A Renaissance chateau, finely revamped by a student of Viollet-le-Duc, awaiting restauration
set in 5 ha of parklands, 10 minutes from Agen where the French departments of Lot-et-Garonne and Gers meet

Location

This chateau is near to two large, character market towns. The first, with its Cluny priory, is on a trail linking the German Cluny sites with those of Spain. The second is known for having a popular French singer as a native inhabitant. On the outskirts of the market town, the road leads to the French department of Gers. The town of Agen, with its TGV train station providing 190-minute links to Paris, its airport with flights to Orly and its slip road on to the Bordeaux-Toulouse motorway, is but a few kilometres away.

Description

This chateau is set in the midst of parklands planted with superb trees that first appeared in our landscaped gardens as of the 19th century. Giving the impression of coming straight out of a romance of chivalry, it stands on the site of an older building, constructed on a line of defence connecting the river Garonne to the Pyrenean mountains. Its three towers were decapitated at the time of the French Revolution. Two were reconstructed in the 19th century, this era being the rediscovery of the Middle-Ages. Viollet-le-Duc “saved” Notre-Dame-de-Paris as well as the City of Carcassonne and it was one of her pupils who built this chateau using all the romantic vocabulary of the era, known as the “Troubadour” style. It has it all; two large round towers flank the facade on the south side. The older one on the right has a razed shape, but the one on the left-hand side features battlements under its pointed roof; it has balistraria and fire holes with brattices enhancing the sought-after medieval character. Large mullioned windows, battlemented walls enclosing the various interior courtyards and the decoration of the living space make this chateau a document relating the sensibility of the time.
Also in the surrounding parklands, featuring alleyways bordered by tall trees, are the remains of a pond where horses used to drink, a gazebo in front of the south-facing facade and a small stone ornamental pool fed by a nearby spring. A grassy clearing and a fountain with a basin complete this romantic property.

The chateau

The south-facing facade features beautiful exposed stone. Two mullioned windows on the ground floor flank the entrance door with its small-paned leaded lights. Directly above on the first floor, three large windows, one of which is mullioned, are set under a very steep roof, covered with flat tiles and featuring two pavilion roof dormers. A monumental iron gate, on the east side, provides access to the interior courtyard housing the north facade, in the centre of which stands the octagonal stairway tower. A steep, pointed, equally octagonal roof, covered with flat tiles, is supported on battlements. The door to the tower is a superb example of the Renaissance era with its coffers decorated with forged studs and two fire pots flanking the family crest supported by two lions back to back. This north facade opens on to the three courtyards with outbuildings, described below.


Ground floor
The entrance door on the south side opens into a large vestibule with, at the end, a stone stairway housed in the octagonal tower on the north facade. The floor is paved with grey and black, 19th century tiles, laid diagonally with a mosaic border. The walls are lined with wainscoting and the ceilings adorned with a straight cornice.
Two sets of double, medieval style doors, with linenfold carving, face one another. This same decoration is to be found on all the wood panelling throughout the house.
On the left-hand side is a large lounge, with parquet flooring laid in a randomly-matched pattern and a French ceiling, painted dark red between the beams whilst the battens are dark green enhanced with gilded moulding. There are mullioned windows on the north and south sides. Here, the high, dark, linenfold wainscoting is dotted with small, high-relief figurines evoking a medieval bestiary. Above, a series of seven backed canvas paintings represent falcon hunting. This decor is listed. Facing the entrance on the end wall is a neo-gothic style fireplace with a stone mantel painted with a decor featuring fleur-de-lis, flanking the coat-of-arms of the family owning the chateau.
A door in the south-west corner opens into a room in the tower. The floor is covered with 19th century, patterned, cement tiles. The stained-glass window is adorned with indoor shutters. The corner stone fireplace, painted in a neo-gothic style, has a mantel where cats have been sculpted in high-relief. The walls are covered with stencilled wallpaper which, with its foliage featuring birds and small animals evoking medieval tapestries, also reflects the neo-gothic style. The door lintel is enhanced with a squirrel. A door in the north-west corner of the large lounge leads to the outbuildings.
Double, dark wood, linenfold doors in the vestibule open, on the right-hand side, into a dining room. The French ceiling is painted in the same manner as that in the large lounge. This dining room also has wainscoting along the walls and a dark wood fireplace with a sculpted trumeau. Its parquet flooring is laid in a strip pattern and two mullioned windows face one another.
In the corner is a door to a recently converted bedroom, laid out in the south-east tower. Steeped in light via a south-facing opening, this square room includes a space for a toilet, set in the curve of the tower. It also features panelled wainscoting lining the walls, carpet on the floor and two cupboards.
A passageway leads to a big old kitchen which overlooks the interior courtyard. This recent layout has made it possible to create a bathroom, adjoining the bedroom, with a blue ceramic bath, wash-hand basin and bidet. The toilet is separate. The installation is dilapidated. It is followed by a square hall area and then a small dining room, known as the children’s dining room. This connecting room, opening into the kitchen, has one French window providing access to the interior courtyard and another to the parklands. The flat ceiling looks down on to a floor paved with modern terracotta tiles.
The kitchen, which is the oldest section, still has its massive fireplace with its basket handle arched stone lintel. The mantel is made of brick and stone. The floor is covered with terracotta tiles. A French window and a single mullioned window look out over the courtyard, where a stone well with its pump is set against the wall. A window on the east side illuminates the work surface. The end wall has two doors. One, on the right hand side, goes to a boiler room. The other communicates with the wooden, winding stairway going upstairs, where a staff flat has been laid out. It comprises two restored rooms and a bathroom, with ceramic tiles covering the lower half of the walls.
A cellar, spanning the same floor surface area as the large lounge, can be reached via the spiral stairway. It is vaulted and paved with terracotta floor tiles. Dating no doubt from the original chateau, it receives light through two small basement windows on either side of the old fireplace.

