manors for sale in france rench department of orne

The listed “Manoir de la Sausserie”, a 15th & 16th century miniature castle
and its outbuildings, with more than 6 ha of land, in the French department of Orne
Domfront, ORNE lower-normandy 61700 FR

Location

The “Manoir de la Sausserie” is 255 km from Paris. Fleur train station, 25 minutes away, has 2⅔ hour links to the French capital. Caen, Laval and Mont-Saint-Michel are 70 km away. The spa resort of Bagnoles-de-l'Orne in the midst of Andaine forest is 25 km away; Domfront-en-Poiraie, its train station as well as all shops and amenities are 5 km away. This seigneurial property stands in the Domfront region with its pear orchards.

Description

The “Manoir de la Sausserie”, surrounded by fields and grasslands, is reached via a little road, followed by an access lane, winding its way between the farms. Two lakes, vestiges of moats, border the exterior facade of a miniature chateau porch way. In what was the inner courtyard remain a bakery, a well, a grinding wheel and ruins of a 19th century house. The dovecote and the ruins of a barn, both dating from the 16th century, are outside the perimeter of the moats. Five stages of restoration works have been carried out on the roofing framework, the roof and the carcass. Its listing as a French historic monument means that it benefits from environmental protection for a radius of 500 m.

The “Manoir de la Sausserie”

This seigneurial site, the origin of which dates back to Robert-le-Saucier, vassal to Eleanor of Aquitaine, has experienced several lives since 1195 whilst belonging to the same family.
It composed the main residence of the Saucier family and marked the beginning of the constitution of the seigneurial estate in the middle of the marshlands. Periods of prosperity and doubt succeeded one another. With the end of the One-Hundred-Years-War, descendants began constructing a tower porch way, surrounded by moats with a manor house in the inner courtyard, for defence purposes. The miniature chateau porch way is a real little fortress and most certainly originally housed the main residence.
Around 1860, the manor house was destroyed, the surrounding buildings fell into decline and the moats were filled in. Another house was constructed on the ruins of the manor house. All that remains is the miniature chateau.

The miniature chateau
This tower porch way is constructed from Armoricain sandstone, faced with granite. The roofing framework and the half-timbering are made of oak wood. All of the roofs are covered with chestnut shingle. The tower porch way comprises a square central pavilion and two squat, round towers, adjoining two corners. Between the two towers, a passageway in the central pavilion is closed by a drawbridge on each side. The fortified door was, therefore, originally completely surrounded by water. On the round towers, two pavilions are strangely set crosswise, overhanging on wooden corbels.
Inside the moats, the central pavilion forms a square projection. It is flanked by a bartizan (its twin having disappeared in the 1980’s) constructed from wood and covered with shingle. The so-called imperial pavilion roof is topped with a small, elegant bell-tower. The roofs of the two pavilions topping the defence towers are both shaped like an inverted ship’s hull.

The round towers
The towers are approx. 13 m high and their walls are an average of 1 m thick. They span four levels which communicate with one another via little, interior spiral stairways. The walls of the first two levels of these towers feature numerous loop-holes of various sizes. The entrance to the miniature chateau is reached via a stone stairway leading directly to the second level of one of the towers. In fact, the low-ceilinged rooms on the first level lead solely to the loop-holes intended for firing on a level with the moats. Both towers are topped with a square overhanging pavilion with corbelling. On each level, spiral stairways lead to round or square rooms, illuminated via one or two openings and featuring fireplaces on the top two floors. The fireplaces, with their granite lintels and jambs, enhanced with rounded moulding, are typical of the late 16th century. The floors in certain of the tower rooms are covered with old square terracotta tiles.

The two overhanging pavilions with corbels
These pavilions feature wood and brick, alternately laid horizontally and vertically. They are topped with terracotta finials. Completely built from half-timbering, they are set on two beams, crossing at right angles. Their external base is surrounded by a canopy covered with shingle. The rooms are illuminated via two windows and heated via a fireplace with a wooden lintel, granite corbels and sandstone or granite jambs forming a semi-engaged column.

The central pavilion
The first two levels correspond to the vaulted passageway providing access to the courtyard. The curved vault of the passageway is semi-circular at the entrance, becoming a basket-handle arch towards the inside of the courtyard. On the exterior facade, three shafts set in the thickness of the wall housed the chains of the drawbridges for the pedestrian and carriage gateways. These shafts flank a Caen stone panel featuring the family coat-of arms. It is topped with two vertical openings, the second of which on a level with the domed roof has a little, gable roof. The rear facade features similar symmetry, but with two shafts for a drawbridge.
The spiral stairways lead to square rooms on the third level. They communicate with the room in the central square pavilion, spanning a floor surface area of approx. 37 m². This room is astonishingly bright. Three walls feature three openings. The moulding around their granite window sills dates from the same time as the fireplaces. The fourth wall houses a granite fireplace. Its corbels, sculpted with scrolls, support a monolithic lintel, whist each jamb takes the form of a semi-engaged column.
On the fourth level, the domed roof goes down to the truss beams which are simply laid on the walls or on corbels. It is higher than those of the two neighbouring pavilions. In the central room, illuminated via two openings, facing one another, stands a fireplace, a plainer replica of the previous one. This room provides access to the bartizan, illuminated via a small opening.


House
Constructed on the site of the Renaissance style manor house, destroyed around 1860, a modest amount of the manor house materials has been reused, notably for building the entrance door. The gable roof is covered with slate. A little extension and an adjoining building back on to the rear of the house.
Spanning a floor surface area of approx. 110 m², this house comprises a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom, three bedrooms and a boiler room. An opening in the latter leads outside and a narrow flight of steps goes up to the attic space which could be converted. The building, spanning a similar floor surface area to the house and its extension, is constructed from half-timbering on sandstone lower sections. Featuring carriage doors, it is used for garage and storage purposes.

Outbuilding
A bakery, the ruins of an old barn, a well and a grinding stone bear witness to the other buildings that stood inside the moats.
Dovecote
This half-timbered, octagonal dovecote stands a hundred metres away from the miniature chateau porch way. The eight roof slopes were originally covered with slate. Beams and uprights rest on sandstone lower sections. Half-way up, a half-roof, in the shape of a canopy, runs all around the building. Its roofing framework dates from the 16th century and it was redesigned in the 17th century.
Barn
This 16th century barn is partially covered with a roof. Like the dovecote, it stands outside of the defences.

Our opinion

This manor house, under its chestnut shingle, is a sleeping beauty. Its elegance and charm immediately catch the eye evoking a desire to protect it. This is the only building of this Seigneury, dating back to the Middle-Ages, left standing. It is almost certainly because of its robustness, but perhaps also because of the curiosity provoked by its round and square forms, the rigidity of its chimney stacks and their coping as well as the airy elegance of its inverted ship’s hull and dome-shaped roofs, that it has come down through the ages. It is archaic, original and rare. This manor house should be saved so that it might be admired by all.
Surrounding the manor house are 40 additional hectares, composed of orchards, fields and grasslands as well as a second house and outbuildings, which are also available for purchase.

390 000 €
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur


Voir le Barème d'Honoraires

Reference 234249

Land registry surface area 6 ha 33 a 21 ca
Main building surface area 154 m2

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

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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