in a village within easy reach of Uzès
3 km from Uzès (first duchy of France, fully listed “Town of Art and History”), in the midst of a village that stays lively all year round and whose Gallo-Roman origins are still visible (the illustrious Roman Pont-du-Gard aqueduct is but a short distance away). This house is in the district built to the east of the village in the 17th century. Several shops (bakery, groceries) and amenities (post office, schools, doctors) are but a stone’s throw away. Nîmes (TGV train station and airport) is 30 minutes away and Avignon (TGV train station) 45 minutes away, whilst motorways can be reached in less than 20 minutes.
It comprises two buildings, spanning three levels and topped with Roman tile roofs. Facing east-south-east on the courtyard side and west-north-west on the road side, the house forms an angle that follows the contours of the old estate.
The road side facades are rendered and feature an alignment of tall, drop arch windows on the first and second levels, with a top row of small, irregularly-spaced windows under the eaves.
The stone surround framing the entrance door set in the corner of the two buildings features a superb example of a stylish rear vault, topped with two successive cornices which form a sober entablature, elegantly enhanced with dentil moulding on the first and a widely protruding keystone.
Facing the courtyard and bordering a little garden between neighbouring houses, the two buildings form an oblique corner housing a stairwell. The facades here keeping the same alignment as on the street, with rendering preserving the trompe-l'œil quarry stone block marking in places. With the exception of the third floor, the numerous windows facing east are laid out in a semblance of alignment. The north facade features a small balcony, whilst the south-facing section of the attic floor includes a covered terrace, with a contemporary triple-lancet arcade matching three arched windows in the south gable wall, laid out along the edge of the eaves.
This house bears witness to a number of conversion works, first of all in the 18th century when it became the estate’s main house and, then, during the first quarter of the 19th century with the installation of the current stairway and the interior conversion of the rooms into a classical style. In 1821, it belonged to two brothers with the same initials which are to be found on the two keyholes on the street door, the first marked “2” and the second “E”. It then became an elegant and comfortable townhouse whose tall, drop arch windows, glazed with small panes, are very much in keeping with the still obvious, 18th century style.
The street entrance door opens into a through vestibule, illuminated on the east side via an oculus. It provides access on either side to the rooms in both buildings and houses the stairway going to the other floors. The north building comprises a large room, with a double cross-ribbed vault, illuminated on three sides. A French window opens on to the garden. The floors are covered with old terracotta tiles, bordered with wide, grey stone blocks. The vaults are rendered with gypsum, enhanced with fine moulding along the ribs and roses. The south building houses two adjoining rooms with cross-ribbed, stone vaults. The first room is illuminated on the west side via a tall window, glazed with large panes, and on the east side by a French window opening on to the garden. The second, in use as a kitchen, has a door, leading out to the garden, adjoining a smaller window. The kitchen still has its old “potager” (secondary hearth where soups were cooked on embers) to the right of the hearth in the fireplace, the flue of which is flanked on either side by two small oculi.
Apart from the contemporary flooring in the dining room and the mantel on its fireplace, obviously recuperated, all the original materials, such as the terracotta floor tiles with inlaid decoration in the kitchen, the door and window frames and the interior doors, have been carefully preserved.
A two-flight winding stairway, with an intermediate landing, goes up from the vestibule to the first floor. The south building comprises a suite of two rooms, with fireplaces and floors covered with small, hexagonal terracotta tiles. The first and biggest room has a separate toilet and is illuminated via four tall picture windows, glazed with small panes, symmetrically laid out on the east and west sides. The second room has a single opening overlooking the courtyard and illuminating this alcove-shaped room. Facing the flight of steps coming up from the ground floor, the corner on the street side above the vestibule houses a bathroom, with a shower. The north building is laid out as a flat, including a vast room in use as a kitchen-dining room, a bathroom with a separate toilet, a small bedroom overlooking the street and a double room, divided on the one hand into a study and the other into a bedroom, housed in the north gable. These rooms under high ceilings, with exposed joists, are illuminated on three sides: the east facing garden side, the west-facing street side as well as the north side. There are terracotta floor tiles throughout.
The top floor is laid out under the rafters, all the terracotta tiles under the roof of which have been preserved. Prior to reaching the top landing, the stairway includes an intermediate landing which provides access to a shower room with a separate toilet, concealing the access to two vast adjoining attics. And lastly, the landing bordering the east wall leads south, on one side, to a room in use as a bedroom and study, opening on to a covered terrace and, on the other side, to a bedroom with an alcove, enhanced with a fireplace and a small balcony, with a view over the garden, the roofs and temple bell-tower.
The courtyard, spanning a surface area of approx. 300 m², contains an enclosed garden planted with tall trees, at the foot of which are flower beds. Its landscaping is simple and somewhat disorderly. It has a well and a little stone building used for storage purposes.
The Temple garden
This property has a second garden less than a hundred metres away, facing the village’s old protestant temple. This verdant haven, out of sight of onlookers, spans approx. 435 m².
This property, bearing witness to the past glory of the Uzège region which saw its villages expand beyond their walls, combines the comfort of an elegant middle-class home in an urban district with a delightful view over its verdant setting. Sheltered from onlookers and the mistral which sometimes penetrates into the narrow streets, the garden is an invitation to enjoy the warmth of the south without having to suffer the summer heat.
The proximity of Uzès and its tourist attraction are offset by the pleasant way of life, lulled of an evening by the sound of the screech owl parading amongst the treetops. Enhancing the gardens with a pool would complete the premises.
|Land registry surface area||910 m2|
|Main building surface area||350 m2|
Ménélik Plojoux +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.