1½ hours from Paris in the French department of Oise
Paris is 1½ hours away via the A16 motorway. Beauvais, its airport and its train station, with 1¼-hour links to the French capital, is 25 km away. The Channel coast is an hour’s drive away; Rouen, 72 km away; the nearest market town with local shops, just 4 minutes away. This pastural spot, very near to urban facilities, is in a region featuring French bocage countryside, ideal for pastureland for raising cattle. This old abbey is to be found in part of the Bray Country, in the French department of Oise, which historically belonged to the Beauvaisis area, more specifically known as the Bray-Picard Country.
This old abbey is listed as a French Historic Monument. A protection that predominantly applies to the monumental entrance, the old regular buildings dating from the 18th century and the vestiges of the abbey mill.
The entrance porchway
With its classical architecture, this porchway is one of the few 18th century features that are still intact. The entrance is flanked by two dressed stone pilasters, joined by a semi-circular arch, topped with a triangular pediment, the central decoration of which appears to have disappeared, and wrought iron gates. The latter are crowned with Louis XV style ironwork which is set in the midst of a half-moon-shaped composition of old brick enhanced with stone facing. The ground is covered with old paving stones and two stone benches adjoin the walls on either side.
The last monastic buildings
These buildings comprise two wings laid out on either side of the entrance porchway. They span a total floor surface area of approx. 1,540 m². The purity of the lines, the economy of materials and the simplicity of the layout give this place a character reminiscent of all Cistercian architecture. The solidity of the construction can be judged by the thickness of the walls (about one metre).
The buildings where the current owners live are on one side of the entrance. Extended by areas awaiting conversion, they span a total floor surface area of approx. 600 m². The facades feature four stone bays, the last two of which comprise semi-circular arches encompassing the top and bottom windows. The Mansard roof is impressive as it is, more or less, the same height as the facade. It is covered with slate and small tiles. Adjoining and set at right angles is the old refectory.
On the other side of the large courtyard stand the outbuildings, spanning a surface area of approx. 634 m². The facade predominantly features a wide atrium window making the large workshop that once housed a joinery, extremely bright.
The inside of the house
Meticulous care was given to the restoration of what is now a house where comfort rivals the respect given to the original structure.
The current house was designed for living in on a daily basis with all modern-day home comforts. The living rooms on the ground floor are illuminated by through light, flooding in through the windows on the porch and garden sides, winter and summer alike. Two entrance doors provide access to the house, either via the kitchen or via the lounge. But it is the kitchen, with its central unit and, above all, its wood-burning stove which heats the entire house and completes the electric heating, that constitutes the heart of this home. The reception room features a fireplace and old beams. Following on from the lounge, large rooms, including a vaulted room corresponding to the monks’ former refectory, await conversion.
A central landing and a long hall area provide access to three bedrooms. All their windows look out over the garden. They are certainly more comfortable than they were during the time of the monks, but they still feature exposed beams. One of them opens on to a little balcony, set under one of the arches. Once again, as on the ground floor, large areas are ready and waiting to be converted.
A wooden stairway goes up to this top floor. Its wooden flooring, spanning a surface area of more than 200 m², is laid out under an age-old, oak wood roofing framework.
The garden is a natural extension of the buildings. It can be seen from all the windows. Various species of trees and flowers are planted in a way that brings the gardens of Kent to mind. Tall pine trees provide a verdant touch throughout the winter months. A pasture belonging to the property extends the view towards the surrounding countryside. The view is obstructed on one side by the monks’ old wood.
A place that has been martyred, destroyed by events to the point that it almost disappeared, but also a place that still exudes a character that can be described in a single word: dignity. The Cistercians knew how to create such an atmosphere with their buildings. In this case, by adopting the style of the 18th century, they managed to preserve their “trademark”: tall, majestic buildings. The last, surviving buildings are but waiting to be rehabilitated.
In short, beautiful countryside, near to Paris and the Normandy coast: all assets for a sound project such as a haven of peace for residential artists, a starred restaurant for gourmet enthusiasts, bed & breakfast for Parisians in search of verdant surroundings, a place for holding functions and weddings or, quite simply, a family home.
|Land registry surface area||14900 m2|
|Main building surface area||880 m2|
|Outbuilding surface area||660 m2|
Jérôme Ferchaud       +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.