A 17th century residence, surrounded by moats, and its 16th century dovecote
on a hectare of land in the Bessin area 15 minutes from Omaha Beach
Bayeux, CALVADOS lower-normandy 14400 FR

Location

In the Bessin area, in the French department of Calvados, a region which symbolises the events of the last world war and which has a good tourist trade.
A secondary road provides a ten-minute link between this property and the A13 motorway.
Paris can be reached in 170 minutes, Caen in 40 minutes, and Bayeux in 20 minutes.
Lison SNCF train station, 10 minutes away, provides 140-minute rail links to Paris.
The nearest market town, with all shops and amenities, is 6 km away.

Description

The local area is made up of fields and grasslands, surrounded by thick hedges and streams, with hamlets comprising two or three buildings dotted here and there amongst the numerous manor houses and chateaux.
A private driveway leads from the secondary road up to the gates of the residence. The perimeter wall, some parts of which are still standing, runs alongside the moats which surround the residence, a four-sided building set at the end of the parklands. A round dovecote standing in one corner of the entrance is extended by the ruined walls of a mill, built on the edge of the moat. Opposite is a barn used for storing wood.
A pedestrian bridge to the rear of the chateau separates the parklands and a meadow.

The residence

From the entrance to the property, this residence can be partially seen at the end of the esplanade, concealed behind its high perimeter walls.
However, it comes completely into view once through the gates which are in line with the main entrance.
The current owners have done their utmost to revive all the splendour of this property by carrying out major restoration works. Supporting walls, partition walls, technical building service systems, wooden insulating windows and roofs are recent and in pristine condition.
The partial symmetry of the facade and the positioning of the brick chimneys give the impression that another wing was planned but never built or that it was destroyed.
The facades, marked by the patina of time, are built of limed rubble stone. The openings are framed with a projecting combination of brick and Caen stone. This same chessboard pattern enhances the dressed stone, gutter entablature.
The gable pediment roof dormers, Caen stone and brick acroterion, are topped with a stone ball, to match that of the front door.
The natural slate roof is recent and the roofing framework sound.


Ground floor
As is often the case for this region’s architecture, the residence is divided into two with high ceilings in the rooms used for receiving guests and lower ceilings in the rooms used on an everyday basis.
The main entrance hall with its black-tiled stairway divides the chateau into two sections. The through hall, running the width of the building, opens via a door near to the cloakroom out on to the rear of the parklands.
The wide limestone tiles are marked with the patina of time.
The walls have a lime rendering. The orange-coloured brick contours that adorn the doors and encircle two window seats as well as the fan-shaped vault bear witness to the nobility of the dwelling.
The main lounge faces west. This spacious room has a high ceiling with exposed, varnished beams.
The chessboard pattern, terracotta floor tiles from Noron-la-Poterie are also attractively marked with the patina of time. Bricks are laid around the hearth of the fireplace which forms a significant decoration in the lounge.
Double oak wood doors in the entrance hall lead to the dining room which soberly features painted walls, a terracotta tile floor and a fireplace.
This is followed by a pleasant, spacious kitchen. The wide-hearth fireplace and the “potager” (hearth where meals were cooked on embers) are a reminder that for centuries this was the only room of the chateau that was lived in. The painted walls, like the exposed beams and joists, make the room luminous. The floor featuring large, light and dark-coloured flagstones is similar to that of the entrance hall.
One of the two doors in a corner leads to the parklands, whilst the other leads to an enclosed stairway.
There is a study behind the dining room and a toilet under the stairs.
A laundry room, a boiler room and the cellars can be accessed from the kitchen via a door leading to the outside.

First floor
This floor is divided into two non-communicating sections, each with its own stairway.
The main two-flight stairway leads to a landing as well as a lounge and then up to the second floor. The black stone steps are wide and shallow and are enhanced with sculpted Caen stone balusters and hand rail. Courtesy of its double aspect, natural light is reflected off the lime-washed walls and the ever exposed white stone. The floor on the landing features two-tone terracotta tiles, laid in a chessboard pattern, typical of the region.
The size and aspect of the lounge are identical to those of the one on the ground floor. This room is made pleasant by its limed walls featuring some exposed stone, its light-coloured, solid wood parquet flooring and its ceiling with its exposed beams and joists.
The dressed stone, monumental fireplace includes chessboard pattern tiles, which match those of the stairway. The 4.3 m high ceiling explains why this wing of the chateau has but two floors.
The second, concealed stairway is in the kitchen. Made of wood with a wide landing, it provides access to three south-facing bedrooms and their bathrooms, with
uneven, terracotta tile floors, light-coloured limed walls and ceilings with exposed beams, marked by the patina of time.

Second floor
Set on the top landing of the main stairway, the wooden stairway provides access to a hall area which leads to two spacious bedrooms and their bathrooms.

The bedrooms are of a good size with solid wood parquet flooring, limed walls and painted ceilings featuring exposed beams and joists.

Attic
During the renovation works, a hatch and retractable steps were installed on the second floor in the hall corridor.
The fully exposed roofing framework bears witness to the soundness of the structure. The impressive height of the ridge (approx. 8 m) throughout the length of the chateau provides a significant space. This area is illuminated via roof dormers.

The dovecote

The dovecote, set at one end of the perimeter wall and in a corner of the quadrilateral formed by the moats, marks the entrance to the property.
The circular walls, built of limestone quarry blocks pointed with earth, are topped with a natural slate, candlesnuffer roof.
A heavy wooden door on the ground floor opens into a guard room, with a fireplace and loop-holes.
The actual dovecote, located above this living room, can only be accessed via a ladder that has been added. The large number of dove-holes proves that the chateau was once a prosperous property.

The barn

A barn stands opposite the ruins, halfway between the gates and the chateau. With its open facade, it is used for storing wood and can take four parked cars.
This thick-walled construction, built of thin limestone bricks and cob, has a three-sloped, natural slate roof.

The ruins

The west side of the parklands is sheltered from westerly winds by the ruins of a former mill.
They follow on from the dovecote and form a high wall, the foundations of which are set in the water-filled moat.

Our opinion

The precision exerted during the residence’s restoration works is worthy of mention as it would enchant and thrill any enthusiast of 17th century architecture. The private and secret site of this building is in the heart of lush surroundings, with typical French Bocage countryside for as far as the eye can see, and provides views that are both charming and poetic. The stone structure of the chateau makes life easier between these venerable walls, made indifferent to the onslaught of time.
The spacious rooms and the high level of comfort will be deciding factors for would-be buyers. They like their visitors will, furthermore, be gratified by the richness of the land and the delights that the sea adds to local gastronomy.

790 000 €
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur


Voir le Barème d'Honoraires

Reference 284425

Land registry surface area 11445 m2
Main building surface area 548 m2
Outbuilding surface area 100 m2

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Regional representative


Brune Boivieux       +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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