castles / chateaux for sale in the lot-et-garonne department-france

A 15th century, listed castle, with 35 ha of land and
a private section of bank, along the navigable river Lot
Villeneuve-sur-Lot, LOT-ET-GARONNE aquitaine 47300 FR

Location

In the heart of the south-west of France, near to the towns of Villeneuve-sur-Lot and Agen, the airport of which puts Paris 85 minutes away. Via TGV train Toulouse and Bordeaux are only 1 hour away, and the French capital is 4 hours away. A gently undulating region alternating a coloured mosaic of grasslands, woods and cultivated landscapes where an outstanding architectural heritage is made up of numerous and varied medieval fortified towns, hilltop villages, castles, abbeys, mills, etc. This property is near to two small towns including a former city, once a powerful fortified town in the Middle Ages, now chosen by artists and art craftsmen, where it is pleasant to take a stroll in the narrow paved streets with their decorated facades, to stop and take advantage of the small local restaurants, or quite simply, to appreciate the view.

Description

The property extends over approx. 35 ha. The land is cultivated or left as pasture for the cattle to graze. There are several copses, a stream as well as two lakes. A tree-lined driveway, more than 600 m long, leads to the residence, as well as to the outbuildings which include one impressive building, some fifty metres north of the castle, flanked by two towers and housing a 45 m long barrel vault. On the east side are an extension, consisting of a vast function room, recently converted in an old barn-cowshed, and a swimming pool. A little further away, the old plum drying oven stands a few metres from the stream crossing the property. On the west side, near to the entrance driveway, is a garage. Standing some 300 m to the north-east of the residence is a farm that can be accessed by an independent lane. It comprises a house, an impressive barn, the old stable currently used as storage space and a well. The castle is enhanced with beautiful parklands of approx. 2 ha, forming an impressive verdant area, scattered with trees over a hundred years old. Their layout and the numerous plantations of miscellaneous species of trees were designed in the early 19th century. They include two wells, one of which is fitted with a superb bucket carrier, as well as two terraces. The first includes a small, man-made ornamental pool, dominating the private bank which is accessed via the old towpath. The second still features a watercress bed on the waterside.

The castle

A lack of archives going back beyond the 15th century leaves the castle’s construction period unknown, but the seven families that have owned it to date are known. Its situation on the edge of the river gave it a role of surveillance, of control over passageways and of protection of existing dams. Surrounded by a wide moat, now partly filled-in, the main building includes three stories built over a barrel-vaulted room, 28 m long by 10 m wide. Its facade was extended in the 18th century. In the north-east corner is a keep, the top of which was knocked down during the French Revolution and which now has a two-slope roof: 3 m thick walls, 13 m in diameter, 20 m high, featuring Renaissance-style mullioned windows and topped with a wall-walk. Originally, this keep did not have any external doors, each of its levels being linked to the main building via a 90 cm wide corridor that could easily be blocked up. To the west, a square, primitive tower, built outside of the carcass, houses an outstanding illustration of gothic art: a twisted spiral stairway, with monolithic stone steps, the top of which forms a palm tree. At the top, a vaulted room with cross-ribs is illuminated via two small mullioned windows. The castle currently has French MH listing with the exception of two towers which have French MH classification. All the roofs have been redone. Although the rooms on the inside are in their original condition and await restoration, they can be lived in. The surface area of approx. 685 m² is set out as large luminous rooms, the decoration of which still bears witness to the elegance of a distant past: Versailles and herringbone pattern parquet flooring, fireplaces with moulded trumeaux, friezes and ceiling roses, wallpapered walls, panelling, indoor shutters, stone flagstones, terracotta floor tiles, etc.


