A 15th century, listed castle, its extraordinary garden and its forest,
spanning close to 30 ha, in the area around Poitiers

Location

On the outskirts of the Gâtine-Poitevine region, 360 km from Paris, 330 of which are on the A10 motorway. Poitiers airport, 30 km away, has flights to the British Isles, and Poitier TGV train station has 90-minute links to the French capital.
Close to a small medieval, tourist town with all shops and amenities, this property is but a 5-minute walk from a village with a bakery, a restaurant etc. This verdant setting features small pastures surrounded by rustic hedges alternating with woods comprising various species. A fish-filled river runs through the property.

Description

A narrow lane coming down from the village crosses the river before leading to an impressive stone and wrought iron gateway which appears almost by surprise. Its gates open on to a driveway that winds its way, like the nearby river, between the rare bushes, providing the odd glimpse of the castle’s silhouette - buildings dating from this era were rarely approached directly. Near to the gates stand a wide building housing the caretaker’s accommodation, an immense garage, a second smaller dwelling and, at the back, the stables. The driveway comes to an end in front of the castle. Straight on, a few steps lead to the garden and others to the river which flows parallel to the castle. On the left-hand side, on the garden level, a pretty little house has been converted into an artist’s studio. The forest, criss-crossed by numerous alleyways, forms a vast backdrop enhancing the castle’s architecture.

The residence

This castle is one of those that was built in the second half of the 15th century on the foundations of old defensive buildings in order to make them more pleasant to live in. Fully listed, it spans approx. 800 m² of living space throughout fifteen or so rooms. It comprises a large rectangular building, the south facade of which is flanked on the corners by two round towers, whilst the north facade is centred around a pentagonal tower. The two long side walls feature large mullioned and transomed windows, topped with roof dormers cutting into the overhang of the eaves. These well-preserved openings are richly decorated with fine moulding which sometimes expands into multiple ogee-shaped lintels. The roof dormers are topped with gable roofs and finials. The gable walls, restored in keeping with the originals in 1991, still have two detached feline statuaries at the base of the slopes.
This building has but two entrances. The one in the pentagonal tower comprises a superb ogee doorway topped with a finial alongside pinnacles. The second, plainer entrance, on the west side, provides access to the kitchen and the utility rooms.
The interior layout is identical on the ground and first floors with two large rooms that take up the central section and pentagonal rooms housed in the large towers. Every room has a fireplace. Those in the towers are modest, but those in the main building are decorated and much more impressive.


Ground floor
The door in the pentagonal tower provides access to the monumental stairway before leading to a lounge. The room is made subdued and welcoming by the original hues of its rendering, its through lighting and its carpeting of terracotta tiles. The fireplace, in an excellent state of repair, still has its superb herringbone pattern brick fireback. All the ground floor rooms have 4.8 m high ceilings. A door in the lounge leads to the library in the east tower. This pentagonal room features oak wood panelling forming the shelves and cupboards. The stairway that leads up to the first level is an example of the famous M400 spiral stairway designed by Roger-Tallon in the 1960’s. It contrasts admirably with the 15th century fireplace just a few metres away. A little, adjacent corridor leads to a storeroom, the controlled atmosphere of which is ideal for laying down wines.
Visitors, crossing the lounge to the other wing, enter the magnificent “great hall”, which constitutes the castle’s main room, spanning a surface area of 94 m² with a 4.8 m high ceiling. Currently used as a dining room, it is set out around a vast fireplace, the richly adorned mantelpiece of which bears the coats-of-arms of the Montbron family who owned the castle for two centuries. This room can easily seat some fifty guests. The decor is similar to that of the lounge with its restored rendering, its through light and its terracotta floor tiles. The exposed joists support strips of wood, laid lengthwise with hidden joints, a Medieval invention which prevented dust infiltration.
The kitchen is near to the dining room just as it should be.

First floor
The climbing of the stairway is a pleasure in itself, not only because of its beauty but also because of its comfortable steps. This wide, spiral work of art stands out courtesy of the underside of its steps cleverly hewn as arcs of a circle in order to reflect the light. Round in shape, it is housed in the polygonal tower on the north facade.
The layout on the first floor is almost the same as that on the ground floor. The stairway provides access to a vast room used as a study. Its fireplace is virtually identical to that in the lounge, although some of its corners are sharper. This room is very luminous as it is illuminated on two sides. The north-facing window gives a splendid view of the gardens and the river. The first, pentagonal bedroom is in the west tower. It adjoins a bathroom with a shower. From the study, visitors go into a vast room spanning more than 100 m², followed by a short corridor leading to the second bedroom, with its adjacent bathroom, almost identical to the first.

Second floor
A large section of this floor originally housed the attics which have been converted courtesy of the very high roofing framework. The presence of fireplaces, however, indicates that it was always lived in, although the level of comfort has been greatly improved. The central part of the dwelling is now taken up by three bedrooms with sloping ceilings, a linen room, a cloakroom, a storage room and a bathroom.
Tower
On the top landing is a little stairway housed in a turret with corbelling featuring moulded bases, the confined space of which is subtly illuminated via alabaster wall lamps. Said stairway provides access to two rooms that formed a final hidey-hole in the event of attack. The first, known as the “treasure room”, spans 18 m². The second, spanning approx. 14 m², is directly above it. These two small rooms are particularly charming, although they are currently only used by children.

The annex house

This small, 4-roomed house is used as an artist’s studio. It stands in front of the castle, at the foot of a few steps, and is all on a level with the garden. This was once the castle bakery and the building still has its bread oven. It could be used as a guest house as it is fully converted and in pristine condition. A long greenhouse, spanning a surface area of approx. 50 m², backs on to the north side of the building.

The garden

Set out along the banks of the river, this elegant and coherent garden cannot be separated from the castle. With its Medieval air and its design in accordance with Paradise as it was then imagined, its alleyways form a cross symbolising the four ways of the world. At their intersection is a fountain representing the source of life. The woods, the planted meadows, the fish pond, the enclosed orchard, with its superb collection of old varieties of fruit trees, and the vegetable garden add considerably to the charm of this little garden of Eden.

The outbuildings

A wide building stands near to the gates. It houses comfortable accommodation for the caretaker, a second smaller dwelling, at the back, stables, followed by a workshop and an immense garage which could easily take ten or so vehicles. Restored at the same time as the castle, it is in a very good state of repair.

Our opinion

When contemplating the castle, it is easy to understand how, at the beginning of the Renaissance era, large noble families took to softening and lightening the original structure of the sober fortified castles where their ancestors were shut up throughout the Middle-Ages. This castle has come down through the ages from this transition period completely invigorated and so attractively radiant that even the surrounding countryside is apparently smitten with it. As the dowry for the wedding, the castle appears to have brought its garden, the marvellous clusters of which now bloom on the banks of the little stream. It comprises a small secret universe just a stone’s throw from the village. Its restoration works have been brilliantly carried out and managed. Everything blends harmoniously together and even sizes appear ideal, whether they be those of the dwelling, the garden which is easy to tend or the forest where residents can walk for an hour or two without having to double back before kicking off their boots in front of an immense fireplace. The ultimate asset: this property has been so fully renovated that new owners can move into their fiefdom straightaway.

Exclusive sale

1 800 000 €
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 643332

Land registry surface area 29 ha 21 a 30 ca
Main building surface area 866 m2
Outbuilding surface area 800 m2

Regional representative
Deux-sèvres & Vienne

Henry Lewis       +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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