In the French department of Gard, less than 50 km from Nîmes, at the foot of the Cevennes Mountains, near to Anduze, junction of the deep Cevennes Valleys, in this heavily protestant region which was then severely suppressed as is proved by the stone corset of the Vauban Fort in Alès and the Constance Tower in Aigues-Mortes.
On the borders of the urban area of the commune, at the end of a no-through road and looking out over the natural surroundings, after having passed by two meadows that could be used as paddocks on the left (a small section of the property is in the constructible zone), on the right is a large copse of bamboo surrounding a retention pond and an enormous plane tree, the driveway leads to gates bearing coats-of-arms topped by a marquis’ crown.
The property, centre of a former vineyard, is still surrounded by 20 ha, with hills, trees and a variety of vegetation; a hill covered in tall pine trees, torrential streams after the rains, retention ponds, a bamboo grove, grasslands, a large evergreen oak forest, and views over the surrounding countryside.
Nearer to the house, the grounds are terraced with somewhat neglected gardens and rose gardens where the babbling of fountains with their water lilies provides the hot summer months with the pleasant impression of coolness.
Built on the hillside in the 18th century on a large terrace supported by high walls, the building, more a bastide than a chateau, appears to be on its defensive like a bastion advancing through the landscape. Due to the varying ground levels, the top floor of the wide end of this T-shaped building, overlooking the hill, is on a level with the ground. The long bar of this “T” is the main dwelling awaiting renovation; and the short bar has the former outbuildings, the renovation of which has stopped with the carcass.
Raised and preceded by several steps, the facade of the house is bordered by a terrace with terracotta balusters under the enigmatic eye of mascarons that adorn the window keystones.
The entire building has a superb roof which has been completley redone and is peppered with green glazed tiles.
The heavy entrance door opens into a vestibule containing the stairway, the Louis XVI wrought iron hand rail of which stands out against the white walls.
To the left of the entrance, the first 34 m² lounge communicates with its 33 m² twin situated on the south facade; next to this on the same facade are the dining room, then a living room and a small kitchen accessed via several steps. The two lounges on opposite sides are in the corners of the building and are therefore illuminated by windows on each facade. Lastly, on the left of the entrance and communicating with the living room is a small vaulted lounge with plain whitened walls, thus providing a Spanish touch. Throughout the residence, there are the original or added waxed wood wainscoting, marble, wood or stone fireplaces and old doors. The ceilings in the lounges and the entrance hall are 3.47 m high. The outside window frames are new and the windows double-glazed, renovation works are required inside
Upstairs are 6 bedrooms including one of 46 m² with a wooden ceiling, painted with foliated scrolls along the beams and Versailles parquet flooring. There is also a bathroom, a toilet and a 36 m² room in use as a library which, because of the varying ground levels, is on a level with a garden terrace; the bathroom and toilet are antiquated, this floor is also in need of renovation.
Behind the former library is the part of the house undergoing rehabilitation. It comprises two flats on two levels spanning a total of 360 m² with stone double mullioned windows and a robust oak wood roofing framework, the inside awaits renovation. Near to the entrance gates and covered by a terrace, a shelter for cars is in the old vaulted wine storehouse, together with 2 horse loose boxes. At the other end are a 25 m² sheepfold and a vast 160 m² barn, the roof of which needs redoing; the tiles are stacked by its side. As in certain romantic engravings, the estate is looked down on by the ruins of a 130 m², traditional Mas house, constructed on a ridge.
Between relaxation and contemplation, a strangely prolific atmosphère reigns within the walls of this residence which could, after the necessary works, become home to an artist, a writer or a garden enthusiast or, as it is easily divided, it could provide accommodation for several generations or even be devoted to a bed & breakfast activity, its surroundings being much appreciated. Completely unoverlooked without being isolated, providing a view without being seen, these premises form a leisure property backing on to the Cevennes Mountains which provide it with fresh water, the same as that watering Anduze’s famous bamboo grove. Given the surroundings and the outbuildings, the neighing of horses would provide the perfect sound track, even if it means that there will also be the sound of children such have long been heard in this former family summer home.
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.