in the Périgord Vert, an 18th century dovecote and its outbuildings
Between Angoulême and Périgueux, the dovecote is located a few dozen metres from an 18th century Périgord castle. The undulating region combining woods and fields boasts a rich architectural and cultural heritage. The village of Aubeterre-sur-Dronne, the village of Villebois with all its shops and its fortress are nearby, just as the Réthoré brothers' castle, known as the "Little Versailles of the Charente"; or Brantôme, "the little Venice of the Périgord", to name only a few. The property lies 25 minutes from Ribérac and its famous duck market offering truffles, walnuts, chestnuts and many other local products; and 35 minutes from Angoulême, the city of chocolate factories, capital of comic strips, also known for its annual classic car race on the Circuit des Remparts. The TGV-Atlantique station links the city to Paris in just two hours.
This is a large tower built at the end of the 18th century with a pointed flat-tile roof with a gutter, two dormer windows and a chimney. The nesting holes have been replaced by windows with limestone frames, typical for the region. The restoration was carried out under the supervision of a French “Architecte des Bâtiments de France”. The heating is underfloor. The thick, smooth walls with their original rendering are fitted with a moulded projection, a hood mould, a defensive cornice in the higher part to prevent predators from climbing up. Under a gable roof of monk and nun tiles, an outbuilding houses the kitchen and the terrace opening onto the garden.
The main entrance, once past the toilet, leads to the almost 70 m² lounge with its fireplace at the back. A stone ledge is still visible in some parts of the wall, at a height of about fifty centimetres, it used to prevent any pests from climbing up to the nesting boxes. Columns of white limestone known as "coquillère" for its inlay of small shells, carved by the French craftsmen “Compagnons du Devoir”, punctuate the very bright complex. The floor is paved with white stone. A door opens onto the kitchen and its scullery. From the former, there is direct access to the covered terrace under a small closed outside building. The wooden truss supporting a gable roof covered with monk and nun tiles rests, on the garden side, on limestone pillars from quarries very close to Brantôme, known as the "Little Venice of the Périgord". The stairway to the upper levels is curved above the toilet; the banister features holes reminiscent of the nesting holes, which can be illuminated.
Here, the floor is made of terracotta. The landing leads to a large bedroom, the surface area of which was originally intended for two rooms. Follows a bathroom with very light coloured tiles and a toilet.
The wooden staircase, which follows the curve of the building, leads to the terracotta tiled landing and bedrooms. The ceiling in the two bedrooms, the shower room and the toilet features the beautiful chestnut dragon beam of the building.
This level reveals the woodwork of the entire truss. It has been converted into a playroom and a study.
Access is along the dovecote under the covered terrace. The cellar is approximately 20 m² in size and offers a room for the boiler and the central vacuum cleaner.
The grounds are adorned with a variety of trees such as walnut, magnolia, cypress, eucalyptus, Indian lilac, fig and a large umbrella pine. The 5m x 10m pool is heated by a heat pump and has an automatic cover. The water is treated by a remote-controlled ozone system which considerably reduces the use of chlorine and thus preserves its purity.
Here, the nesting holes have given way to pretty little bays that let in the Aquitaine sunshine, the relaxation, the peacefulness. The building has kept its soul, a whirlwind of tranquillity. The authentic dovecote has become a large residential tower with all modern comforts.
|Land registry surface area||1850 m2|
|Main building surface area||220 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||3|
|Outbuilding surface area||20 m2|
Ariel Dormeau +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.