A 19th century folly, with a caretaker’s cottage,
in parklands on the banks of the river Tarn
Toulouse, HAUTE-GARONNE midi-pyrenees 31000 FR

Location

This property is 30 minutes from the centre of Toulouse (TGV train station) and Toulouse-Blagnac international airport. Facing a village with the brick and Roman tile architecture typical of the Languedoc region, it is on a bend just after a bridge spanning the river Tarn and is followed by nothing but countryside.
The A6, dubbed the Pastel motorway, is five minutes away.
Infant and junior schools as well as doctors and all shops including bakeries, a grocery, a restaurant and a delicatessen are in the village, making everyday life easier.

Description

Having left the village and crossed a bridge connecting the two banks of the river Tarn, visitors come to gates that open on to a short alleyway, providing access to this folly. On the immediate left-hand side, a caretaker’s cottage keeps an eye on the residence and its secrets. The welcoming, large, luxurious home, with its very sober exterior, is constructed of brick covered with rendering, made of lime and river sand, slightly marked by the patina of time. The main entrance door, on the north side, is on a little porch, preceded by a few steps, acting like a sort of external buffer, topped with a balcony. The south facade looks out over the riverbank side which is on a slightly lower level; any flooding made impossible by the building’s raised position. The panoramic view looks straight ahead at the pink brick village (Toulouse is not far away), with its church bell tower in the centre. A very pleasant relaxation area has been laid out on traditional brick tiles, creating a little outside lounge, surrounded by gravel, on the west side. A rectangle featuring herbs and acanthus plants enhances the area.

The folly

This building is both discreet and distinguished. The outside is completely unpretentious whilst the inside is marked by refined details. This brick construction, spanning three levels under attic space, is perfectly in keeping with regional tradition and blends in with the landscape. Rectangular in shape, all the main rooms, particularly those used for reception purposes, overlook the north bank, that is to say face south. This actually goes against traditional architecture in the Languedoc region as, for climate reasons, living rooms were not laid out on the south side. Here, aesthetics took the upper hand, giving preference to the view and bright light. Furthermore, the rendering on the brick appreciably diminishes the effect of the sun’s rays, the temperature remaining pleasant throughout the hot summer months.
The east and west sides feature windows smaller than those on the north and south sides. Priority was therefore given to the facades corresponding to the length of the building. The entrance is on the north side where twin flights of steps meet on a porch. Their balustrades are made from successive rows of Roman tiles, laid in a staggered manner to form a sort of latticework wall which is extremely elegant. The porch precedes an external lobby opening into an entrance vestibule. When there is a porch there is also a lower level and, as in this case the land is slightly sloping, the noble or first floor corresponding to the level of the porch is above an initial lower level. The latter has openings all along the south facade as well as the east and west sides. It includes various rooms, notably an interesting kitchen and a room housing a raised brick pool, fitted with an old wheel pump.


Base level
A robust door opening on to the garden on the west side provides access to the lower level. A few steps further down, a small entrance hall houses a back stairway, providing direct access to the floor above.
The layout of the lower level is repeated on the two upper floors. Very simple, it consists of a division into equal floor surface areas (22 m²), the difference being that on the lower level there are no north-facing rooms with windows.
The west side features a lovely kitchen where a fireplace, with a hearth made entirely from brick, takes pride of place. This room is pleasantly illuminated and ventilated courtesy of two bulls-eye windows on the south and west sides. An adjoining, central room strangely houses a pool, fitted with a wheel pump. In addition to drawing water, it was no doubt used for all sorts of culinary purposes, it being next to the kitchen. A laundry room and cupboards are laid out at the end of the room, on the north side. This is followed, in the south-east corner of the house, by a last room, at the end of which a hammam was recently installed.
(The ceiling is 2.96 m high).

First floor
A majestic vestibule, with highly wrought stucco decoration of a rare quality and remarkably well preserved as well as a tiled floor with inlaid decoration, marks the entrance to the residence. In spite of its north-facing aspect, the house is extremely luminous courtesy of the whiteness of the floor, walls and ceiling. One of the two corridors on each side of the vestibule leads to the kitchen whilst the other provides access to a landing with a stairway going upstairs. There is a toilet at the end. At the opposite end to the front door, the vestibule opens into a lovely-sized lounge overlooking the river Tarn. When the double doors are open, the room is flooded with through light and the landscape is revealed. Meticulous attention has been paid to the smallest of details in this room, right down to the wrought ironwork and the herringbone pattern oak wood parquet flooring, laid throughout this level.
A dining room, on the right-hand side of the lounge features refined stucco decoration and communicates with a small kitchen; the main one being downstairs.
A room on the left-hand side of the lounge, reminiscent of early 19th century gambling dens, is perhaps one of the property’s most emblematic features. The presence of an authentic bar as well as billiards’ and gaming tables inevitably brings to mind those places where the middle-classes used to take great pleasure in mingling with the riff-raff.
(The ceiling is 3.43 m high).

Second floor
This level, with its 2.55 m high ceilings, is given over to bedrooms. It is reached via a very elegant stairway, with cast iron balusters adorned with little polished brass balls, making said balusters appear les tall and thin. The decoration of the stairwell with an antique-style mascaron is particularly outstanding.
A hall corridor opens on to a little balcony set above the entrance door lobby. A circular section of the ceiling, open around its circumference, provides indirect illumination via invisible bulbs, forming a little unique area.
The decoration of the four bedrooms is less elaborate than that of the reception rooms; it is however perfectly adequate. Each bedroom has an elegant fireplace, topped with a trumeau featuring stucco decoration as refined as that to be found on the floor below. There is pinewood flooring throughout this level. Both of the two shower rooms have toilets.

Attic
The attic space is laid out under the ridge which is at a height that makes partial conversion possible. In addition to the attics used for storage purposes, this level includes a children’s games room.

The caretaker’s cottage

Standing at the entrance to the property, next to the gates with a view of the little road leading from the bridge, this comfortably converted and furnished caretaker’s cottage is currently rented.
It spans a floor surface area of approx. 50 m² over two floors. The residents have a private garden on one side out of sight of onlookers.

Our opinion

This middle-class property is both in town and in the country. An authentic folly, it has great stylistic unity where the plain external structure blends beautifully with the elaborate decorative features inside. This residence is somewhat concealed but it has a clear view over the river Tarn and the village nestling around its church. The stairway very often sets the tone and the size of this one is enough to indicate the quality of these premises. The proximity of Toulouse and also of Lavaur (Fabre laboratories), as well as the surroundings of one of the region’s most beautiful golf courses (18 holes) are all additional assets.

750 000 €
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur


Voir le Barème d'Honoraires

Reference 959990

Main building surface area 292 m2
Outbuilding surface area 60 m2

Regional representative
Gers


Philippe Fritsch       +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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