In old Niort, the “House of the Virgin",
a listed medieval residence awaiting rehabilitation
Niort, DEUX-SEVRES poitou-charentes 79000 FR

Location

Niort is a medium-sized town, with good communication routes connecting it to the rest of the country (fast train line, motorways), where it is pleasant to live. Its numerous historic monuments and, above all, its impressive keep bear witness to its exciting history. Insurance companies and high-tech industries have replaced the hide and leather industries, thus guaranteeing the town’s prosperity. The time of the river port is over and the town centre is simply enhanced by the river Sèvre and its arms, prior to their crossing the rightly famous Poitevin marshlands, the landscape scenery of which begins on the outskirts of town.
La-Rochelle and the Atlantic Ocean are less than an hour’s drive away and but 45 minutes by train. It takes less than two hours to reach Paris by TGV train. The pleasant climate is like that of the ocean but without the excesses of the coast.

Description

On the left bank of the river Sèvre-Niortaise, two hills slope down towards the shopping district in the town centre. The “Maison de la Vierge” (House of the Virgin) is to be found on one of these, Saint-André, on the corner of two very old streets. The ravages of six centuries of history have done nothing to diminish the powerful attraction exerted by this edifice. Included on the French Supplementary Historic Monument List in 2001, it spans three levels, to which can be added a cellar and converted attic space. The top two floors feature protruding half-timbering with corbelling. Keeping a watchful eye on the two roads, a statue of the Virgin has always been set in an alcove, topped with a gothic canopy: the current statue was sculpted in the 19th century by Henri-Jacquelin, native of Niort. The interior surface area spans approx. 130 m².

The Dauphin’s ex-inn

This is how it was originally known as the son of Charles VII, the future Louis XI, stayed in the district during the “Praguerie” in 1440. The dauphin was not afraid of being part of this revolt of the French nobility, against a king who had just regained all of his power after the One Hundred Years’ War.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the “Maison de la Vierge” was a coaching inn where the travellers’ horses were changed. In the 19th century, it became a curiosity shop prior to successively housing a café-grocery and the meetings of the French Young Economic Chamber in the 20th century. It was purchased from the town council by two artists ten years ago.
The statue of the Virgin is on the corner of the two streets. The main facade on the second and attic floors features protruding half-timbering, with quarry stone masonry filler and wooden corbelling. Also protruding is the load-bearing party wall supported on semi-circular corbelling. The widely overhanging roof is supported on wooden corbels. The facade on the other street is a gable.


Ground floor
This level, once a shop, is illuminated via a French window as well as two windows on the east side and one window on the north side. Exposed ceiling beams. In a corner, a spiral stairway, initially stone then wood, leads to the upper floors and the attic space.
First floor
This area, enhanced with a fireplace, is used as a lounge and sometimes as an exhibition room, its walls featuring exposed stone or half-timbering or being aesthetically covered with an insulating mixture of lime and hemp. The originally wide strip parquet flooring is nailed into place.
Second floor
The bathroom is immediately to the left on the landing. The rest of the floor comprises an L-shaped lounge-dining room, with a fireplace, preceding an open-plan kitchen and, behind open half-timbering, a study or a bedroom. Each of the areas receives daylight through its own window.
Attic
Perfectly converted with insulated walls and ceiling, this floor constitutes a vast bedroom and storage areas, illuminated by two small windows on a level with the floor, a window in the gable wall and a skylight.
Basement
This partial cellar is vaulted. It is ventilated by two basement windows, one on each street. It has a concrete screed floor.

Our opinion

It is true that the oldest house in Niort is in need of major works, equal to the appeal that it exudes. But, without mentioning the spell under which it is difficult not to fall, its French Supplementary Historic Monument listing is a guarantee of the State’s decisive participation. Surveys have been carried out by the most competent of agencies which will make the task of tasteful purchasers easier as they prepare to write a new chapter in the fully documented history of this priceless edifice.

Exclusive sale

190 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense


See the fee rates

Reference 728759

Land registry surface area 51 m2
Main building surface area 130 m2

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Regional representative


Jean-Pascal Guiot +33 1 42 84 80 85

contact

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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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