character houses for sale in france

A Renaissance style stronghold house, with outbuildings and a dovecote,
in 3.5 ha with a stream in the foothills of the Drôme Vercors Mountains
Valence, DROME rhones-alps 26000 FR


This property, between the Alps and the Mediterranean, stands on the edge of Vercors Regional Nature Park in the French department of Drôme. It is in an area steeped in history and heritage for which it bears the distinction “Pays d’Art et d’Histoire” (land of art and history). It is also an area, renowned for its gastronomy and delicacies, where there are several starred restaurants. As a leader in French organic farming, this department has turned gastronomy into a booming tourist attraction. This house is 30 minutes from Valence and 15 minutes from a TGV train station with links to Paris taking just over two hours. A motorway interchange is 10 minutes away, putting Lyon 75 minutes away, Grenoble 45 minutes away and Geneva 2 hours away.


This estate extends over approx. 3½ hectares, in which stands an authentic Renaissance style stronghold house. The property comprises a main building, followed by a series of outbuildings on the east side. It is also flanked to the north by an outbuilding and a guest house which together form a first inner courtyard with an old well in its centre. Further to the north, a second inner courtyard, formed by walls and vast outbuildings, includes the old stables. The main house spans more than 400 m², approx. 160 m² of which still awaits conversion. Numerous authentic architectural features, such as mullioned windows, stone stairways as well as French ceilings and monumental fireplaces, have been preserved. An outstanding dovecote stands in front of the house near to a stream and an orchard.

The main house

This large, luxurious home comprises a main building, with stables and sheds as well as a wing set at right angles. The main building is built over a vaulted stone cellar. Spanning three levels, it is constructed from stone and rolled pebbles. The facades, with regularly spaced openings and mullioned windows, look out over the garden and over the first inner courtyard.

Ground floor
The front door opens into a vestibule, spanning approx. 12 m². Its floor is covered with large terracotta tiles which blend with a dressed stone vaulted ceiling. A door at the end leads directly out into the first inner courtyard. The vestibule provides access, on one side, to a dining room as well as to an adjoining kitchen and, on the other side, to a lounge and a bedroom. The dining room, spanning approx. 26 m², is enhanced with a monumental stone fireplace. Its large terracotta floor tiles go superbly with its French ceiling. The kitchen has an adjoining back kitchen. A shower room and toilet are to be found in this section. The floor in the large lounge, spanning approx. 50 m², is also covered with large terracotta tiles. Other features include exposed ceiling beams and a large stone fireplace. On the south side, two windows and a French window open on to the garden. The large lounge provides access to a bedroom, spanning approx. 18 m², which precedes a room, with a French ceiling. Spanning approx. 30 m², it awaits renovation. Completing the ground floor are two last rooms, one of which is small with a cross-ribbed ceiling whilst the other, with a French ceiling, houses a boiler room. A large, stone, vaulted wine cellar spans a floor surface area of approx. 60 m² under the main house.
First floor
A door in the lounge provides access to a stone stairway which goes to the cellar and to the upper floors. A separate entrance, reached via the inner courtyard, also opens on to the stairway. The first floor includes a main lounge, extending over approx. 70 m². Parquet flooring, a magnificent French ceiling and a monumental, stone fireplace make this lounge a convivial reception room. Two windows, one of which is mullioned, face south whilst two other mullioned windows look out on the north side over the inner courtyard. Doors, superbly framed with stone, open into three large bedrooms and a bathroom. With great conversion potential, two attics, respectively spanning 145 and 70 m², complete the first floor.
Second floor
The stone stairway continues up to the second floor where a landing, spanning approx. 36 m², provides access to three attics. Respectively spanning 70, 40 and 22 m², these could easily be converted.

The guest house

The guest house or caretaker’s cottage was fully restored in 2008. The ground floor comprises a lounge, spanning approx. 33 m². Its floor is covered with light-coloured sandstone tiles. The ceiling features exposed beams whilst the stone fireplace exudes a warming atmosphere. This room communicates with a kitchen. The windows look widely out over the second large, inner courtyard. Also on the ground floor are a bedroom, with its shower room, a study, spanning approx. 10 m², and a boiler room. A wooden stairway goes upstairs to a vast games room, spanning approx. 33 m², three bedrooms and a bathroom. This level has parquet flooring throughout.

The numerous outbuildings and the dovecote

Extending the main building, to the east, three stables and a covered area form a unit, spanning a floor surface area of approx. 220 m², with attic space.
A magnificent dovecote, standing in front of the house on the south side, spans a diameter of approx. 6 m. Constructed from stone and pebbles, it is topped with a brand new conical roof, featuring a weathervane. Inside, a mezzanine can be reached via a wooden stairway.
Another detached building near to the dovecote spans approx. 18 m². It covers an open gallery featuring a barbecue.
The wing set at right angles to the main building opens on the ground floor into the inner courtyard. It houses three sheds, each spanning a floor surface area of approx. 65 m². On the first floor, reached via an outside stone stairway going up from the inner courtyard, is a large room, spanning approx. 75 m². This former silkworm nursery is illuminated with through, east-west light via mullioned windows. It would be possible to link this section to the bedrooms on the first floor of the main building.
The second inner courtyard, the bigger of the two, is enclosed by high walls, built of stone and pebbles, and by an outbuilding on the north side. This building houses two stables, topped with their haylofts, as well as a covered area. The bigger of the two stables, spanning a floor surface area of approx. 150 m², is supported on large stone pillars. The second, smaller stable spans approx. 65 m². A well in the middle of the courtyard is covered with a canopy.
Two open farm sheds stand in the grounds a hundred or so metres from the buildings.

Our opinion

The desire to reconstitute the full history of these robust, stone buildings, from the many architectural and decorative markers that make them so attractive, is extremely strong. There is no longer anything austere or aggressive about this stronghold house. Its reflections in the stream water are, on the contrary, an invitation to relax and recharge one’s batteries. The Renaissance period has left its part of balance and optimism here.

895 000 €
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur

Voir le Barème d'Honoraires

Reference 561273

Land registry surface area 3 ha 44 a 84 ca
Main building surface area 400 m2
Outbuilding surface area 1000 m2

Regional representative

Florence Granier       +33 1 42 84 80 85



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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.

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