in the midst of the Armagnac region
This property, in the Armagnac region with its wealth of vineyards and its heritage dating back to the Romans, stands in discreet, unspoilt countryside. It is near to Nogaro, a resource town, famous for its racing track and with an aerodrome. The nearest airports are in Pau (1 hour), Tarbes (1⅓ hours), Agen (1 hour), Toulouse (1½ hours), Bordeaux (1⅔ hours).
The Atlantic Ocean is but 1½ hours away and the Pyrenean ski resorts can be reached in 2 hours.
The garden, forming a setting for the house, makes the property a secret even enchanted place. Tall trees such as majestic oak, maple and Judas trees grow well in this climate. Plants that love peaty soil, like rhododendrons, azaleas and laurel, also appreciate this region. This is a natural garden where the lawn becomes a meadow in front of the house’s south-facing facade. It has no visual nuisances. The old park bench installed under the immense Portuguese laurel is but an invitation to relax.
The main house
A basket-handle arched, brick porch way opens into an inner courtyard, closed on three sides by the farm buildings and by the house on the south side. The outside walls of the latter feature cement rendering, covering the old lime and sand rendering and awaiting restoration. A pavement runs alongside the facade. It stands on the heights on the garden side. A wide flight of stone steps go down to the entrance courtyard.
The main door opens into a wide corridor, running the full length of the house, illuminated by a French window at each end. It is paved with terracotta tiles laid diagonally and its walls are made of cob and local fossiliferous stone, in which shells can be glimpsed. The ceiling features exposed joists, with large cross beams creating a sort of pattern. A wood-burning stove made of potstone, renowned for its heating capacity, has been installed. Polished panelled wooden doors for the adjoining rooms open into the corridor. Their deep embrasures reveal that the materials used for constructing the house include stone and earth.
The corridor separates the house into two sections. On one side, a large lounge with its walls and inter-beams covered with hangings. A stone fireplace has been set in the middle, creating a separation between the lounge and a study.
The end of the corridor leads, on one side, to two bedrooms with fireplaces. As with all the rooms along the facade, they open on to a wide terracotta paved terrace.
On the other side of the corridor, a bedroom, with the same style of wall hangings, communicates with a shower room (shower and wash-hand basin). A few steps provide access to a small bedroom, on a lower level. This ochre-coloured room is much more typical, with recent terracotta floor tiles, a low ceiling featuring exposed beams and joists as well as half-timbered walls with cob. Double doors open on to the inner courtyard.
In the section opposite the lounge, a bedroom backs on to the stairway which goes up to the attic and where a bathroom and toilet have been installed.
A dining room and a kitchen end this side facing the lounge. Two-tone terracotta floor tiles are laid in a chessboard pattern and a raised French window provides access to the inner courtyard. A large, rural fireplace, with its stone lintel featuring corbels, takes up a lot of space. They have engravings that are still visible: a star on one and a Basque swastika on the other. The mantel is made of narrow bricks.
It precedes the kitchen, with its ceiling under the slope of the roof and sandstone floor tiles. Cupboard units take up the entire north wall and a French window opens on to the garden and the tunnel formed by the arbour, at right angles to the house and covered with fragrant wisteria.
The upstairs is reached via a wooden stairway with wide steps. Extremely luminous under its high roofing framework, it continuously spans the full floor surface area of the house, without any partitions. The roof is insulated between the joists. The hardboard flooring is steeped in daylight flooding in via three skylights and three small-paned windows. This large area was once used as a sewing workshop. The entire end section, or children’s play area, is separated from the rest of the attic by hangings stretched between pillars.
The outbuildings in the inner courtyard
The north facade of the house, raised above the inner courtyard, has a terrace with two wide stone stairways at each end leading down to it. Bordered by wings of outbuildings, it communicates with the entrance courtyard via a brick, basket-handle arched porch way. The bases of the walls are planted with hydrangeas and camellias, both flowering prolifically in the local acid earth. A well-sheltered olive tree can be found growing here. Whilst evergreen jasmine, with its fragrant flowers, is planted along the walls of the outbuildings.
The outbuildings form a sort of covered area on two sides. Stone and earth pillars support walls of half-timbering and cob under the overhanging roof. One wing was perhaps once used for storing barrels in this land of vineyards. It has a cement floor and walls of stone and cob. An old fireplace, with large stones forming the jambs, topped with a corbel, is set in the corner. The wing at right angles has a higher roof which has made it possible to install a little dwelling on the upper level, part of which protrudes above the ground floor. It is reached via a narrow flight of wooden steps. Converted in the 1970’s, it is now in need of some renovation works. A landing provides access to a central room, with a sloping ceiling and spanning approx. 26 m², as well as to a separate 10 m² bedroom. Next to it, a small bathroom, under the sloping roof, is illuminated via sections composed of bubble glass tiles set in the wall, and via a fanlight. Under this dwelling, a very old kitchen, spanning approx. 12 m², opens into the inner courtyard. This entire section is in need of full renovation works.
A large garage is set alongside the north wing of outbuildings. It can be reached from the entrance courtyard via a tall gate, made of vertical planks, mounted on a rail. The walls are made of stone and cob, whilst the upper section is half-timbered. It has a packed mud floor under an exposed roofing framework. Light comes in via a tall window.
The holiday accommodation rental unit and the wine storehouse
Lower down on the left-hand side, some old buildings have been rehabilitated for use as a holiday accommodation rental unit. The construction method, typical of the region using half-timbering and cob, was used. A deep, south-facing awning forms a terrace, spanning approx. 18 m², with the fully glazed end wall. Supporting the panelled ceiling, the wall is half-timbered. Recent terracotta tiles cover the floor. The door opens into a large living room which, spanning approx. 40 m², is flooded with light. A few steps go down to the kitchen section which opens on to the garden via a French window. All the kitchen units are laid out along one wall, under a high chimney breast with a plaster mantel and wooden lintel. At the end, a 13 m² bedroom has a sloping ceiling, panelled with strips of wood, strip pattern wooden flooring and plastered walls. A low partition separates the bedroom from a shower room. The latter has white tiles on the floor and turquoise wall tiles. A shower stands in a corner, behind a cupboard delimiting a division with the bedroom. There is a separate toilet.
The half-timbered walls have been left exposed in this holiday accommodation rental unit.
Further way in the meadow, an old wine storehouse also bears witness to typical local architecture, with its gable roof and ochre-coloured walls composed of half-timbering and cob. It features tall central double doors, made of jointed wooden planks, and a smaller entrance door on the side. Inside, the impressive truss of the roofing framework rests on half-timbered walls constructed on stone lower sections. The inter-beams are partially lined. It has a cement floor. Three skylights, two windows and a French window on the south side let copious amounts of light into this area which is undergoing works to become a study or a workshop.
On the slope, still on the same side, a little recent greenhouse is fully glazed.
This property is like a picture book for those seeking a place in which to recharge their batteries, a place without any visual or audible nuisances. Its natural surroundings are not only protective but also beautiful. The buildings are clearly authentic as houses in the Armagnac region are constructed from half-timbering and cob on stone lower sections. The courtyard that they enclose creates yet more privacy for this property. A large family would have more than enough space, a bed & breakfast activity the necessary floor surface area, and both the necessary autonomy.
|Land registry surface area||2 ha 34 a 13 ca|
|Main building surface area||240 m2|
|Outbuilding surface area||220 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.