residences for sale near challans - french department of vendée

An 18th century mill, with a house designed by Art Deco sculptor Jan Martel,
3 km from Saint-Jean-de-Monts’ beaches in the French department of Vendée
Saint-Jean-de-Monts, VENDEE pays-de-loire 85160 FR


This property, on the “Coast of Light”, is on the outskirts of a popular seaside resort with all shops and amenities. Nantes and its international airport as well as La-Roche-sur-Yonne are but an hour’s drive away. 15 km from the town centre of Challans and its SNCF train station with regular links to Nantes. Noirmoutier, its castle and its submersible causeway, Le-passage-du-Gois, are 35 km away. The market town is a kilometre away. A golf course and the sea are less than 5 km away.


Near to the national forest known as Pays-de-Monts, planted under Napoleon III, on the southern point of the Brittany-Vendée marshlands, this property is reached by following the tidal creeks that weave their way across the neighbouring plain. The main entrance, formed by wrought iron gates, provides access to a gravel driveway and the first annex buildings. From here, the height and sails of the mill, constructed in 1780, are most impressive. The adjoining house was designed by Jan Martel (1896-1966), famous Art Deco sculptor and decorator, who notably worked closely with architect Robert Mallet-Stevens. The more recently constructed, three holiday rental accommodation units and the pool-house have unobstructed views over landscaped parklands, crossed by a tidal creek and spanning more than 17,500 m². A lake, complete with its jetty, is but an invitation to take part in peaceful fishing parties.

The mill

This mill is of the round, stone tower type. The traditional roofing framework is covered with a zinc roof. The mill is in a very good state of repair and still works. The living space is spread out over four levels, each spanning approx. 8 m². The ground floor comprises a convivial area with terracotta floor tiles and upstairs are three bedrooms. The sail mechanism and the roofing framework are very impressive.

The house

This 140 m² house, constructed in 1950 by decorator Jan Martel, is immaculately kept with recent fixtures and fittings. It provides its residents with maximum comfort. It is entered via a fully fitted kitchen, which has a door to one of the numerous terraces and its pergola. The first corridor leads to a back kitchen as well as to a first bedroom, adjoined by a bathroom with a toilet. At the other end, a large living room, with terracotta floor tiles, and a study area are set out around a vast fireplace with a closed-hearth fire. An impressive concrete stairway, inspired by the work of Le-Corbusier, is like a work of art. It goes up to the second and only bedroom upstairs which has a pleasant view over the parklands. It also has its own shower room and toilet. On a lower level to the stairway, near to the main entrance, is a separate toilet, not currently in use. The third bedroom is laid out next to the living room, with a bathroom featuring a spa bath and an Italian style shower. The living room opens on to a terrace which is fitted with a remote-controlled blind. It looks out over the entire property and the parklands. In direct view is an amphora designed by the famous sculptor and decorator, his signature, as well as mosaic tiles set in the masonry. Tiled roofs cover the entire building. A heat pump provides the heating.

The holiday rental accommodation units

Detached from the main building are three holiday rental accommodation units spanning a total floor surface area of 143 m². These are ideal for receiving family, friends or paying guests. They are in pristine condition. They have terracotta tile floors, double-glazed, PVC windows and tiled roofs. All three accommodation units look out over the parklands.
The “junior” accommodation unit comprises an entrance lobby, a living room with a fitted kitchen, two bedrooms, a bathroom, a toilet and a private terrace. It communicates with another accommodation unit which has a living room with a kitchen, two bedrooms, two shower rooms, one of which has a toilet, and a private terrace. The last accommodation unit, constructed in 2013, comprises an eating area with a fitted kitchen, a bedroom with a mezzanine as well as a shower room with a toilet and a terrace.

The pool-house

The pool-house was constructed in 2013. The building, spanning approx. 135 m², comprises a fitted kitchen and a pool machine room. This salt water, heated swimming pool measures 9x4.5 m and has counter-current and spa features. The roof can be opened completely. The construction is of first-rate quality, notably because of the materials used. The various windows and doors make it possible to take full advantage of the flower-filled parklands and the view of the mill.

The parklands

The parklands extend over more than 17,500 m². They are landscaped and crossed by a tidal creek for more than one hundred metres. This provides constant irrigation for the land which, therefore, remains brightly coloured all year round. Numerous flower beds are filled with a variety of plants, such as white hydrangeas and red roses, each with a different theme. Miscellaneous fruit trees have also been planted. The English greenhouse makes it possible to pick tomatoes through until December. The lake and its jetty are ideal for recreational activities such as fishing, reading, etc. A vast, 70 m² garage can accommodate two cars. The shed is used for storing wood and garden equipment.

Our opinion

This very real mill rises up into the sky over the marshlands whilst the house, painted blue and white in typical Vendée fashion, is almost all on one level. They are surrounded by a botanical garden that has adequate supplies of water, provided by the tidal creek, and sunshine, from the washed blue skies by the side of the ocean. It is hardly surprising that it appealed to one of France’s finest Art Deco artists, sculptor and decorator Jan Martel, and that he stayed here between commissions. The components of the property provide a choice between a strictly private residence and a simultaneous accommodation activity. Whatever they decide, the new owners will be lucky to be here.

925 000 €
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur

Voir le Barème d'Honoraires

Reference 897047

Land registry surface area 17655 m2
Main building surface area 170 m2
Outbuilding surface area 280 m2

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Regional representative

Nadine Riant       +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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