An ancient fortified castle, its gîte and 12 ha of grounds in a hamlet
between the Cèze and Ardèche rivers, with a commanding view of the Cévennes
Issirac, GARD languedoc-roussillon 30760 FR


Situated atop the plateaux of the northern Gard region, the village of Issirac has thrived thanks to the privileged vantage point it affords over the surrounding mountains, as well as to its terroir, yielding excellent agricultural and viticultural produce. The many hamlets surrounding the property feature buildings with Occitan names that hark back to days gone by. This hamlet, surrounded by the Valbonne forest, part of the Natura 2000 nature protection area, and overlooking the Cèze woodlands and gorges, is accessed via a tarmac road. It is situated roughly 2 km from the village centre and 30 minutes from the A7 motorway. Montélimar and its TGV station with services connecting to Paris in 2 hours are a 50-minute drive away. Both Avignon and Nîmes, with their respective TGV stations and international airports, can be reached in 1 hour. Last but not least, it takes only 40 minutes to drive to the Duchy of Uzès.


The tarmac road is the only access from the village, turning soon into a track stretching over the last few hundred metres to the property entrance. The hamlet of Sauvan fully embodies its Occitan name, derived from the Latin "Silvanus" - "man of the woods". Like a haven in a green desert, some of its buildings can be spotted at the bottom of the space reserved for vehicle parking.
The owners, who restored the hamlet from ruins, have taken great care to create a series of cobbled paths and steps leading to a central square offering a breathtaking view of the setting sun and the Cevennes mountains in the distance: Mont Lozère and Mont Aigoual.
Providing an obvious natural protection, the gorges of the Cèze, whose meanders and cliffs can be glimpsed from this spot, have been populated for thousands of years. Subsequently, the region developed thanks to the presence of the Knights Templar, as evidenced by the village of Montclus with its square keep, the remains of a castle built in 1275, and the Bernas Commandery, which formed part of the latter. The Sauvan hamlet, which fell into ruin and oblivion for decades, saw its history fade away. However, its prominent position and its connection to the "Castrum de Montecluso", as well as the presence of older fortifications, suggest that it was a strategic spot for the Order of the Knights Templar.
The property complex as it stands today is a succession of buildings, probably dating back to the 13th century, arranged around the central square and its cross. The estate is divided into five separate living areas - not including the gîte (guest house), a former drying shed built on the other side of the square, to the south: "le grand mas" ("the large farmhouse") and "le tunnel" ("the tunnel"), accessed from the south courtyard, "les paillers" ("the straw barns"), "l'épiscopal" ("the bishop's residence") and "les muriers" ("the mulberry trees"), from the alley to the east. Entirely enclosed by stone walls, the only entrance is to the south, into a first courtyard at the bottom of a flight of steps. It is accessed via a porch topped by a keystone dating from 1783, which is adjoined by an impressive bakehouse with a slate roof (in an impeccable state of conservation) or from the north via an impressive carriage door featuring a chestnut lintel, which opens onto a second courtyard.
The large farmhouse, the most impressive building in the hamlet, stretches along a south-north axis from the lime-tree square to the mulberry tree alley, which runs along the eastern facade of the complex. While the latter, which borders single-storey dwellings, appears to be low, the western facades, taking advantage of the sloping terrain, comprise three levels. The buildings are of limestone, with dressed stone used for the jambs and structural elements, and coursed rubble masonry for the load-bearing walls. The roofs of the various buildings are clad with monk-and-nun tiles. Committed to preserving this important architectural heritage, the current inhabitants undertook a complete overhaul of the roofs less than two years ago.

"Le grand mas" - The flat

Located in the southernmost part of the building complex, the flat in the large farmhouse is accessed from the inner courtyard bordering the central square. A flight of approach steps protected by projecting eaves leads up to a perron and a wide pedestrian door with white dressed stone jambs, architraves and lintel carved with several quadrant cornices. This is crowned by a shielding recess in the wall, where a jug has replaced a statue of the Virgin Mary, topped by a glass transom above.
The entrance opens onto the central room featuring limestone flagstones remarkable for their variety of shapes and their patina. It comprises an open-plan kitchen and a dining/living area. There are two bedrooms on either side. The hearth, from where the former caretaker used to watch visitors pass through the carriage entrance to the north, is now enhanced by a wood-burning stove. The three rooms on this level face west and benefit from generous amounts of sunlight pouring in through several windows. Many interesting features have been carefully preserved and showcased, in particular the stone and terracotta floor tiles and the stone vaulting in the southernmost room.
Set back from the kitchen, the central staircase of carved limestone leads to a bathroom and a lavatory, followed by a flight of wooden steps up to the bedrooms in the roofspace, where the old chestnut and pine frame is exposed. The floors of the flat are predominantly laid with terracotta tiles.