Ground floor
The main entrance is on the west facade. A second entrance provides access to the old kitchen in the round tower, reached via a little bridge spanning the old moat. The main vestibule, with superb period floor tiles, provides direct access to a large lounge, the walls of which are enhanced with a “Back from Egypt” style frieze, typical of its kind, and a reading lounge as well as the spiral stairway in the square tower. Although the passageway leading to the basement is currently condemned, the stairway still provides access to the attic space, and the old “treasure room” laid out at the top. Following on from the large lounge, in the direction of the river, a long corridor leads to the three bedrooms and the toilet on this floor. One of the bedrooms has its own shower room; the other two are fitted with wash-hand basins and bidets. Opposite the two lounges, on the north-west side, is a study as well as a dining room, featuring a recently installed kitchen. A passageway provides access to the old kitchen in the round tower, the original features of which are remarkably preserved.
First floor
Three stairways go up to the first floor: the spiral stairway in the square tower as well as the two back stairways to be found in the dining room and the old kitchen. This level currently comprises four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a small laundry room area as well as two large rooms awaiting rehabilitation (46 and 41 m²), one of which is the castle’s old billiards’ room, originally laid out at the south-east end, overlooking the river. A gallery, providing access to all these rooms, is of a size such that it could be converted.
Second floor
This level comprises but two rooms, those to be found at the top of the two towers. The first in the round tower awaits rehabilitation. Illuminated via a large mullioned window, it features period terracotta floor tiles and is enhanced with a fireplace and a superb exposed roofing framework. It also provides access to the old, still intact wall-walk. The second room is in the square tower at the top of the spiral stairway. A few steps in a narrow, easily defendable passageway provide access to the old “treasure room”, where the lords used to keep all their valuable documents. This room is topped with a cross-ribbed vault, decorated with a fireplace and period terracotta floor tiles. Two windows were used as observation posts for guarding the river.
Cellar
The main residence is built over a vast, barrel-vaulted room, 28 m long by 10 m wide. It is now home to the boiler room as well as the oil tanks. A narrow passageway once led to two old escape routes which are now condemned. Another vaulted cellar, under the old kitchen in the round tower, was used for storing foodstuffs, brought up via a hatch which is still operational.

The old farm

This impressive construction, standing some fifty metres to the north of the castle, spans two levels. It is topped with a steep, gable roof covered with flat tiles. Five roof dormers, added in the 19th century, enhance the south section. The ground floor features an outstanding 45 m long, barrel vault, constructed from quarry stone blocks. Several rooms succeed one another: a cowshed, a wine storehouse, a cellar and a stable, complete with three old stalls. The facade having been extended in the 20th century, two storage areas, a woodshed as well as a modest, 63 m² dwelling (a dining room with a kitchen area, a small living room and a bedroom with a shower and a wash-hand basin) have also been added. The space provided by the attic, still used for storage and drying purposes, could be converted given the natural light entering via the roof dormers. At each end of the building stands a 3-storey tower, topped with a slate candlesnuffer roof. The upstairs, once used for housing employees, comprises a 50 m² flat awaiting rehabilitation in the east tower (a living room-kitchen with a “cantou” fireplace, a shower room, a toilet, a bedroom and a small room). A fully restored, 34 m² spare bedroom is in the west tower.

The function room

Following on is the old farm, a barn-cowshed was recently converted into a 192 m² function room, with a brand new roof. A vast, additional, 92 m² section, open and covered right next to the swimming pool, acts as a transition area with the outside. A room reserved for caterers, bathroom and toilet facilities as well as the swimming pool machine room span a total floor surface area of 320 m².

The garage

This 45 m² stone building opens via double, large, basket-handle arch door. It is covered with a Roman tile, hip roof. The west facade features two windows. The shape of the roof tends to indicate that this building was once a lot bigger.

An old plum drying oven

This oven stands at a distance, near to the stream crossing the property, on the east side. It is not currently in working order but the construction is in a good general state of repair.

A small shed

This building once housed the latrines for the castle. It borders the perimeter wall overlooking the river.

The farm buildings

The farm buildings, standing to the north-east some 300 m away from the castle, can be reached via an independent lane. They include a house, spanning approx. 157 m² over 2 levels, which was rebuilt in 1984 following a fire (an entrance hall, a kitchen, a dining room, a shower room, a toilet, a room used as a larder and four bedrooms). In addition to this, there is an impressive barn, as well as the former stables currently used for storage purposes and a well. There is no heating system and the septic tank needs to be brought in line with current day standards.

Our opinion

Five centuries ago, this castle protected, in every sense of the word, the crossing of the river Lot. As with many of its peers, over the years its defensive vocation was replaced by a residential function. During this evolution it not only lost but also gained features: the current monumental building undeniably exudes stateliness because it is free of any frills and fancies. The abundant outbuildings are full of potential for a new way of life for a stately home that a vast estate isolates and protects. By the side of one of France’s most beautiful rivers, the necessary works to add modern-day home comforts will appear minor to enthusiasts of aesthetic pleasures and good food.

Exclusive sale

1 300 000 €
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur


Voir le Barème d'Honoraires

Reference 761211

Land registry surface area 34 ha 99 a 41 ca
Main building surface area 685 m2
Outbuilding surface area 2070 m2

Regional representative
Périgord, Limousin, Quercy


Ilan Libert       +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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