and an apartment in Lectoure in France’s Gers department
The spa town of Lectoure has 3,700 inhabitants. It is perched on a hill in the Lomagne area of the Gers department in south-west France. This beautiful area is aptly nicknamed ‘Little Tuscany’. The town is rich in art and history. It includes many historical edifices, antique dealers and first-rate boutiques. Lectoure is also clearly open to the outside world – its large community of British expatriates bears witness to this. The town is a stop on the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrims’ way. Lectoure enjoys a mild climate, fine cuisine and a range of cultural events. The city of Agen with its high-speed train station is 35 kilometres away. From there, you can reach Paris in just over three hours by rail. The city of Toulouse with its international airport lies 100 kilometres from Lectoure. Bordeaux is 160 kilometres away.
The property extends from a main street on its north side, where you find the shop space and apartment, both currently rented out, to a secondary parallel street on its south side, where you enter a garage. It is made up of three distinct buildings that stand between two parallel streets. These sections are separated by outdoor spaces: a patio, a garden and terraces.
The first building faces the main street. It has three floors with an unconverted loft space. Its entrance hallway leads to the grand town house and to the ground-floor shop space, which offers a floor area of around 60m² and has a shopfront window. The hallway also leads up to the apartment, which has three main rooms and a floor area of around 140m². This apartment takes up the edifice’s first and second floors.
The second building has a single-storey 18th-century main section made of dressed stone that faces a court, which is partly covered. A four-floor medieval tower with a loft adjoins this section. This edifice has a wooden terrace on its south side and a walled garden that extends eastwards and southwards. On the narrow street on the south side, there is a separate stone building that adjoins two other properties. It houses a vast ground-floor garage and an upstairs space with sloping attic ceilings that could be converted. The latter space can be reached from the garden via the wooden terrace.
The town house
An inner building made of sand-coloured dressed stone adjoins a tower. The facade displays the characteristics of grand 18th-century town houses. It has a single floor upon a semibasement and a loft space. Monk-and-nun tiling covers its roof, which is underlined with a stone cornice. Tall window surrounds with slightly arched lintels add a touch of refinement. In the patio, a shelter protects the main house’s entrance from rain. The medieval tower has three floors, cellars and a converted loft space. Rubble masonry of squared blocks forms the walls, which are punctuated with corbels.
The ground floor
Beyond a glazed door, a long corridor connects to the main rooms and goes all the way to the hallway where the grand staircase is. Wooden double doors with mouldings lead into a living room with sumptuous decoration and wood flooring. A fireplace of finely sculpted wood with a straight hood adorned with mouldings stands in this splendid room. A cosier atmosphere pervades a second lounge and reading room. Here a fireplace with a stone mantlepiece stands against one wall and two tall windows look out at the vegetation. On the other side of the hallway, there is a comfortable dining room. From here, an arched doorway takes you out onto a wooden terrace that offers absolute privacy. All you can see through the foliage here is a belltower. An adjoining kitchen is characterised by its vault, stone walls, corbels, exposed beams and stone fireplace.
The first floor
A wooden staircase winds up half-timbered walls. Its broad stairs with smooth, gleaming edges lead up to a bright landing that connects to two bedrooms, each with their own bathrooms, and a walk-in wardrobe. The first bedroom, which is on the south side, offers a view that stretches all the way to the Pyrenees. A large pointed-arch alcove, patterned wallpaper and a grey marble fireplace subtly combine charming authenticity with 18th-century decorative features. A shower room on one side of the bed and a lavatory on the other were recently made and can be reached via small doors. The second bedroom is filled with natural light from two tall glazed doors. It features mouldings and tall skirting boards. An adjoining modern bathroom has a bathtub, a walk-in shower and a lavatory. You can reach the loft via a small door that is flush with the wall surface. On the landing, a wardrobe and a door leading to the main building’s loft offer handy storage space.
Lower Level 1
In the former guards’ room, an intermediate floor has been made for two extra bedrooms and an office. The tops of two pointed-arch alcoves give the end wall charm and character. These arched alcoves are remarkable architectural remains. The level can be reached via a small straight staircase from the hallway. It also leads out into a beautifully developed garden with trees of many species that provide welcome shade in the summer. From a specially designed library room and office that looks like a cabinet of curiosities, you can reach a bedroom that stands out for its refined, classical decoration. Wooden panelling adorns its walls and a mantlepiece over a fireplace echoes this panelling. Pale wood flooring extends across the room. A walk-in wardrobe and a shower room give the space extra comfort. The fourth bedroom is smaller. It recalls an English cottage. It has a bathroom and a lavatory.
The street-facing building: the shop space and the apartment
The facade of the street-facing building is inconspicuous. It is made of dressed stone and rendered. Only its heavy, arched wooden door stands out for its sculpted pilasters that rise up to a double cornice. This door is secured with an entry code system. The neat alignment of the facade’s stone window surrounds is typical of classical 18th-century architecture.
The ground floor
The entrance hall leads to the grand house and to a majestic stone staircase with a balustrade of wrought-iron volutes that takes you up to the apartment. The flooring is made up of rows that alternate between stone slabs and terracotta tiles. At the end of the hallway, a gate leads out to the house’s patio. A separate shop space, which is currently rented out, is filled with natural light from a shopfront window that extends across its entire width.
The first floor
The apartment takes up the building’s first and second floors. Both floors connect to the apartment via the staircase. The dwelling has an entrance hall and a lounge with wood flooring, a fireplace, mouldings and street-facing windows. It also has a fitted kitchen that you can reach via a straight wooden staircase. Two bedrooms, a bathroom, a lavatory and an office complete this apartment. The whole dwelling is in good condition. A trapdoor in a corridor in the top floor leads to the loft space, which has not been converted. The apartment is currently being rented out. The lease may be terminated in a few months from now.
This stone building has two floors. One of its walls adjoins a neighbouring property: another structure that is used as an outbuilding. The ground-floor garage has an arched double door made of wood. Vehicles can drive through this doorway. It has a concrete floor and a ceiling height of over four metres. It connects to the garden’s lower section via a few steps. The top floor can be reached from the garden’s upper section or via a covered wooden terrace. It offers a loft space beneath beams that could be converted. With its kitchenette, this space could be turned into an open-plan apartment or an artist’s studio.
This splendid property is a hidden gem: a secret sanctuary behind a street-facing facade. Its remarkable architecture is harmonious. The purposes of its different spaces are wide-ranging. Here you are immersed in a unique, cosy atmosphere. Old authenticity and sumptuous decoration combine in this charming place.
This is a rare type of property. It is ready to be lived in and opens up exciting possibilities for development. Its apartment and shop space alone are promising investments.
|Land registry surface area||670 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||6|
Gaëtan de Laugardière +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.