set in more than 4 hectares, just 10 minutes from Mayenne
This property is set amidst bocage countryside, with its irregular-shaped fields separated by hedges and ditches, on the borders of the French departments of Sarthe and Orne. With all local shops and amenities nearby in the historic town of Mayenne, it is 50 minutes by road from Alençon, prefecture of Orne, and 30 minutes from Laval TGV train station.
The large, rectangular house, the origins of which date back to the 13th century, once belonged to one of the biggest of the local aristocratic families. The main facade stands out courtesy of its imitation central projection, ending in a gable. The latter is flanked by two triangular roof dormers. The opposing side of the roof features seven dormers. In the 17th century, major extension and restoration works gave the chateau its current appearance. This is further shown by the regularity of its bays with their tall windows and steep-sided, hip, slate roof, enhanced with four chimney stacks.
The entrance hall opens into a vestibule redesigned in the 19th century. An elegant, wooden stairway, with baluster railings, goes up to all floors. The floor is laid with terracotta tiles. All the doors are framed with moulded surrounds in the neo-classical style. The vestibule provides access to a large lounge, with panelling and another room, opposite. On the other side, two vast, adjoining reception rooms feature outstanding unique decors dating from the 17th century. Fully lined with carved panelling, they are decorated with finely wrought garlands of fruit and flowers, pilasters and trumeaux, inlaid with oil paintings. These reception rooms have 3.3 m high ceilings. A hall area, at the east end of the house, gives access to a back stairway leading to a basement, with a medieval kitchen, and its impressive fireplace, to a mezzanine, with a bathroom, and to the upper floors.
The main stairway goes up to a vast landing providing access, on one side, to a large bedroom, with a hall area and its toilet, and, on the other side, to a lounge and a small room. Adjoining, a second bedroom, with its anteroom and two toilets, and, lastly, a third bedroom, with an anteroom and a bathroom. The latter bedroom has private access to the chapel tribune. Most of the decor on this level dates from the middle of the 18th century, with marble fireplaces and herringbone pattern parquet flooring. Nearby, the back stairway acts as a link between the ground and second floors of the house.
A landing, reached via the main stairway, provides access to seven rooms, currently used for attic purposes. Some of these rooms have fireplaces. This level spans a total surface area of approx. 170 m².
Bordering the moat, this old, 14th century, seigneurial chapel has a slate roof, topped with a small steeple. Its roofing framework is shaped like an inverted hull. A triangular-arched window, with a stone surround, looks down on to the altar. A wooden tribune enabled the owners of the premises to follow mass from their private quarters on the first floor.
Standing in the middle of an islet, this elegant, hexagonal dovecote was constructed in 1539. It is built from half-timbering with flat brick masonry filler. An edifice typical of Gascony, it was unknown the Loire region at this time. Supported on stone pillars, it is topped with a hexagonal candlesnuffer roof and features 700 dove-holes.
The west wing of outbuildings
The west wing, dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, is covered with slate and features three roof dormers. Its facades, like those of the other annexe buildings, are made of lime-pointed, quarry stone blocks. It includes four large storage areas and an upstairs with two attics.
The east wing of outbuildings
The east wing, also dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, is topped with a slate roof and houses a bakery, with two bread ovens, two storage areas and a 3-roomed dwelling, with an unconverted basement.
A building adjoining the west side of the house contains three rooms used for storage purposes.
Standing outside of the chateau courtyard, the wing of the old stables is covered with a slate roof, featuring three roof dormers. Three large rooms are topped with a hayloft.
An old barn, with a slate roof, stands behind the stables. It houses three large rooms, topped with an attic.
The well-laid out garden
This garden is completely enclosed by recently restored stone walls and bordered on two sides by the water-filled moat. One third of the rectangular garden is terraced and raised. It communicates with the two other thirds, planted with numerous trees, via a flight of stone steps. The alleyways are laid out as a cross. A wooden bridge links the chateau to the garden. The countryside, with its pastures and its woods, extends beyond the walls for as far as the eye can see.
“This property exudes a grandeur that brings the most beautiful mansion houses of Louis XIV’s time to mind” is how a French historian described this chateau in the 20th century. This outstanding property, in fact, reflects a rare synthesis of French architecture dating from the medieval era, with its moat and foundations, through to the 19th century, with certain neo-classical features of the house, obviously including the 17th century, with its unique decor typical of the local area. The parklands, the moat, the chapel, the dovecote and numerous outbuildings help to complete this estate, adding a great deal of elegance and poetry. Interior and exterior restoration works would give the chateau back its splendour of yesteryear and return it to its prominent position in a region with a wealth of historic heritage and buildings. Its much-deserved French Historic Monument listing will enable future owners to take advantage of the tax benefits linked to this status when continuing the restoration of the building.
|Land registry surface area||4 ha 8 a 21 ca|
|Main building surface area||580 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||7|
|Outbuilding surface area||700 m2|
Jean Luard +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.