character houses for sale in france near montélimar

An 18th century residence, with a guest house and a swimming pool,
at the foot of a little town on a rocky promontory in the south of Ardèche
Aubenas, ARDECHE rhones-alps 07200 FR


This property is in the south of the French department of Ardèche, along one of the old roads between the Rhône Valley and highest points of the Auvergne region, on the outskirts of the Ardèche mountain regional nature park, midway between the Ardèche mountains where the river Loire originates and the Ardèche gorges where the natural Pont-d'Arc stone bridge is classified as a World Heritage site by Unesco. It stands at the foot of a rocky promontory, on which a small town has grown up from a 12th century castle. The hilltop town abounds in narrow, picturesque streets along which historic residences sometimes house cafés. It also hosts a lively, fragrant and colourful market every Saturday morning; a must for enthusiasts of local wines and produce.
An hour from Montélimar and its TGV train station. Avignon and its international airport are less than 2 hours away whilst the Mediterranean Sea is 2½ hours away.


This property, out of sight of onlookers, extends over fully enclosed parklands which span approx. 5,500 m² and are bordered by a canal. Standing below the town, once governed by the noble Montlaur family, this middle-class residence was constructed in 1750 in the middle of the spinning district of the Ardèche’s fast-growing textile industry. A stone caretaker’s cottage, transformed into a guest house, stands nearby, not far from the swimming pool. The parklands, planted with lush Mediterranean plants, are enhanced with little ornamental pools.

The 18th century residence

This stone building features two sections, one spanning four levels and the other spanning three. The main facade, featuring the entrance, has been lime rendered and several rows of overhanging cornices precede the roofs. A central flight of stone steps goes up to a vast terrace, running the width of the building.

Ground floor
Double wooden doors, with glazed upper sections protected by wrought ironwork, open into a wide vestibule with cement floor tiles. A stairway, with wooden steps and intricate wrought iron railings, is at the end. This vestibule initially provides access to the lounges. Two small lounges, heated by two marble fireplaces, are now intercommunicating. Parquet flooring looks up at two superb ceiling roses. The double lounge opens into a conservatory, housed in an old greenhouse laid out at the end of the terrace. The vestibule also leads to a dining room, featuring cement floor tiles and a black marble fireplace. A rose decorates the centre of the ceiling. It adjoins a functional kitchen that opens on to the terrace. A door at the back opens into a vestibule which runs the length of the residence, meeting the entrance vestibule at right angles. It provides access to a separate toilet, a linen room and a cloakroom, all preceding the stairway. A study then communicates with the lounge and, finally, a bedroom with its own bathroom.
First floor
The central stairway goes up to the first floor. Midway, double doors open on to a terrace, laid out behind the residence. The first floor has parquet flooring throughout. A wide vestibule provides access to five bright, spacious bedrooms, each with its own bath or shower room. A linen room completes this level. The stairway continues up to the top floor.
Second floor
A landing welcomes residents to the second floor and provides access to two attics which precede the bedrooms. There is parquet flooring throughout. The attics, on either side of the landing, are laid out under the slopes of a first roof. One of them houses a dark room. The landing leads to a long vestibule providing access to two independent bedrooms and a suite, comprising two bedrooms with a shower room and a separate toilet.
Garden level
A garden level spans the full floor surface area of the residence. It includes garages and workshops as well as several utility rooms and a large wine cellar, which can take some 2,000 bottles.
A relaxation area has also been laid out on this level. It comprises an exercise room, a massage room and a room with a sauna.
A vaulted stone reception room is to be found under the terrace at the back of the residence. Small windows open on to the canal that borders the property. An old stone sink can still be seen in the wall. A gravel terrace, in front of the reception room, extends almost to one of the property’s entrances. Next to it, laid out on the edge of the property, an old orangery houses the swimming pool filtration system. There is also a separate toilet.

The guest house

This stone guest house stands at a distance from the residence, separated by “elephant feet” plane trees. This section of the parklands has an independent entrance via one of the property’s sets of gates. This house spans approx. 300 m² of living space over two levels. It is accessed via stone steps leading up to a covered terrace. It has been converted into three separate flats so as to accommodate numerous guests. Two flats, respectively spanning 35 and 65 m² are on the garden level. Another flat, spanning approx. 200 m² is laid out on the ground floor as well as the upper floor under the rafters. Each of the flats has its own terrace, guaranteeing privacy.

The swimming pool and the garden

The parklands extend over approx. 5,500 m². Fully enclosed, they comprise three separate entrances. These landscaped parklands, planted with trees over one hundred years old, include mimosa and oleander bushes as well as, palm trees, cleverly laid out around ornamental pools. Safety fencing encloses an area of approx. 300 m² surrounding a large, 10x5 m swimming pool with a wide deck. Heated by a heat pump, this area is much sought-after in a climate, ideal for outdoor activities. It has a superb view of the town castle.

Our opinion

The view of the little town, extending over its promontory with a castle and bell-towers, exudes an Italian air behind a row of cypress trees. Just like this impressive residence which appears to stand on a vast terrace where an arbour provides shade from the sun and where an old veranda protects from the cold. Its well laid out parklands, part of which is building land, are bordered by a canal. The insides have been fully renovated, including the three flats in the annex house which could immediately be used for a bed & breakfast activity.

1 260 000 €
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur

Voir le Barème d'Honoraires

Reference 580959

Land registry surface area 5538 m2
Main building surface area 620 m2
Outbuilding surface area 300 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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