in the Auvergne region, 20 minutes from Clermont-Ferrand
Very near to Clermont-Ferrand in the midst of the Auvergne region. Between volcanoes and the Tuscany of Auvergen, ideally located less than 10 minutes from the A75 motorway providing a link between Paris and Montpellier. Lyon is less than 2 hours away; Paris and Montpellier are 4 hours away via the motorway. A local train station has links taking less than 15 minutes to reach Clermont-Ferrand, the regional capital with its airport and daily flights to Paris taking less than an hour. It also has weekly flights to London, Malaga, Porto and Lisbon, as well as to Ajaccio, Nice and Figari in season.
The mansion house delimits the medieval village stronghold, its round tower is a reminder of the latter’s limits as well as the centuries of human occupation at the foot of the volcanic mountains. It stands in this pleasant valley with various horizons between the Chaîne-des-Puys, classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO, and the Livradois-Forez, granite foothills looking out over the area around Lyon. Its closed, L-shaped layout, defines a house, a 19th century mansion house and a medieval tower. The latter, as of the springtime is dressed in the colours of a majestic, vigorous, one-hundred-year-old wisteria, with blue, white and purple flowers, that tightly embraces the straight flight of open, Volvic stone steps. It continues over a pergola, providing summer shade in front of the first floor of the house.
The mansion house is set in the medieval perimeter wall that can be glimpsed from the layout and enlivens the narrow streets by exhibiting a facade opening on to the outside and a discreet access to a garage at the back in the village stronghold.
The round medieval tower
Tradition has it that Richelieu stayed in this residence during his journey in 1634, a memorable time for Auvergne when he ordered the destruction of La-Batisse, Mauzun and Marchidial castles just a short distance from here. It is possible to imagine the Cardinal, who gave his name to this 4-storey tower, being welcomed by the owners of the time, themselves depicted in the form of two haut-relief sculptures on either side of the ground floor door lintel.
The layout of the facade is vertically marked by a tympanum and two gothic, half-casement windows as well as a recuperated window. The actual tower is topped with an imitation, neo-medieval, round balcony, following the arrow-loops.
Visitors are immediately intrigued by the entrance door. It is topped with a monolithic lintel with a triangular arch and a tympanum adorned with a coat-of-arms, not hammered, featuring an escutcheon of a single character on the dexter, that of a langued lion. For the holders of the escutcheon, the piece is flanked by two lions, confronting and facing one another. The escutcheon is topped with a helmet, marked at the front with seven grilles, crowned and enhanced with five finials. The coat-of-arms, holders and escutcheon, is supported on a pair of twinned capitals in the form of angels that can be seen confronting one another and extending their wings on the corners. This is only a preliminary explanation of the coat-of-arms as its mystery remains unsolved and at first glance, it could be the arms of an unsovereign duke, a great officer of the crown or even that of a baron. Its history will be updated by whomever takes the trouble to research and uncover the truth. The communication between the ground level and the upper floors is presently condemned as it is not in line with the current standards upheld by the “Gîtes de France”, holiday rental accommodation organisation. The spiral, Volvic stone stairway is but waiting to be re-opened. This square room, with its cross-ribbed vault, is an outstanding medieval vestige given its blind triangular arch with meticulous archstones. Nothing but questions, intrigue for this area which provides a glimpse of its rich past and is a wonderful chance to fathom out its history.
The first floor is currently accessed via the adjoining mansion house. A self-contained guest bedroom, with bathroom and toilet facilities. Its neo-classical fireplace features the Louis XVI style and neo-gothic facing bricks. Wooden flooring and exposed joists.
Two levels joined by a mezzanine constitute the upper section. The guest bedroom is accessed via a straight flight of stairs leading to a little lounge in the 19th century mansion house. The bedroom contains several beds as well as a shower and a separate toilet in the medieval tower. Light comes in through a window set in the ceiling.
The 19th century mansion house
Facing the courtyard, its facade features windows decreasing in size in accordance with the levels. Access to the first floor is possible via the balcony that looks down on three drop-arched openings. Two of them form doors and make it very pleasant to move around during the summer months. The top floor is marked through the use of a lava stone string course enhanced with three rectangular windows, typical of the local mansion houses.
Little used, this space comprises a garage with discreet access to the middle of the village stronghold and a polyvalent floor surface area spanning more than 100 m².
This wonderful “noble” floor provides central access to the guest bedrooms. It opens into a large lounge leading to a kitchen, overlooking the medieval tower and, at the rear, to three guest bedrooms: one on the same level and the two others on the top floor.
The large, luxurious home
Bright, with its three bays, the facade of this large, luxurious home spans seven openings, letting light in through their cast iron lambrequins, enhanced with violin-shaped window sills.
With a pebbled floor and cross-ribbed vault, the cellar reveals its wine-making past with its robust masonry where barrels filled with Auvergne wines were carefully stored.
This level is composed of two narrow, aligned outbuildings. One is ideal for storing maintenance equipment; the other, a room spanning approx. 50 m², is not currently used for any specific purpose.
The main feature in this home is, without doubt, its square stairway, with lava stone treads and an engaged, newel, hewn from sandstone. On the first floor, as on the second, two lounges, one above the other, feature fireplaces with curved jambs and mantels with stucco decoration.
These rooms are made outstanding not only by their stucco ceilings but also by their moulded panelling.
A panoramic view over the volcanic reliefs and the roofs of the village stronghold.
This private courtyard is closed by double gates, flanked by 19th century, intricate, neo-classical pillars, and a pedestrian gateway. Each property can be reached via this courtyard, access made easy by the numerous openings and the stairway leading to the large, luxurious home and the mansion house.
Without any historic monument listing, a mansion house, a large, luxurious home and a medieval tower saved from ruin. A first life as a house and a guest house for a bed & breakfast business. Today, the property has great potential just a few minutes from Clermont-Ferrand. The 19th century mansion houses could satisfy a large number of promises, whether for those wishing to move their professional activity or for a large family seeking space in order to reorganise its daily routine or, even, for a tourist activity. The round tower, bearing genuine witness to the medieval past of this village stronghold, is the perfect occasion for starting a new way of life in a middle-class, Auvergne setting
|Land registry surface area||439 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||10|
|Main building surface area||382 m2|
|Outbuilding surface area||196.15 m2|
Sébastien Champeyrol +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.