"Les paillers"

The “straw barns” are also accessed from the south courtyard, by climbing the straight flight of steps running along the eastern perimeter wall, or via a French window opening onto the mulberry tree avenue. This second dwelling harmoniously links the flat of the large farmhouse to the bishop's residence. The lodging provides a seamless transition between the two living areas, enabling residents to benefit from the amenities on either side while retaining their true independence.
Recently refurbished to meet contemporary standards, the main level comprises an open-plan kitchen, a sitting room and a bedroom, all with flagstone flooring. A winding wooden staircase and open stairs lead to the upper bedroom, which shares a bathroom with the large farmhouse.


The bishop's residence is the centrepiece of the large farmhouse, which serves today as the main dwelling of the whole complex, spread over several intermediate levels. The entrance hall, accessed from the alley of mulberry trees, is the focal point that links the living areas on the upper level: kitchen opening onto living room, study and bedroom. The terrace, directly accessed from the kitchen, is located in a corner of the building and stretches out towards the sunset. This is where you can take the time to appreciate the Gard landscapes that unfold beyond its walls. The secondary rooms are situated below the hall: bathroom, lavatory and larder.
In what appears to be the oldest part of the building, an inner elevation is locally dressed in opus spicatum, a technique commonly used in Roman times and then during the High Middle Ages, particularly for the walls of stone castles from the 6th century onwards and medieval perimeter walls. This coincides with the presence of a castle tower, the solid foundations of which can be seen from the north courtyard, rising up against the terrace.

"Les muriers"

Humbler than the other buildings, this adjoining structure extends northwards from the mulberry alley. More rustic than the preceding lodgings on the same two levels, this dwelling comprises a kitchen opening onto a living room and a bathroom on the ground floor. The upper floor, accessed by a wooden staircase, comprises two bedrooms and a wooden terrace facing north-west.

The cellars, the soap factory and "le tunnel"

The lower level of the large farmhouse forms a maze of cellars linking the two courtyards. In the northern cellar, beneath the large covered patio that backs onto the terrace of the bishop's residence, the roof shelters a workshop that is now home to a soap factory producing only plant-based soaps, in partnership with local certified organic producers. To the south, the courtyard with the entrances to the large farmhouse and the straw barns is home to an additional dwelling called "the tunnel": a studio flat of just a few square metres that enjoys a protected outside spot in a corner of the building, ideal for days when the mistral wind gusts.

The gîte

Situated to the south of the central square, the guest house is a detached building with a single-pitch roof of monk-and-nun tiles sloping towards the east. All the rooms - sitting room, dining room, bedroom and shower room with toilet feature stone floors and walls and benefit from generous amounts of sunlight, thanks to the series of large windows along the entire length of the building on the first floor, and the French windows on the ground floor. The terrace, an extension of the main building, forms a private space, which is protected from prying eyes by tall oak trees.
The gîte is rented out on a weekly basis, mainly during the summer season, but it is equally available and enjoyable all year round, providing a place to spend a holiday in a towering location, away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

The grounds

Extending over almost 12 hectares and encircling the hamlet, the grounds consist mainly of scrubland and woods forming part of the Valbonne Forest Natura 2000 nature protection area. Pastures stretch out at the foot of the large farmhouse, with almost 3 ha being leased under a 9-year rural tenancy agreement with the neighbouring equestrian centre. Several vantage points, each from a different angle, provide an opportunity to appreciate the abode within its natural surroundings, perched on its outcrop.

Our opinion

Like Silvanus, the impressive building is imbued with the power and wisdom of the surrounding nature. Its foundations seem to be rooted as deeply as centuries-old trees, fusing with the nourishing soil. And just as the god of woods watches over his lush kingdom, the ancient fortress protects its territory with a mysterious and imposing aura. Stone and terracotta are the prominent materials, surrounded by abundant greenery. Life seems to spring from the rock, while everything else is just unspoilt countryside. And from dawn to dusk, from the mountain blaze to that of the sky, the surrounding fields add colour to the passing seasons, painting nature and its contours with a fleeting beauty. Here, every day creates a new picture.

Exclusive sale

950 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense

See the fee rates

Reference 199711

Land registry surface area 12 ha 35 a 82 ca
Main building surface area 460 m2
Number of bedrooms 6
Outbuilding surface area 60 m2

French Energy Performance Diagnosis


Joël Rozier +33 1 42 84 80 85



send to a friend Pinterest linkedin Facebook

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.

By continuing your navigation, you accept the use of cookies to offer you services and offers adapted to your centers of interest and to measure the frequentation of our services. Learn more