A small, 15th century manor house, probable birthplace of Descartes,
15 minutes from Châtellerault TGV train station
Châtellerault, VIENNE poitou-charentes 86100 FR


In the Upper Poitou region, 15 minutes from Châtellerault TGV train station, with its 90-minute links to Paris and 2½-hour links to Charles-de-Gaulle airport. The town of Tours is 50 minutes away and Poitiers 40 minutes away. The history of the area around Châtellerault and its role as a political, economic and religious crossroads as of the Gallo-Roman era can be read in the architectural features. It is now renowned for its cutting-edge industries in the aeronautical and car industries which make it the leading employment pool in the Poitou-Charentes region. There are also numerous leisure activities. Amongst the most original: the annual international hot air balloon championship and the Jazzelrault Festival which takes place every June.


The surrounding countryside is composed of meadows and fields, with woods on the hilltops. On the outskirts of a hamlet, the wall of this property borders a little road as far as the gateway. The entrance has been set between the wall and an outbuilding, extending it. Following the outbuilding, another wall continues alongside the road and incorporates a dovecote before coming to an end perpendicular to a lane. The rest of the property is bordered by hedges and tall trees.
The gateway provides access to a vast courtyard. In the centre stands a small, west-facing manor house, with outbuildings on either side. A wall, facing the manor house, features an opening, flanked by two pillars, marking the delimitation with the garden. More outbuildings have been constructed behind the manor house.
The gardens extends on the south and west sides.

The manor house

In the place of the two entrances on the ground floor was a stone spiral stairway which went up to the gable roof, covered with its flat tiles. Four windows have been added. A protruding pavilion, constructed at a later date, adjoins the manor house. It is supported on two semi-circular arcades and features an upstairs window. The cellar can be reached via the stairway positioned under one of the arcades.

Ground floor
Both facade entrances open indiscriminately into a kitchen-dining room and a lounge. A 15th century fireplace, with its wide hearth, takes pride of place in the kitchen-dining room despite the size of the room, with its 2.93 m high ceiling. The ceilings in the kitchen-dining room and the lounge feature exposed beams. A kitchen has been laid out in a corner next to a door opening on to a stairway leading to the garden. This level has terracotta floor tiles throughout. A wooden stairway goes up to the first floor.
Visitors to the lounge are immediately captivated by the 18th century fireplace, with its particularly wrought decoration. A door and a window open on to the courtyard.

First floor
The wooden stairway goes up to a landing which provides access to a bathroom, a toilet and two bedrooms. The fireplace in the first bedroom is of a style already to be found on the ground floor. Other features include exposed ceiling beams and wooden flooring. The second, bigger bedroom, also with wooden flooring, is where Decartes is said to have been born. The decoration, no longer reminiscent of the 16th century, reflects more the 18th century with its alcove and its fireplace. Another small, adjoining bedroom has an 18th century fireplace and terracotta floor tiles. A stairway, behind a door concealed in the wall, goes up to the second floor. The windows in the three bedrooms all face west.
Second floor
A landing at the top of the stairway provides access to a corridor, leading to three bedrooms. Two are of the same size, the third is bigger.

The guest house

This is one of the outbuildings in the courtyard. Three separate entrances make it possible to access different areas. The first section is a storage area which still houses the old bread oven. At the end is a little room which could be made to communicate with the second section. The latter comprises a shower room with a toilet and another small room. The last room is much bigger than the other two. It could easily be transformed into a bathroom as it already has a water supply point. The upstairs of this outbuilding, reached via an outside ladder, awaits conversion. It will need an indoor stairway. The roof is covered with flat tiles.

The children’s house

This building is constructed in two sections. The lower level comprises three vaulted ovens that were probably used for drying plums. The upper level, reached via a little stone stairway, consists of a large room, in which a shower room with a chemical toilet has been installed. The outside walls feature pointed, exposed stone. The roof is covered with flat tiles.

The outbuildings

These buildings accommodated animals, farming equipment or hay and are now used for very different purposes. Spanning a variety of surface areas, they could be transformed and given new vocations.

The garden

The garden, extending west and south, can be reached via the gateway, flanked by two pilasters. A covered area on the left-hand side adjoins an outbuilding. Cherry, plum, Mirabelle plum and walnut trees as well as a little vine will appeal to lovers of seasonal fruits, whilst oak, hazelnut and maple trees provide shady areas during the summer and rival one another in colour during the autumn.

Our opinion

Standing in the protective shadow of the great Descartes, by living there where he was probably born, has to be exciting. However, the methodical doubt advocated by the philosopher has no reason to exist here where nothing but charm is exuded. Better advantage could be taken of the buildings dominated by the dovecote by carrying out a few conversion and renovation works. A family could settle comfortably here without being isolated from human activities or the most modern means of transport.

336 000 € Negotiation fees included
306 000 € Fees excluded
9.8% TTC at the expense of the purchaser

See the fee rates

Reference 307855

Land registry surface area 6831 m2
Main building surface area 180 m2
Outbuilding surface area 405 m2

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Regional representative

Jérôme Broun +33 1 42 84 80 85



send to a friend Pinterest twitter Facebook

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.

By continuing your navigation, you accept the use of cookies to offer you services and offers adapted to your centers of interest and to measure the frequentation of our services. Learn more