character houses for sale cévennes - alès in france

A renovated, 18th century, traditional Mas house 10 minutes from Alès,
part of a biosphere reserve, in the Cévennes region
, GARD languedoc-roussillon FR


This property, on the first wooded foothills of the Cévennes mountains, recently classified as a World Heritage site by Unesco, is but 10 minutes away from Alès, a subprefecture with 40,000 inhabitants (hospitals, sixth form colleges, “École des Mines”, film festival, theatre, etc.). Nîmes (TGV train station) and Montpellier are an hour away by road.


An estate spanning a little more than 25 hectares, predominantly composed of forest and terraced garden and including a spring.

The property, overlooking a valley, is located in a protected “biosphere” area where the use of pesticides is banned. It has, itself, been biodynamically-cultivated for 50 years.
Predominantly located on siliceous land, the forest is above all composed of chestnut trees, “the breadfruit tree of the Cévennes”, to which can be added several pine trees of an extraordinary size as well as a great diversity of botanical species. Under this favourable shelter where roe deer roam, mushroom picking is a much-awaited pleasure in the right season.

In front of the traditional Mas house a variety of often uncommon species has been planted on the old terraces. For instance, acirus trifoliata, diospyros kaki, agaves and mimosas are planted along the path of the source. A diversity of fruit trees including numerous fig tree cultivars is all around.

The traditional Mas house

Protected on the west side by the forest, this south-facing, traditional Mas house stands at the end of a 400 m long driveway that leads up to a raised site which was already known in Neolithic times. It is built of shale, directly on a shale outcrop, with an old Roman tile roof. The building is in an excellent state of repair and has recently been given a facelift with notably the conversion of the large hall, the replacing of some woodwork and the installation of a central heating system with a wood pellet boiler. It is laid out around two inner courtyards. It was already in existence during the 16th century and witnessed the Wars of Religion, followed by revolts that resulted from the abolition of the edict of Nantes, but it currently looks as if it dates from the 18th century.
It is accessed via a large 100 m² courtyard that is closed by double, arched gates and shaded by a pagoda tree. A climbing hydrangea blooms against the walls.
With the exception of a large 63 m² hall with a 5 m high ceiling, once an artist’s studio, and two adjoining rooms, the majority of the ground floor rooms, with their particularly thick walls, are vaulted. In the middle, joined to the main hall, stands the Cévennes tower fireplace.
The ground and first floors are independent of one another. The first floor is accessed from the courtyard via a stairway leading to a loggia that extends into a south-east facing, panoramic terrace.
All one side of the traditional Mas house, built on uneven ground, includes an additional, lower vaulted floor.
It spans 310 m² of living space spread over two floors, to which can be added approx. 90 m² awaiting conversion in the left wing and the same again on the second floor of the right-hand section.

Ground floor
Facing the entrance is the lounge with its Cévennes tower fireplace. This floor overlooks the entrance courtyard on one side and the secondary courtyard on the other.
To the left of this lounge are three vaulted bedrooms, one bedroom with an alcove and a shower room (constituting an independent unit) and a room used as a fruit storeroom.
In the left-hand wing, the large hall is followed by four rooms awaiting conversion.

First floor
In the left wing: rooms awaiting conversion, a living room divided into two by an arcade, with a fireplace and a kitchen incorporated on one side. A study, two bedrooms, a bathroom, a shower room and a large, recently restored room opening on three sides, followed by the panoramic terrace with its wooden parquet flooring.
Garden level
Vaulted areas, including a carport, under the wing of the traditional Mas house open all on a level on to the entrance side.
Second floor
The top floor of the right-hand section of the house, illuminated via small windows, awaits conversion.

The outbuildings

Near to the traditional Mas house stands a former 34 m² “Clède”, where chestnuts were once stored and dried, with an unusual roofing framework. This building is in a good state of repair and could easily be converted into a small guest house.

Our opinion

The estate and its residents have lived but one vocation “Taking care of the Earth to ensure wholesome foodstuffs for man and beast” for fifty years.
The prospect of continuing this project constitutes an immense task, especially as it is so old and deeply rooted in both practice and spirit. The new owners have no pleasure of moving into this place unless they strongly feel the need for such an approach, from which eventually stems a rare happiness.

752 000 €
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur

Voir le Barème d'Honoraires

Reference 868664

Land registry surface area 25 ha 29 a
Main building surface area 390 m2
Outbuilding surface area 120 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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