudes from the north wall.
The stone stairway goes upstairs at the west end of the gallery-corridor. This main stone stairway reveals the old brick and stone facing of the stairwell walls. An intermediate landing opens via a French window on to a little terrace, on the west side, facing the chateau’s private chapel.
The layout on the first-floor landing is identical to that on the ground floor: a corridor running along the north facade provides access to four large, south-facing bedrooms, one of which still awaits restoration. With its three double, moulded doors and its grey marble fireplace, topped with a trumeau depicting an antique chariot, this will become a refined room. It opens, just like the bedroom in the south-west corner, into the only bathroom on this level. Directly above the large lounge, a third bedroom illuminated via two windows is completely lined with panelling, featuring moulded panels. A grey marble fireplace with a fluted lintel and column jambs. Above, set in the panelling, a painted trumeau depicts a gallant scene, just like the trumeaux set above the double doors opening on to the corridor. The last bedroom has carpeting, two south-facing windows and blue wallpaper. Further east, the immense attic with its exposed roofing framework marks the end of this wing. Maintaining the facade symmetry, this attic is illuminated via three south-facing windows, the same size as those in the previous bedrooms, as well as a fourth window on the east side. Inaccessible from this floor, but on the same level, a small insulated, cleared bedroom, with an independent stairway going down to the ground floor.
The east wing
This wing, lower than the main building and housing the caretakers’ accommodation upstairs, bathroom and toilet facilities and a tack room, precedes an access porch and the stables. A flight of stone steps under the access porch leads to a landing giving access to the accommodation intended for the caretakers: a large L-shaped room with a kitchen section at the end. The shower room, a blind room with a shower and toilet, is laid out on the stairway landing. A few steps and a corridor lead from there to three bedrooms with sloping ceilings. A deep cupboard in the kitchen section is used for laundry room purposes. A fireplace and a wood-burning stove comfortably heat this flat, spanning approx. 85 m².
An area under the caretakers’ flat was converted for a family wedding. This tiled room comprises two wash-hand basins and, set at right angles, a small room with a shower and a wash-hand basin. Two separate toilets. Under the porch, a door, next to the one leading up to the caretakers flat, opens into an old tack room, featuring panelled walls. The latter is currently used for storing wood and sheltering pot plants.
A cellar, laid out under the east section of the main house, can be reached from the inner courtyard via a flight of stone steps. It has a packed mud floor as well as exposed ceiling beams and battens. Two small vaulted rooms.
The west wing
This large surface area, with its cement floor and exposed roofing framework, communicates with the wine storehouse. It has the same symmetry of openings but a slightly lower roof. In the corner, the large old kitchen described above, directly under the linen room. It is followed by a building, with a lower ceiling, comprising a kitchen and little bedrooms with sloping ceilings. The barn opens on to the courtyard via a high stone arch.
The north wing
Between the two wings and adjoining the wine storehouse, the dwellings, once used by domestic staff, are partially without roofs, thus forming a succession of little courtyards. At the end, two small rooms: one in use as a workshop; the other has a stairway going up to the attic above the wine storehouse which supports these outbuildings. Further on, a vast garage, with a cement and stone-lined floor, easily able to take two cars one behind the other. Ceiling with exposed beams and joists. Above, a large attic under the roofing framework communicates with the upstairs in the wine storehouse.
Next, preceding the stable, a little garden, enclosed by a low wall, overlooked by a small covered area featuring half-timbering and terracotta floor tiles. A wooden stairway goes up to the attic above the stable. The latter closes the inner courtyard. Here, the floor is lined with large pebbles. The hayracks and the doors closing the stalls have been preserved.
The wine storehouses are vast and take up the entire rear of the north wing. Reached, on the east side, via a tall carriage door, they are separated into two sections: the fermenting room, with its vast tuns and a packed mud floor, and the second section where the barrels are stored. A handrail and a few steps go up to the attic. With its walls composed of wooden planks and louvres on the east side, it is probable that this place was once used for drying tobacco. Several large windows face south and look out over the inner courtyard. This large area, spanning a surface area of approx. 320 m², is laid out over two levels. It could be converted for holding functions which would potentially provide income.
The entrance outbuildings
A Tuscan-style fountain distributes water tapped from a spring to be found higher up on the hillside. It adjoins the end of the long outbuilding, once a cowshed and stable: the animals’ wing. It is now used for storing firewood. Its roofing framework is in a very good state of repair.
A vast, 2-storey house could be restored. Terracotta floor tiles, exposed ceiling beams. On the ground floor, a room illuminated on the east and west sides, with a fireplace. A room opening on to the entrance; another illuminated via two roof dormers. A winding wooden stairway goes upstairs to three bedrooms. Wooden flooring and ceilings featuring exposed beams and joists.
A dovecote, the roof of which is not in a good state of repair, has been constructed on the edge of the entrance courtyard, looking down on to the valley. A two-flight, stone stairway goes up to the large square room, with terracotta floor tiles and a ceiling featuring exposed beams and joists. Two mullioned windows, one facing east and the other south. Above, reached via a ladder, the dovecote. A few outside steps provide access to a semi-underground room, divided into three small areas: the pigsties. It is illuminated via roof dormers. A protruding string course half-way up the dovecote goes all around it.
The entrance courtyard looks down on to the orchard, laid out on a lower level, with the Garonne plain in the distance. An astonishing, dual stone stairway is set in the centre of the retaining wall. A small storage area, used for storing tools and products required for the upkeep of the orchard, is laid out under the stairways.
In front of the chateau’s south facade, a wide terrace, also looking down, where a French formal garden has been planted: boxwood embroideries and orange box planters embellish the long facade, the Sienna-yellow-coloured rendering of which enhances the Italian style of this residence. (Italy greatly influenced this region under François 1st, back from the Italian campaigns with leading citizens who settled in the French department of Lot-et-Garonne.) A stone stairway goes down to the garden below. Next, an orangery covered with a terrace roof, supported by I-beams, its facade featuring five tall, wide French windows. Running the length of the terrace roof, a wide alleyway plunges, westwards, into the woods. At the end, a belvedere dominating the valley and, beyond, the distant hills of the French department of Gers, sometimes enhanced by the Pyrenean mountains and the Landes forest. A 14x5.5 m swimming pool, looking down on to the alleyway, has a completely unobstructed view. Installed in 2007, it has a resin liner and a salt-filtration system.
The chapel is not consecrated. It comprises a plain building, spanning approx. 27 m², which almost adjoins the west wing of the chateau. Inside, the brick and stone walls of this old building have been left exposed in order to enhance its simplicity. Its superb roofing framework has been restored. It has a cement floor and a large, south-facing window.
This beautiful, aristocratic and refined residence deserves to have more home comforts in order to restore its splendour and magnificence of yesteryear.
Standing in a setting where nature takes pride of place, it is ideal for numerous projects taking advantage of the surface area of the outbuildings, making it possible for it to be used for both private and commercial purposes. Its proximity to Agen, which has notably undergone cultural and social development, is also a major asset.
Excellence can be envisaged here.
|Land registry surface area||4 ha 40 a 89 ca|
|Number of bedrooms||12|
|Main building surface area||710 m2|
|Outbuilding surface area||600 m2|
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.