just a stone’s throw from Bonnefont Abbey facing the Pyrenean mountains
In the region of Comminges, an hour from Toulouse (international airport and TGV train station), 20 minutes from Saint-Gaudens and 10 minutes from Saint-Martory (all shops, infant and junior schools, SNCF train station), in protected countryside which has been declared a Natural Area (green belt). The ruins of Bonnefont Abbey, at the end of the lane, are an obvious place to take a walk. The gently undulating relief and the ideal distance from the Pyrenean mountain range, near but not too close, make the site a natural belvedere where views and sensations are enhanced by their contrasts, resulting in a theatrical, profound serenity.
The north facade of the main building is laid out alongside the lane, most of the openings facing south. Hydraulically-operated, wrought iron gates open on to a little paved area, intended for parking, which provides access to a recently and traditionally constructed garage and workshop. Further away is a gently sloping garden with an arbour and numerous species of trees, flower beds, a swimming pool and ornamental pools.
An old farm building, perpendicular to the main house, has been transformed into a guesthouse. This house is now totally self-contained as, in addition to bedrooms with shower rooms and toilets, it has a large kitchen which is also used as a dining room.
Both buildings are constructed at right angles to one another, an open section on the west side acting as a covered area and thus marking a short distance between the two houses. These buildings are constructed from quarry stone blocks and the roofs covered with Roman tiles laid on under tiles.
The inhabitants of a small farm with several sheep, apart from when the animals are moved to summer grazing grounds, are the nearest neighbours.
The main residence
This 2-storey building, topped with attic space which cannot be converted, has always formed the centre of the property. It is entered via its two original entrances. A main door, in a very good state of repair, dates from the original construction period, around 1800. Finely wrought, it opens on to the garden. Yellow ochre-coloured sandstone framing reflects the classical style and pleasantly contrasts with the quarry stone block construction: fanlight with a Tuscan order capital and an architrave featuring toothing and triglyphs with corner ornamentation. A single door with all of its original studs and ironwork. The second original entrance is at the east end and provides direct access to the kitchen via a little forecourt in use as a summer kitchen. A third entrance has been recently created in the covered area between the two houses; it provides access to a room with a mezzanine landing adjoining a lounge. A double overhanging cornice goes all around the house. There is also an arched gateway on the south side of the house providing access to what was a courtyard and to what is now laid out as a garden with a lawn and flower beds.
All the conversion works are of a good quality and new window frames house double-glazing.
As is traditional with the regional architecture, the ground floor is predominantly composed of living rooms, the bedrooms almost exclusively being laid out upstairs. The main door opens into an entrance hall, housing a stairway going upstairs. A wild cherry wood bookshelf unit is built-in on the right-hand side when going up the stairs. On one side of the entrance hall, a lounge with a recently constructed fireplace, fitted with a cast iron wood burner, is followed by an adjoining kitchen with a fireplace, featuring its original hearth. This room opens, in turn, on to a small courtyard used as a summer kitchen. On the other side of the entrance hall is a reasonably large room, with a wooden stairway going up to a mezzanine landing. A toilet.
A central corridor provides access to two bedrooms and a bathroom, with a toilet. This level has wooden flooring throughout, apart from in the bathroom.
This 50 m² attic can be used as storage space.
The annex house
This house, spanning two levels, has been converted so that it can be rented for holiday accommodation purposes. (It goes without saying that this use is not exclusive and the house could be occupied by a family.) Once again, it has three possible entrances: one via a vast hall corridor; another via a large room in use as a kitchen and living room; a third via a veranda room on the side of the covered area adjoining the main residence. As per usual, the ground floor is given over to the kitchen and living room as well as several utility rooms (boiler room, machine room, laundry room). The bedrooms are upstairs.
The main door opens into a vast corridor which makes it very easy to move around the house. On one side, a veranda room opens on to the covered area adjoining the main residence; on the other is a large, fitted kitchen, featuring a chest-high fireplace, ideal for grilling meat. This entrance provides access to a cellar, a laundry room, a boiler room, a machine room and a bathroom. The floors are tiled throughout.
The main room, which is the kitchen, is pleasantly illuminated via longitudinal windows, running the full length of the room.
This level is under the rafters as is proved by sections of the roofing framework which are exposed in the bedrooms. Four in number, each of these has its own shower room and toilet. This level is tiled throughout making it very easy to clean. Only the landing and the balcony corridor, providing access to the bedrooms, have wooden flooring.
Spanning a surface area of 43 m², this recent garage is constructed from stone-clad breeze blocks, with a triangular truss, floor tiles as well as softwood panelling on the walls and ceiling. It can be used indifferently for garage, storage or workshop purposes. Both water and electricity are, of course, laid on. The roof is covered with old Roman tiles on under tiles. It is adjoined by a 12 m² canopy which can be used as a carport. Its traditional roofing framework is covered with old Roman tiles laid on under tiles.
The surface area of this metal structure, covered with climbing roses, is paved.
The swimming pool
The liner of this Desjoyaux, 4.5x9 m swimming pool is in a good state of repair. The pool is heated and has an automatic salt filtering system that checks the pH of the water. It is surrounded by a 64 m² tiled deck and has an integrated lighting system. Adjoining are a composite wood deck covering the 15 m² filtering system, a stone and mosaic-covered, outdoor shower as well as a wood-fired oven.
The ornamental pools
Two ornamental pools, each spanning 10m³, communicate as part of a closed circuit, one purifying the other. The downstream pool is suitable for fish. Both pools are planted with aquatic plants.
Magnolia, palm, olive, umbrella pine and birch trees, pyracantha hedge as well as numerous varieties of rose bushes and peonies are tastefully planted throughout the grounds establishing a very pleasant link between the buildings and the natural surroundings.
The garden, filled with choice plants and features, faces a landscape which is a sight in itself: this is an invitation to stay in pleasant surroundings, in real, unpretentious comfort. The surrounding, preserved flora and fauna reinforce the feeling of a superbly balanced quality of life. The four seasons are actually the only way of measuring the time here, the picking of mushrooms obviously being a moment much-awaited by enthusiasts. One great advantage is the fact that there are no works to be scheduled and new owners can, quite happily move in straightaway. Furthermore, the proximity of schools and shops as well as slip roads for the Toulouse-Bayonne motorway (10 minutes away) make everyday life appreciably easier.
|Land registry surface area||2488 m2|
|Main building surface area||384 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||6|
Philippe Fritsch +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.