on 3 ha of undulating land between Bordeaux and Toulouse
Equidistant between Bordeaux and Toulouse, 20 minutes from Marmande and less than 30 minutes from a motorway slip road. Near to a small, once fortified village which still has its listed medieval castle and stone arches under the houses in the square, locally known as the “couverts” (covered market areas). Some shops provide a certain autonomy. This house is concealed in a cedar wood, very near to said village which can be seen from the terrace.
The main house
The appearance of the outside walls bears witness to the various construction periods: quarry stone blocks with generous pointing and small brick quoins, brick reconstruction walls, a section of the building destroyed (the wine storehouse) still featuring the base of the walls. This L-shaped residence, spanning approx. 480 m² of living space, predominantly faces south with an unobstructed view, the wooded section being behind the house. The floors on the ground floor are covered with old terracotta tiles which were removed for the installation of underfloor heating and then relaid in a refined geometric pattern. Some are stamped with a daisy for a reason that is no doubt linked to the house’s past.
The entrance, on the south side, is set between two buildings: the original house and the restored wine storehouse, set at right angles. The wooden door with a glazed window and ironwork grille, opens into an entrance hall forming a buffer between the house and the wine storehouse. A storage area has been created beneath the winding wooden stairway at the end. A corridor goes from the hall, on one side, to a south-facing study, looking out over the gravel courtyard. The lounge, at the end, is a vast, bright, rectangular room with a white-painted French ceiling. Its wide black marble fireplace is flanked by a French window and a window looking out over the valley below with the village perched on the horizon. A few stone-lined steps provide access to the gravel terrace. A door opens into a hall area leading to two bedrooms. The walls are painted white and decorated with highly Gustavian style motifs. The old cob mixed with hemp, produced and hence often used in this region, has been preserved for its good insulating virtues and simply whitewashed. The ceiling features white-painted, exposed joists and the floor strip pattern, wooden flooring. The adjoining bathroom has white tiles and a shower in an alcove covered with green glass mosaic. The separate toilet opens into the hall area which leads to a second bedroom. This is followed by a long room, in use as a laundry room and a shower room, with a shower, wash-hand basin and toilet. The boiler room is to be found right at the end.
Set at right angles to the entrance, a vast, east-west facing hall leads to the other section of the house, composed of a partially destroyed wine storehouse, the remains of which have been converted into accommodation. A French window opens on to a patio created in the destroyed section. On the north side, a small self-contained flat comprises a bedroom, a dressing room and a shower room. A very big picture window opens on to a tiled terrace, separated from a grassy hillock by a stone wall. The light flooding into this room and the garden appearing to come right inside give this place a very soothing contemporary and minimalist character.
The second section of the entrance room, marked by a step, was designed to link the large, luxurious home and the wine storehouse. Double doors open into the restored section of the old wine storehouse, a large, plain, bright room, spanning approx. 70 m². It features a polished concrete floor, a cathedral ceiling exposing the old truss as well as brick and stone walls. One of the walls is almost entirely glazed: two large, double-leaf picture windows and two windows let in copious amounts of light from the rising sun. The view takes in the terrace-patio with its wide terracotta pavement surrounding a central lawn. The two old doors providing access to the wine storehouse have been preserved. A large fireplace, with a small brick mantel, adds to the convivial aura of this room. A low stone wall delimits a third of this room which has been converted into a kitchen. The units are laid out in a U-shape along the walls. The low separating wall is topped with a marble work surface. The light-coloured, vitrified parquet flooring is laid in a strip pattern. A window at the end looks out over the arrival area.
The stairway goes up to a large landing under the rafters. The superb old truss is exposed on this level and the wide strip pattern flooring is a natural wood colour. The landing provides access to a large bedroom with a cathedral ceiling. One of its walls features exposed quarry stone blocks. A low French window opens on to a small wooden balcony looking out over the valley and the village. Another window overlooks the entrance courtyard. A door provides access to a corridor leading to a bathroom with a bath, a glass-tiled shower, and a wash-hand basin set in an Altuglas vanity unit. There is also a separate toilet as well as a dressing room. This section has sloping ceilings.
On the south side is a second bedroom, also with a sloping ceiling, featuring its exposed truss. A window, level with the floor, overlooks the entrance courtyard. Facing it is a bathroom, with a sloping ceiling, a wash-hand basin, a shower and a toilet.
A vast games room takes up the entire west section. The old roofing framework has been preserved with its main rafter and the queen post of the finial which is in the centre like a bouquet of beams. A last bedroom can be reached through the games room via a little wooden ladder. Preceded by a dressing room, it has a straight ceiling with a central beam and wide strip pattern flooring. Its single-leafed window looks out on the south side. This section of the house is totally given over to children.
Separated via a gravel courtyard, this rectangular barn stands on the south side facing the house. It spans a floor surface area of more than 300 m² and is divided longwise into three sections. The first, a children’s games room, has exposed stone walls and a cement floor. A stone bench runs the length of one wall. The second, a cowshed, opens via a large haystack doorway and still has its mangers. The third section is used for storing farming equipment. This building ends with a wide, 120 m² awning in a very poor state of repair.
An 8x4 m swimming pool has been installed on the site of an old chapel, the gable wall of which is still standing and features the gothic arch of the bell window and the entrance door. An area comprising wooden decking, protected from the wind by a hedge of mock orange, oleander and spindle trees, is ideal for sunbathing. A well and a spring provide an economic solution for watering. Further away, near the woods, stand two hundred poplar trees that will have to be cut down in two years’ time.
This house appears to have been designed for accommodating several generations under its roof in the peaceful atmosphere of its pastoral setting. These same virtues could be put to good use in a bed & breakfast or seasonal rental project: the house, with its clearly defined areas, lending itself perfectly, the guests being able to live on one side and the hosts on the other. The immense barn exudes great potential, whether for professional, artistic or family purposes, provided that the new owners are not afraid of rolling their sleeves up. The region also constitutes a superb base from which to explore Duras and its castle, the Bordeaux vineyards as well as the Dordogne and Entre-deux-Mers regions, not forgetting its proverbial mild climate as well as its excellent restaurants and wines.
|Land registry surface area||3 ha 2 a 80 ca|
|Number of bedrooms||6|
|Main building surface area||480 m2|
|Outbuilding surface area||300 m2|
Armelle Chiberry du Vignau +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.