historic buildings for sale bessin region - calvados region

A listed, 17th century flour mill, its millrace and its outbuildings
in the midst of the Bessin marshes in the French department of Calvados
Bayeux, CALVADOS lower-normandy 14400 FR

Location

This property, in the midst of a hamlet, is 4 km from the A13 motorway leading to Paris, 280 km away. Caen, and its airport, with flights to London and the south of France, is 35 minutes away. The famous Omaha Beach is 9 km away. All useful infrastructures, such as a train station and supermarkets, are in a well-known town, 17 km away. The nearest market town, with all local shops is 1.5 km away and can be reached on foot or by bike.

Description

Constructed by a member of the Parisian parliament in 1684, this property is listed courtesy of its facade and its Mansard roofs. François-Mansart, the great 17th century architect, built the chateau near Balleroy in 1631. This mill is bordered by two little country lanes, the millrace as well as the river, and is surrounded by fields and marshland meadows. At the end of a main courtyard, bordered by a high stone wall (followed by two outbuildings), by the millrace and the railings that surround semi-circular wrought iron gates, its facade and its sculpted stone ornaments reveal their elegant and austere plainness. A walkway leads from the courtyard over the millrace, where the large wheel is to be found. A passageway separates an old bakery and its bread oven from the mill’s extension and leads to the garden, with the river running alongside. Rear wooden gates provide access from the lane to a stone-lined carpark and to the garden, via a wooden bridge.

The mill

This mill is symmetrically divided into two sections, one used for industrial purposes and the other for living in. Twin entrance doors stand side by side in the centre of the building, composed of an imitation central projection inspired by Baroque architecture. The bay above the two doors includes a three-sided pediment, topped with a protruding panel, all flanked by two tall vertical windows. Standing out against the double, slate, hip roof, an arched pediment, with abutments on either side, completes the enhancement of this central projection. The chimney stack, in the middle of the building, is decorated with a sculpted frieze under four triangular pediments.


Ground floor
The right-hand twin door opens into the entrance hall, featuring exposed stone walls and old terracotta floor tiles. It provides access to two bedrooms (one with painted cement floor tiles), and the kitchen. It communicates with the industrial section, transformed into a living room, also reached via the other twin door. A stairway leads to the full first floor of the manor house. In the living room, the belfry or the mill’s roofing framework, said to be a thousand years old, stretches widthways at the end of the room. In the wall are round openings that once housed the mechanism, used for turning the two grindstones, now displayed next to the belfry. The walls are limewashed, the ceilings feature exposed beams and joists whilst the floors are paved with large flagstones. A stone fireplace stands facing the belfry. An opening provides access to the dining room, laid out in what was once a sheepfold as is proved by a long stone trough, divided into three sections, above which a wide horizontal window has been added. Two low stone walls separate it from the kitchen. To the rear of the latter are two doors, one opening on to the back garden and the other into a shower room. The stone of the walls and the roofing framework are both exposed. An opening at the end of the dining room leads to a room above the millrace.
First floor
The stairway goes up to a small landing with, on the one hand, straight on, a reading room laid out above the living room and, on the other hand, two bedrooms and a bathroom. The reading room, with its wide vertical openings and the site of the old grindstone still to be seen in the wall, houses a three-quarter turning stairway that goes up to the third level.
Second floor
This floor has sloping ceilings and is illuminated via skylights. It features exposed trusses and beams. The floor is covered with wide strip pattern, oak wood parquet flooring. The stairway leads to a first landing which provides access to two bedrooms, one of which has no windows. Adjoining, a second landing leads to the biggest bedroom and a shower room.
Reception building
A room, above the millrace and following on from the dining room, links the mill to this building which features horizontal openings on either side that look out over the mill wheel and the millrace. Laid out lengthwise, the function room has wide industrial-style windows and exposed stone walls. On one side, a wooden door opens into the bakery. On the other, a wooden carriage door opens on to the garden behind the mill.

The outbuildings

The stable and the cider-press, adjoining one another in the main courtyard, are now used for storage purposes and as a workshop. A narrow flight of steps in the stable goes up to two intercommunicating attics.

The bakery

The walkway over the millrace leads to the bakery which still has its bread oven and its tub. A little back room would have been used, so the storey goes, as a toilet, made comfortable by the heat of the oven.

The garden

The millrace and the garden surround the garden completely. A little canal, near to the bridge and spanned by a walkway, flows into the river, making it possible to control the height of the water in the millrace via a sluice gate. Composed of lawns, dotted with fruit trees and copses, the garden is separated into two by the vestiges of an old stone wall.

The garage

This garage, adjoining the extension and spanning a floor surface area of approx. 50 m², is topped with a slate roof. It is composed of horizontal wood siding supported on quarry stone block lower sections.

Our opinion

This property more resembles a small chateau than a flour mill. The renowned Mansart had constructed in the area and his influence can be felt here. Despite reflecting the Baroque era, its architecture tends towards classicism and it is touching that so much care was paid to the construction of a building which was, after all, to be used for utilitarian purposes. Water also works all of its magic here. For thirty years, the residents of the premises, aided by one of the French Historic Monument Society’s master architects, understood the value of the renovation works: succeeding them can but be a thrilling experience.

442 000 €
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur


Voir le Barème d'Honoraires

Reference 810907

Land registry surface area 2110 m2
Main building surface area 396 m2
Outbuilding surface area 102 m2

Regional representative


Brune Boivieux       +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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