First floor
The spiral stairway, with its wide stone steps illuminated via stained-glass windows, leads to the vestibule providing access to the bedrooms. Spanning the same floor surface area as the entrance vestibule, it has a view out over the wonderful lime trees in the parklands. The panes of the large window at the end are set in diamond-shaped woodwork. The floor is paved with terracotta tiles.
Demonstrating the sought-after, 19th century symmetry, there are two rooms on the right and two rooms on the left.
In the first bedroom on the right-hand side, entered via its double doors, the French ceiling is painted brown, with green and yellow enhanced edges. The wooden flooring is laid in a strip pattern. A mullioned window looks out over the interior courtyard. Low, coffered wainscoting lines the walls. At the end, a painted, corner, neo-gothic style fireplace has an oval mirror trumeau. The decoration in this room enhances its medieval style with wide mural verdures, representing scenes of gallantry, and a four-poster bed.
It is followed by a second bedroom which has a similar decor with a painted French ceiling, strip pattern wooden flooring, coffered wainscoting lining the walls, a neo-gothic painted, corner fireplace as well as mural verdures evoking a turreted castle and swans in a park.
This room opens, via a passageway, into a bedroom set in the south-west tower. Square in shape, it has low, coffered wainscoting going around the walls. The high, narrow window is set in a deep embrasure. The walls are decorated with old stencilled wallpaper. The wooden flooring is laid in a strip pattern.
A first, smaller bedroom on the left-hand side of the vestibule looks out over the interior courtyard via a mullioned window with indoor shutters. The floor is paved with terracotta tiles. Low, coffered wainscoting lines the walls.
It is followed by a second, bigger bedroom that also opens on to the gallery. Featuring a Directoire style, its straight black marble fireplace is topped with a trumeau adorned with columns and Trianon-grey painted decorative staffs. It has a flat ceiling. The coffered wainscoting lining the walls is painted grey. The wooden flooring is laid in a herringbone pattern. Double doors conceal a built-in cupboard on the right-hand side of the fireplace, another bigger set of double doors are on the left-hand side. A door on the right-hand side opens into a small passageway, paved with terracotta tiles, which leads via a glazed door to the bedroom set in the south-east tower. Another door in the north wall leads to an antiquated bathroom (zinc tub and wash-hand basin on a bamboo vanity unit).
The bedroom in the tower has a plaster ceiling, strip pattern wooden flooring and coffered wainscoting lining the walls. The diamond-shaped, stained-glass window is set in a deep embrasure. A straight, grey marble fireplace is also topped with a grey-painted Directoire style trumeau.
A superb spiral stairway goes up to the attic under its gothic vault with lierne and tierceron ribs.

Attic
The attic space, spanning the full floor surface area, features a superb, recently restored roofing framework in the form of an inverted ship’s hull. This type of roofing framework, found in large chateaux in the south-west of France, was the work of marine carpenters between ship-building jobs. A door, in a corner, opens into the attic in the south-east tower. The razing of the original tower can be seen here with terracotta tiles laid in a complex geometric pattern and the vestiges of a fireplace. The attic in the south-west tower, dating from the 19th century, houses a small bedroom with a grey marble fireplace and a single mullioned window, glazed with leaded lights.

