An old, listed, 12th, 18th & 20th century abbey
near Belgium between Lille and Paris
Guise, AISNE picardy 02120 FR


In the midst of a natural region with undulating countryside, rich in forests and grasslands.
Small irregular-shaped fields separated by hedges and ditches cover this ecologically preserved land, with its wealth of biodiversity, where animals are raised and cheese is made.
It is dotted with traditional houses constructed from stone or brick inlaid with stone and topped with slate roofs.
Hordes of architectural and historic heritage between medieval buildings and fortified churches.
Facing a church, near to a small stone bridge and an original wash-house on the banks of a fast-flowing stream.
Near to a peaceful village, surrounded by woods, rivers, fields and pastures.
Just a few minutes from a small town, 30 minutes from a large regional town, an hour from Belgium and some two hours from Paris as well as other European capitals.


The Cistercian edifice was originally founded in the middle of the 12th century by land-clearing monks from a neighbouring abbey.
It was reconstructed from stone and brick in the 18th century; stone essentially being used for the framing around the openings, the pilasters and the string courses separating the levels.
The abbey house featured a central projection with a bay, delimited by Corinthian order pilasters, topped with a triangular pediment. The building was extended on either side by three bays on each level.
Two pavilions, one at each end, featuring three narrower bays, were topped with a Mansard style roof.
The entire facade was rather classical with an impressive appearance.
The buildings were used for spinning purposes prior to their destruction.
Set in the Oise Valley, not far from the Belgian border, and near to a fortified town, the abbey, like the entire region, suffered greatly during European wars.
It was destroyed and rebuilt several times.
These are the only remaining buildings bearing witness to the Cistercian edifice reconstructed between the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century.
They are laid out as two symmetrical wings around one of the most outstanding dovecotes in the whole of Picardy.
The abbey church was completely destroyed at the time of the French Revolution.
Only a capital, found in the grounds, still bears witness to its presence.
A few vestiges are still visible in front of the habitable section. These include an authentic, 12th century, stone wash-hand basin and an old, stone apple-press.
Classified as a French Historic Monument, the abbey farm comprises the abbey outbuildings, dating from the middle of the 18th century.
In the shelter of the abbey enclosure and predominantly intact, the Cistercian hydraulic system, with its drainage channels, its millraces and its lake, is the oldest of what remains of this primitive abbey, outside of the archaeological site.
Vegetation is omnipresent and particularly varied.
In the front are a lawn, a few bushes and shrubs, sometimes flowering, numerous rosebushes, an orchard and a superb assortment of trees from a variety of species, some of which are rare.
An old fruit storeroom stands near to the entrance, on the edge of the gardens.
The natural surroundings at the back are more or less under control with several coppice stands or seedling forests, a lime tree lined alleyway, a row of willow trees and grasslands.
In the middle are various streams with picturesque stone bridges. In the lake is an islet, adorned with an engraved stone column which is quite overgrown.
All around are the odd neighbouring house and an authentic mill, landscapes featuring woods and pastures, forests and marshland, places which have appealed to certain famous painters and writers.

The abbey

The south-facing abbey stands more-or-less in the middle of the property.
Spanning a little more than 500 m² of living space spread over a ground floor and an upstairs section, it has been but partially restored and converted in great accordance with its authentic abbey character. Modern-day home comforts are relative.
The stone buildings have slate roofs. All are still in need of works.
The edifice has almost perfect unity and symmetry.
At each end is a pavilion, flanked by a wing which meets an impressive and outstanding dovecote in the centre.
The facades feature small-paned doors and windows, with wooden doors on the outbuildings.
The pavilions have hip roofs whilst the octagonal dovecote has an eight-sided dome.
The facade of each roof is still adorned with the original bull’s eye roof dormers.
The rear facades are more sober.
On the left-hand side, in one of the pavilions, the living space begins on the garden level via a small-paned French window opening into a first room.
Next to it, reached directly via another French window on the facade, is another room. A wooden stairway is at the end.
Upstairs, a large bedroom features terracotta floor tiles.
Next is the old living room from another time, filled with old-fashioned charm, with a monumental stone fireplace, an old wall cupboard, an alcove, adorned with a moulded panel, an old bread oven, a small built-in cupboard in use as a larder and an outstanding, cast iron wood-burning stove. The floor is covered with very old terracotta bricks. The garden is reached via a French window.
Then, a large room, no doubt once used as an outbuilding, is now in use as storage space.
In the centre, a round, through room, with two openings on either side, forms a vaulted hemispherical room topped with a cupola, with a central orifice and the dovecote at the top.
On the right-hand side, a vast room currently converted into an exhibition hall, with a wide picture window at the back.
Another room next to this currently houses the stone waiting to be used for restoration purposes.
And at the back are a little room, with a toilet, and an annex storage room housing the coping from an old well.
This is followed by the other pavilion comprising two outbuildings used as a barn and a storage area. They have attics upstairs.
The attic space awaits conversion.
It is also worthy of note that numerous authentic and traditional features exist, some of which are outstanding; these include roof dormers and roofing frameworks.
Outside on the parklands side, it is possible to access an old ice cave near to the property entrance.
The old outbuildings adjoining the living space, in use as storage space, could be converted.
On the garden side, in front of the buildings, are several stone vestiges such as an original apple press, a period basin for washing hands or feet and an old capital.
Stone walls are all around.
At a short distance, another, more recent and much bigger building was once used for industrial purposes. It comprises a few rooms and several vast floor surface areas.
There are also some small annex buildings and a carpark.
The surroundings are peaceful and the property astonishing.

Group of buildings

Our opinion

Such a mysterious place gives the impression of having been dreamed up from ancient times. The desire to meticulously rebuild the entire history of the place is very strong. The last resident respected the buildings by preserving their authenticity despite adding some modern-day home comforts. A more recent section will lend itself to a variety of uses. A possible on-site activity would immediately be aided by the surroundings, both near and further away, courtesy of their abundant nature and picture book rurality. There are streams, grasslands, tall trees, hedges and herds, everything that a romantic poet could invoke in an ode to the countryside.

Exclusive sale

590 000 €
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur

Voir le Barème d'Honoraires

Reference 999520

Main building surface area 500 m2

French Energy Performance Diagnosis


Bruno Van Montagu       +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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