An old, rehabilitated silkworm nursery on the edge of a hamlet
in the south of the French department of Ardèche
Alès, ARDECHE rhones-alps 30100 FR


Near to Les-Vans, in the Bas-Vivarais region, along the Aubenas-Alès-Nîmes road, adjoining an unspoilt hamlet, typical of the area, with a view over the surrounding hills.


The traditional Mas house and the old silkworm nursery were constructed from local sandstone and the roof is covered with this southern region’s traditional Roman tiles as well as photovoltaic panels. The entire building spans approx. 354 m² of living space over three spacious levels: fifteen rooms, including lounges, a dining room, two kitchens and six bedrooms, which for the last seven years have been rented as seasonal guest bedrooms. Having remained in the same family since 1672, the buildings were recently restored. Olive trees provide shade for the 1,752 m² of grounds. (Approx. 8,000 m² of non-adjoining wooded land.) A 12x4 m swimming pool.

The house

This house can be accessed either via the garden or via the street. It was recently restored in keeping with its old windows. Although converted in a contemporary style, its old materials and architectural features, mostly originally in place, have been preserved and enhanced. Numerous rooms are vaulted. Meticulously pointed, exposed stone is omnipresent and great care was taken to conceal the electric wiring. The roof is insulated and the windows are double-glazed.
Opening on to the garden, an exposed stone vaulted room adjoining a shower room, its wash-hand basin made from an old square stone sink, could be used as an independent bedroom. An outside, stone stairway goes upstairs to a terrace with views of the garden and the local surroundings. On one side are a bedroom, a shower room, a kitchen and a study. Then a passageway leads to the section suitable for renting, with direct access to the street and leading to a raised terrace via three steps and to a small loggia with two arches supported by a pillar composed of a long stone with bevelled corners. The main lounge, with terracotta floor tiles, has an old stone fireplace, with corbels supporting the chimney breast. Said fireplace was reassembled in this room which was the old kitchen as is proved by the old sink in its recess, topped with a beam, on the same wall. The dining room features a great deal of stone, its walls under a single stone vault perfectly incorporating an old cupboard. The floor is laid with terracotta tiles. The kitchen, also featuring a great deal of stone, with flagstones on the floor, irregular stones which in places reflect brown hues, as well as pointed stone for the walls and the vault. Small recesses top the worksurface. The bedroom, with terracotta floor tiles, has a ceiling featuring white-painted jack arches with wooden crossbeams, resembling door lintels. Its bathroom, also vaulted, has a whirlpool bath and is topped with a small window set in the springing of the vault. It also has parquet flooring. These rooms constitute a section which could be made self-contained. An L-shaped, left-turning stairway, also made of stone, is supported by a relieving arch and goes up to the top floor which is the only one not to be vaulted. This level is where the old, 9.5x15 m, silkworm nursery was laid out. Its very high, two-sloped ceiling is painted white and enhanced with thin wooden rafters, with small windows on two levels. (The stone walls are partially exposed and partially rendered.) A little corridor provides access to a lounge, no doubt another old silkworm nursery. Although smaller, it has a similar two-sloped ceiling enhanced with thin rafters, stone walls and a light-coloured, painted floor. A shower room, with walls and floor similar to those of the lounge, opens on to the corridor and a bedroom, with a lower ceiling, completes the suite.
Near to the entrance on the ground floor are the old, vaulted, utility areas (sheepfold, storerooms and cellar), all featuring stone and awaiting restoration.

The garden

This rectangular garden, out of sight of onlookers, is enclosed by walls, lined with hedges. There are some very old cherry trees and some more recently planted Mediterranean species. Old olive trees, transplanted from the local area, surround a swimming pool, with azure blue water, bordered by dressed stone coping, a rusty iron door showing the patina of time and attractively flanked, opens on to the street; an old well supplies water to the automatic watering system for the plants. Said water can also be used, if necessary, instead of the mains water.

Our opinion

A rustic family home, each feature of which has been meticulously restored, bearing witness to the local rural way of life. Painstakingly rehabilitated, the old stone has been blended with a contemporary style.
Whilst keeping a flat independent, the house could be used for a sought-after standard of holiday rental accommodation and guest bedrooms to provide significant income.

685 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense

See the fee rates

Reference 520744

Land registry surface area 10502 m2
Number of bedrooms 6
Main building surface area 354 m2
Outbuilding surface area 100 m2

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Regional representative

Regis Senseby +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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