castles / chateaux for sale - ardèche - rhone valley

A 12th & 15th century, medieval, hilltop castle awaiting restoration,
its dovecote and its farm on the borders of the Ardèche overlooking the Rhone Valley

Location

Along a road leading to the outskirts of Provence, the Rhone Valley fascinates travellers with the variety of its landscapes. The French department of Ardèche, on the right bank of the river Rhone, is characterised by its steep hillsides planted with vines. Attracted to these hillsides which they terraced, the Romans introduced the first “mauve wine” vine stock. This castle, on a hill looking down on the Rhone Valley, stands at a distance from a small village of stone houses and narrow streets, facing the Alpine mountain range.
Between Lyon and Valence, just 15 minutes from a slip road on to the A7 motorway. An hour from an international airport and from a TGV train station, with 2-hour links to Paris.
2½ hours from Marseille and 2 hours from Geneva.

Description

The road, leading to the property, leaves the village and winds its way amongst stone houses, in the midst of fields planted with miscellaneous cereal crops and vines. A straight section of said road arrives directly in front of this property, the middle of which is solely occupied by its fortified castle, flanked by three round towers. Previously, a fourth tower built with a candlesnuffer roof, adorned one of its corners. Having fallen down, its stone was reused for constructing a dovecote nearby. The ruins of the old farm at the entrance to the property bear witness to the castle’s agricultural past.

The medieval castle

This building, constructed entirely from stone, spans two levels under an attic floor. The outside walls have few openings as a means of ensuring its efficient defence in bygone times. Small windows and mullioned windows predominately look out on to the inner courtyard, defended by a brattice directly above the vaulted entrance porch way. Openings, most probably made in the 18th century, illuminate the living rooms which are laid out in the south-east facing wing, looking out over the Alps and Mont-Blanc.


Ground floor
The ground floor, in the wing comprising the living areas, predominantly consists of utility rooms and vaulted stone cellars. It houses an outstanding medieval kitchen which adjoins the small entrance vestibule, its floor covered with very old flagstones. An impressive stone fireplace takes up one entire wall. The kitchen floor is covered with wide flagstones and the ceiling features a cross-rib vault, supported by a central pillar, an architectural feature that is as elegant as it is authentic. The well, set in the middle of the wall, can be reached from the inside of this room as well as from outside in the courtyard.
The ground floor in the other two wings of the castle is taken up with outbuildings. One of them is a long, 80 m² vaulted room, illuminated via several small windows. It houses a large, old wine press and is extended by two other adjoining, vaulted wine cellars filled with large wooden barrels. The press-house is accessed via a wide, central, arched doorway which opens on to the inner courtyard.
The ground floor of the third wing is the old stable. Spanning a floor surface area of approx. 115 m², it is illuminated via small windows and can be reached from the inner courtyard via a wide wooden door. Mangers and hay racks still bear witness to the animals that once lived there. The stable is topped with an upstairs hayloft.

First floor
The hayloft, above the stable, can be reached from the inner courtyard via a stone stairway. It can also be accessed via a wide arched porch way opening, on the garden-level, directly outside the castle, equidistant between the two towers. Both towers have firing loops for crossbows, long thin canons and other hand-held arms. The small windows were once protected by defensive grills.
The hayloft, spanning a superb floor surface area of 135 m², communicates with a large room located above the press-house. With wooden flooring and an exposed roofing framework, this room is illuminated via a wide mullioned window and several small windows. It also features a door leading to the first floor of the living space in the castle.
A stone stairway goes up from the entrance vestibule to the first floor of the castle. The landing is paved with old stone tiles and is topped with a vaulted ceiling. It provides access to a dining room, where a large stone fireplace takes pride of place, and to a corridor leading to three south-east facing bedrooms. These all have a fireplace and parquet flooring. The master bedroom has an additional area courtesy of the tower in its corner. A section, spanning approx. 56 m² and facing the dining room, has been renovated and is habitable. A kitchen opening on to a room is heated via a wood-pellet-burning stove. The mullioned window looks out over the inner courtyard. A passageway leads to a south-facing bedroom, with its own shower room and separate toilet.
The stone stairway goes up from the first floor landing to the second floor.

Attic
This second floor comprises attic space. Spanning the same floor surface area as the living space on the first floor, it has an exposed roofing framework that is high enough to envisage converting this floor into bedrooms and other living rooms. It has wood flooring and is illuminated by several small windows.
Cellar
A wide stone stairway goes down to the cellars from the vestibule. They feature very high vaulted ceilings and are only to be found under the section comprising living space. It would appear that one of them provided access to an old underground tunnel which is now blocked up.
Former rural farm
The old farmstead stands at a slight distance from the castle. A small shed houses a bread oven which is in a very good state of repair as is the well that once supplied the farm with water. The farm building is built of stone and features numerous brick-framed openings. The farm comprised a farmhouse, a barn, a garage and vaulted cellars. Major restoration works would be required to give it back its glory of yesteryear. With its superb local architecture, it would make a spacious, comfortable caretaker’s cottage.
Dovecote
According to certain documents, this dovecote was constructed using stone taken from the fourth tower which had a candlesnuffer roof. It stands near to the castle and spans two levels, topped with a single-sloped roof. The building is enhanced with stone moulding that goes all around the building. Not far away, at the foot of a lime tree, two stone basins (known locally as “bachats”) recuperate water from a spring making this area of the property particularly romantic.

Our opinion

What can this castle, flanked by round towers and high stone walls, its noble lines vying with its austerity, still be guarding? It surely has one of the most beautiful views in France, over the Rhone Valley and the entire Alpine mountain range. On entering the inner courtyard, it is also easy to imagine this as a pleasant place to live. A feeling that is enhanced by the surrounding vineyards. Peace reigns here at the foot of the Ardèche mountains which are also part of the scenery.

590 000 €
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur


Voir le Barème d'Honoraires

Barème d'honoraires
au 1er Avril 2017

Ventes d'immeubles

À Paris et en Ile-de-France
Prix de vente au-delà de 600 000 euros       5% TTC*
Prix de vente de 400 000 à 600 000 euros   6% TTC*
Prix de vente de 200 000 À 400 000 euros   7% TTC*
Prix de vente jusqu'à 200 000 euros             9% TTC*
Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

En Province
Prix de vente au-delà de 500 000 euros       6% TTC*
Prix de vente jusqu'à 500 000 euros   30 000 Euros TTC* (forfait)
Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

Expertise

Avis de valeur argumenté : 1 800 Euros TTC*
Expertise à partir de 2 400 Euros TTC*
Les tarifs des expertises sont communiqués sur devis personnalisé établi sur la base d’un taux horaire moyen de 120 Euros TTC*

   

*TTC : TVA incluse au taux de 20 %

Reference 771639

Land registry surface area 5420 m2

 

 French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Regional representative

Florence Granier       +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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