An old, meticulously renovated house, near the Puy-du-Fou theme park,
in a village set in Vendee's bocage countryside
Saint-Mesmin, VENDEE pays-de-loire 85700 FR

Location

The region, with its gently, but clearly sloping land, its suddenly distant vistas, its hedges, its meadows, its woods and its streams, delights visitors in all seasons. This property is at one with the ambient tranquillity without being secluded courtesy of its village location. Social problems do not exist here: on the contrary, the small and medium-sized towns in the local area have one of the lowest unemployment rates in France.
35 km away, Cholet train station has more than 10 daily links to Paris taking about 2½ hours. Nantes airport, with its national and international flights, is 67 km away.
Less than 15 minutes away is the Puy-du-Fou theme park which, with its historical enactments, attracts spectators from the world over.

Description

This house is set between courtyard and garden, and between the village church and parklands belonging to a medieval castle, rebuilt in the 19th century. A spectacular perimeter wall, in a very good state of repair, separates it from the road below. The courtyard is accessed via two unequal arches, with granite jambs and arch stones. The main house is illuminated via large windows and French windows on both the courtyard and garden facades. The reception rooms are on the ground floor, the four bedrooms and the three shower rooms are upstairs. Full, meticulous renovation works, including plumbing and electric wiring, have been carried out from floor to ceiling throughout the 250 m². All the door and window frames have been replaced and fitted with double glazing. Heating is provided by a recent air-to-water heat pump. A 34 m² garage adjoins the house. A 100 m² annexe house, on the heights of the terraced garden, provides additional potential. This estate extends over more than 4,000 m², half of which is taken up by a seedling forest.

The “Petit Château”

This name is well-deserved as, neighbouring a much bigger building, this one has style. Its construction, over an even older cellar, dates back to the very beginning of the Renaissance period. In the 17th century, the local lord is said to have used it as a royal salt barn, where the entire region came for supplies. The “Petit Château” is accessed through two archways in the wall which encloses the 181 m² courtyard. One arch for cars and the other for pedestrians, their granite jambs are topped with stylised arch stones, whilst the central keystone features inlaid decoration. The courtyard is more or less triangular in shape, widening towards the main house which looks out over it through large openings. The low roof, covered with Roman tiles, was completely redone five years ago as was the guttering, whilst the unusable attic space was insulated. A garage adjoins the main house on the left-hand side.
The garden facade, although in the same vein, has two French windows instead of just one. This time, the garage, which can also be accessed from this side, is on the right.


Ground floor
The through vestibule, providing access from the courtyard to the garden via two French windows, is not narrow like a corridor, nor overly wide as to be a waste of space. Its old terracotta floor tiles match those of the dining room, set immediately on the right, behind a wooden partition, with a glazed upper section and another section that slides to give access to the room. Visitors are immediately drawn to the monumental fireplace, dating from the first Renaissance era: the space between the mantel and a high cornice houses a painting of a pastoral scene. Its framing is that of a painting. On either side, two narrow panels go with it to form a sort of triptych and top those of the jambs. A total of four empty spaces on either side of the fireplace have been filled with other, similar paintings. The artwork is in a naive style and exudes a feeling of tranquillity and well-being. The wall in the dining room opposite the window overlooking the courtyard is lined with panelling, scrupulously identical to the original. Indirect lighting has been installed in the thickness of the ceiling insulation. Opposite the dining is a large kitchen, or breakfast room, which awaits fixtures and fittings. Its decorative features include an impressive fireplace and flagstones which have been sandblasted and re-pointed. A French window opens on to the courtyard. One door leads to a little kitchen, designed to be immediately functional, another into the garage. At the end of the vestibule, near to the garden door, a lounge is laid out facing a stairway. Partially protruding from the garden facade, this room is extremely bright courtesy of its two windows and two French windows which, in summer, make it easy to move between the inside and the outside. A drainage system installed under the floor tiles evacuates any moisture. As in the dining room, the ceiling, crossed by a large beam on corbels, is insulated.
First floor
The dogleg stairway is made of granite, just like the banister of the second flight. The intermediate landing, illuminated via a little window with a window seat, includes a toilet with a wash-hand basin. The layout of the first floor has been completely redesigned so as to comprise four bedrooms, following works to insulate the ceilings, partitions and doors. The first bedroom opens off the landing, made very bright by a window overlooking the garden. Said bedroom and its adjoining shower room (separate toilet) also look out over the garden. A little central hall area provides access to another three bedrooms. The biggest two have their own shower room with a toilet (separate in one) and are decorated with a Renaissance fireplace: one is also enhanced with paintings by the same artist as those in the dining room. This same bedroom features a highly aesthetic sliding door which closes off the shower room. The floors on this level are covered with oiled or varnished parquet flooring.
Cellar
The cellar, with its vaulted section, was constructed before the rest of the building, possibly in the 12th century. Spanning 34 m², it can be reached from the street as well as from the entrance vestibule, where an insulated door opens on to the stairway leading down to it.

The little house

This little house has the air of a chalet, with its gable roof, overhanging on the left side so as to provide shelter for the outside stairway. The large room on the lower level (kitchen area) is still rustic with its old terracotta floor tiles, its fireplace and its exposed ceiling beams. It is illuminated via a French window and two windows, looking out over the garden. The door and window frames are all recent. The outside, stone stairway goes up to two rooms that receive daylight through skylights and bull’s eye windows. A shower room and a separate toilet. This little house spans a total floor surface area of 108 m².

The garden and the wood

The garden is composed of various areas separated from one another by low stone walls or differing levels. The main house looks out over a large grassy terrace, which is followed by an old orchard, sloping towards the road. The wall of the neighbouring chateau’s parklands delimits the right-hand side. A gate at the end in another wall provides access to the wood, planted by the previous owners several decades ago. Looking like a seedling forest, it adds to the nobility of the premises. Below the wood, at the foot of another wall, is the old vegetable garden and a path that goes back up towards the terrace via a flight of stone steps.

Our opinion

The in-depth renovation of the “Petit Château” even includes internet wiring in each room, making it ideal for welcoming the innumerable spectators visiting the nearby Puy-du-Fou theme park. It would, however, be unfair to refuse such a harmonious place to a family who could appreciate its old features without forgoing modern-day home comforts. There are no physical or decorative platitudes here. The basement wall, which follows the sloping lie of the land, resembles a rampart. The naive paintings on the fireplaces reflect a countryside dating from the early Renaissance period. It is perhaps time to combine, in both the main and the little houses, independence and communal life, a liking for stone and a yearning for the countryside.

Exclusive sale

695 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense


See the fee rates

Reference 537713

Land registry surface area 4169 m2
Main building surface area 250 m2
Outbuilding surface area 108 m2
Number of bedrooms 4

Consultant


Jean-Pascal Guiot +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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