A 15th century priory, its barn and its bread oven awaiting restoration
in parklands bordered by a river between Falaise and Argentan
Argentan, ORNE lower-normandy 61200 FR

Location

This property is in a village just 10 minutes from Argentan, surrounded by prestigious horse stud farms. The chateau of the same name was constructed in the 16th century. Caen can be reached in 45 minutes. Slips road for the A88 motorway are nearby, making it easily possible to reach the French capital in 2½ hours. Paris-Montparnasse takes 1¾ hours by train. Beaches on the Cabourg and the “Côte Fleurie” (Coast of Flowers) coast are 50 minutes away. All big shops and public amenities are 10 minutes away.

Description

This house stands at the end of a lane, bordered by a wash-house and its fountain. Large wooden gates open on to a gravel courtyard, where cars can park. The building is accessed via an alleyway that runs alongside the facade. Flanked by a fortified stairway tower, the prior’s house and the adjoining barn span two levels under attic space. A watercress bed is delimited by interwoven willow fencing. At the end of the orchard, an old bakery built of quarry stone blocks awaits restoration. A spring feeds a river that winds its way around the 8,000 m² of parklands, delimited by tall trees.

The prior's home

Originally part of the Prémontrés Priory which was linked to Troarn Abbey, the prior’s house was built in the 15th century from quarry stone blocks coming from local quarries. Sandstone was used for the quoins and the surrounds framing the openings, housing mullioned, stained-glass windows. The estate was completely enclosed by walls and two towers, one of which remained up until the 1990’s. The roof, covered with terracotta tiles, features a roof former. The square, fortified tower, featuring loopholes in its three external walls, houses a spiral stairway. Stone sinks empty into gargoyles still to be seen on the top of the building’s walls.


Ground floor
The entrance porchway, with its roofing framework supported on two sandstone pillars, opens into a wide vestibule providing access, on either side, to a lounge, and a kitchen, adjoining a dining room. At the end of the corridor, a wide, spiral stone stairway goes to two upper levels. Each room, laid with terracotta floor tiles, has direct access to the garden. A wide, coffered oak wood door leads to the lounge, with a monumental fireplace. All the beams are painted pearl grey in colour, whilst the walls feature exposed stone. The ogee or basket-handle-shaped lintels of the openings are composed of sculpted sandstone. A bright corridor, on the right-hand side of the dining room, leads to a wooden stairway going up to a bedroom on the first floor. It is adjoined by a laundry room.
First floor
The landing gives access to five bedrooms, one of which spans a surface area of approx. 45 m² and is heated by an impressive stone fireplace. The diamond-shaped pieces of coloured glass in the stained-glass windows filter the light in each room. The latches on the wooden doors are made of wrought iron. Two bathrooms complete this level.
Attic
The attic space, spanning the full surface area of the house, awaits conversion. It is illuminated via openings in the gable walls. Cross-braces form the roofing framework.
The parklands
A river borders the property and flows into the wash-house, adjoining the entrance. Everblooming, climbing roses line the facade. Low boxwood hedges form a verdant carpet in front of the square tower and the house, dotted with shrubs. Around the pond, interwoven willow branches have been planted in the ground like large cuttings to form a natural hedge or willow fencing. The orchard is planted with apple, pear and cherry trees.

Our opinion

Pilgrims from England and Scotland travelling along the Way of Saint James came to warm themselves in front of large fireplaces. The many springs that gave it its name, “Cum acquis” (with water), have generously and without distinction continued throughout the centuries to quench the thirsts of man and beast alike. It is therefore a place of welcome, of sharing and of exchange. The prior’s house exudes the charm of medieval homes: space and soberness. Who would be better qualified than stone and heritage enthusiasts to add a contemporary page to the history of these 350 square metres?

Exclusive sale

550 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense


See the fee rates

Reference 316556

Land registry surface area 7966 m2
Main building surface area 250 m2
Number of bedrooms 5

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Consultant


Sandrine Torossian +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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