by more than a hectare of parklands in the French department of Lot-et-Garonne
A little, almost private road leads to the property which dominates the valley. Agen, with its TGV train station and its airport, is 20 minutes away. A slip road on to the Bordeaux-Toulouse motorway is less than 15 minutes away. Below the property, the little road leads to a lively market town, proud of its collegiate church built by the Order of Cluny. A school and a sixth form college are nearby. This Gascony, steeped in a rich heritage, was much appreciated by the Romans. Much of its reputation is a result of its mild, sunny climate.
For several years this property housed a family in the chateau as well as the premises of a business set up in the outbuildings, making it possible to combine private and professional lives.
The chateau’s 19th century, neo-classical facade is flanked by a square tower, on the east side, and two round towers on the west side. The roofs, with their terracotta ridge, feature chimney stacks, some of which still have their chimney pots. The large entrance door opens on to a vast porch way covered by a wrought iron structure that supports the balcony above. The slightly colonial air that it gives to the house appears to be an allusion to Santo-Domingo, capital of an island with which this region once had strong commercial ties.
The large vestibule takes up the full depth of the building. The floor is covered with carpet pattern cement tiles. The stairway, at the end, spans the full width of the room, from which it is separated by a Haussmannian style wooden cornice. Double doors open into a lounge and a dining room. Illuminated via two south-facing windows, the lounge features chevron pattern parquet flooring and a moulded ceiling. Its walls are covered with chintz fabric, laid on padded lining and flanking a marble fireplace. The refinement of the wall coverings is worthy of mention: chintz or plain silk fabric laid on a padded lining, matching wallpaper in the stairwell, paints of subtle hues.
A ladies’ sitting room communicates with the lounge via double doors. An oval room, lined with pink fabric, is laid out at the end in the tower. It has chevron-pattern parquet flooring, a moulded ceiling and four alcoves marking the corners. One window looks out over the parklands and another the entrance to the property. A small adjoining ladies’ sitting room is fitted with a wash-hand basin.
Double doors in the vestibule open on the west side into a dining room featuring chevron-pattern parquet flooring and wainscoting, topped with a rounded rail and painted grey. The walls are white and the plaster ceiling decorated with a rosette. Two doors are set on either side of a large grey marble fireplace. One set opens on to a small back stairway in the north tower, the other opens into the kitchen and the small round room, standing at the base of the south tower, used as a storeroom. The kitchen is in an old section as is proved by its large ceiling beams and its stone fireplace. A difference in floor levels in the middle of the room separates the kitchen section from the eating area. The floor is covered with terracotta floor tiles with inlaid decoration; the dark grey concrete work surfaces and the light grey walls give this room a contemporary air. Illuminated via three windows and a French window opening into a small courtyard, paved with terracotta tiles and located on the site of a very old house, only the walls of which remain. It could take a swimming pool.
The widely curving stairway goes up to a vast landing providing access to both wings of the house. Superb cornices flank the doors; the walls are covered with chintz fabric. A French window opens on to a balcony with wrought iron lattice-work railings.
A very luminous corridor on the east side, covered with fabric on padded lining, goes to two bedrooms. The first has strip pattern wooden flooring and a plaster ceiling with moulding and a rosette. Its window, enhanced with a superb lyre-shaped casement bolt, looks out over a Judas tree, the splendour of which enhances the room when it is in flower. The walls are, once again, covered with floral pattern, chintz fabric laid on padded lining. The second bedroom, set at the end of the corridor in the rectangular tower, is decorated with Toile-de-Jouy wallpaper. This extremely bright room features wide strip pattern wooden flooring and a plaster ceiling. A concealed door opens into a bathroom with a bath. A toilet is separated by a little wall. A passageway links this room with the previous bedroom.
Double doors on the landing open into a large, very luminous bedroom with strip pattern parquet flooring and a large, grey marble fireplace. A first door opens into a bathroom set in the round tower. Cleverly restored, its floor is covered with mosaic tiles and its Italian style shower is protected by a curved glass screen.
A door in a corner opens on to a landing for the back stairway. On this same landing, backing on to the large bedroom, is a bathroom awaiting renovation which could be linked to the attic, set above the kitchen and currently undergoing restoration works, in order to form a flat: everything is lined; the roofing framework and the walls are insulated. An additional stairway is planned to link the kitchen via a lobby.
The professional section
The outbuildings in the wing set at right angles to the chateau recently underwent restoration works carried out by an architect who added a floor, creating a professional floor surface area spanning almost 100 m² that communicates with the private section. Following on from the attic, currently undergoing restoration, is a very large room with a concrete floor, illuminated via three small windows on the east side and three windows on the west side. It houses the ventilation system, the numerous telephone lines and the cabling required for Internet. A central wooden stairway goes down to the lower floor with a garage and the old stable. The garage has a concrete floor and its ceiling is supported by small iron beams. It opens on to the entrance courtyard via a tall wooden door. The adjoining stable, with its cobbled floor, also has a ceiling supported by small iron beams. At the end is a 3,000 litre oil-tank.
A chapel is to be found in the courtyard at the end of this wing. It looks out over a raised terrace with large, reconstituted stone tiles. Under the terrace, a vaulted brick cellar possibly bears witness to a more extensive history. The chapel’s wooden door, with its superb hinges, is topped with an alcove housing a miniature reproduction of the Smiling Angel from Reims Cathedral. It opens into a room spanning approx. 50 m², with a mezzanine. It has a cathedral ceiling and spring parquet flooring. Under the mezzanine are a small kitchen area and a toilet with a shower and a wash-hand basin. This section could become a self-contained flat.
Vast and separated by moveable, glazed partition walls, the offices have been installed facing one another. They open on to a terrace, spanning more than 60 m², via three large picture windows. The restauration works here, exuding an extremely contemporary air, insulated the walls and the ceilings, leaving the impressive joists exposed. Each room is fitted with a temperature control. Five windows let in copious amounts of light. A French window opens on to a metal stairway providing access to the professional section. A corner kitchen, looking out over the terrace, communicates with the outbuildings. A wide, industrial style, iron, spiral stairway provides access to a large, very bright area, illuminated by sliding picture windows opening on to the carpark. With its totally flexible layout, the floor surface area of these two office levels is approx. 300 m².
The current layout of the residence is therefore a golden opportunity for all those seeking to work from home in a sumptuous natural setting, just like the previous owners. Set above a lively village, this property is far from isolated; the cities of Bordeaux and Toulouse are but an hour away and the French capital will soon be just three hours away by train. These same reasons would also make this chateau suitable for conversion into hotel and catering premises for weddings and seminars or even into a restaurant with the on-site creation of selective apprenticeship courses based on local produce. It is also worthy of mention that this property is in a region with a large number of tourists, right next to a Cluniac collegiate church, and that the little local roads can but enchant visitors; the chateau would be an ideal stopover for them.
|Land registry surface area||13497 m2|
|Main building surface area||270 m2|
|Outbuilding surface area||500 m2|
Gaëtan de Laugardière +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.