The outbuildings and the interior courtyards

The north facade of the chateau overlooks an interior courtyard, with buildings on three sides. The fourth side, forming the junction with the kitchen wing, is closed by iron gates and a tall gateway. It is succeeded by two other courtyards, reached via passageways in the buildings.
A long, narrow, vaulted corridor running westwards from the chateau is illuminated via loopholes. It connects the chateau to the wing of outbuildings. Seen from the outside, it looks like a battlemented perimeter wall. Set at right angles are two habitable rooms. The first, dubbed the “hunters lounge”, opens on to the courtyard via a window and a dark wooden door, the wide planks of which are held by wrought hinges. The plaster ceiling is damaged. The floor is covered with terracotta tiles laid in a refined geometric pattern. A pink marble fireplace is topped with a mercury mirror. A rustic bathroom is laid out in a small corner room, illuminated via a south-facing window with a fan-shaped fanlight and indoor shutters.
A second communicating room is used as a kitchen. The plaster ceiling is damaged. It has terracotta floor tiles. A dark wood, carved fireplace, on the west wall, reflects the Directoire style. On either side of the mantel are two windows with fan-shaped fanlights and indoor shutters. Under one of the windows are vestiges of a “potager” (a secondary hearth where soups and other previously prepared dishes are cooked on embers) and a stone sink. A wooden, hinged door and a window open on to the courtyard.
A last buffer room ends this section of living space. The floor is covered with terracotta tiles. It has two windows overlooking the courtyard and another looking out over the parklands. A condemned door in the end wall would make it possible to access the outbuildings, starting with a storeroom.
The dovecote porch way has a narrow stone stairway going up to the dovecote section, set above a vaulted porch way, closed by a heavy wooden, hinged door. On the outside, facing west, a brattice, directly above the porch way, bears witness to its defensive role in olden times. The superb appearance of the building, with bricks laid in a fish-scale pattern and half-timbering, can be seen under the old lime rendering.
This is followed by a little building, the low doors of which bring a kennel to mind, and a pigsty, its stone trough visible from the outside. Above is the henhouse with its stone perch visible on the other side.
Set at right angles, a section dubbed the “staff flat” is followed by a long, south-facing building, opening on to the courtyard via two wide sets of double doors.
The first, flanked by two crescent-shaped basement windows, opens into a stable with six stalls. The floor is paved with pebbles from the river Garonne. Hay racks above each horse loose box have been preserved as has the stone trough, below, which held the oats.
Next is a large tiled room where carriages were once kept. It communicates with the next area, a garage for more modern times as well as a tobacco drying shed.
The main courtyard is followed by a second, very big interior courtyard. Once through the dovecote porch way, a long building closes the main courtyard on the west side. Set at right angles, it comprises a woodshed and a small storage area.
An iron gate separates it from the wing housing the outbuildings which forms the second courtyard. A long building comprising, first, a little cowshed where animals for domestic consumption were kept. It is followed by a second stable, more spacious that that opening on to the main courtyard, with horse loose boxes closed by iron gates, set in a wooden moulding, some of which still display their decorative fleur-de-lis. A large storage area takes up the end of this building. A wooden stairway provides access from the cowshed to the granary, running the full length of the building. Extremely sound and well ventilated, it has a superb roofing framework made from whole tree trunks which have kept their shape.
A wooden chalet-style building, closing this second courtyard, is given over to hens. Exuding an air of the West Indies with its cut-out frieze and its open-work partition walls, it appears to have suffered over time. A low wall separates it from the stables and a wire-mesh door opens on to the third, walled courtyard, home to the pigsties.

Our opinion

The idea of reconstituting the Middle-Ages in the 19th century was long criticised as, with insufficient documentation, it invented and it debased. But it should not be forgotten that it also saved monuments that ran the risk of being dismantled stone by stone as was the case after the French Revolution. And then the troubadour style, the “neo”, demonstrations of enthusiasm for the gothic style finished by creating their own interest. There was Pierrefonds. There were other successes, like this chateau near to Agen. The decorative features which are not to our taste still have a documentary value and should be accepted as such. In this instance, they are worthy of restoration. Their condition makes it a realistic challenge. A first-rate, professional project could be undertaken in the 21st century just like the 19th century dream was to go back to the time of the knights. The main residence, the three courtyards and the outbuildings are an unlimited source of inspiration just as they are.

Exclusive sale

600 000 €
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 simple : 1 500 Euros TTC*
Avis de valeur argumenté à partir de 2 500 Euros TTC*
Expertise à partir de 3000 Euros TTC*
Les tarifs des avis de valeurs argumentés et des expertises sont communiqués sur devis personnalisé établis respectivement sur la base d’un taux horaire moyen de :
Avis de valeur argumenté : 60 Euros TTC*
Expertise : 80 Euros TTC*

   

*TTC : TVA incluse au taux de 20 %

Reference 847489

Land registry surface area 5 ha 50 a 68 ca
Main building surface area 560 m2
Outbuilding surface area 430 m2

Regional representative
Lot-et-garonne

Armelle Chiberry du Vignau    +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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