Charming 18th century propertywith parkland & pool
18th Century Chartreuse in village location
This 18th century Chartreuse sits in the heart of a medieval village in a raised position, shielded from view by the old stone walls which run around the edge of its gardens.
There is a sense of belonging to the heart of an ancient Gascon village and yet being private and somehow “apart”.
The approach to the property is pleasant, through a covered passageway and old wrought-iron gate.
The property sits some distance back from the gates and is protected from view during the summer months by a canopy of leaves and branches from its many ancient trees.
The property was purchased some twenty years ago and has been until recently the main home of its owners. Before this time an elderly Gascon lady lived in the house throughout her lifetime. This is a property which in many ways has not been tampered with over the years, and there is a sense of time having sat still within its walls, and of a house that has been very much a “home” over the years; well lived in, and well loved.
Although substantial work is required to bring the property back to life, the elegance of the building is apparent from the moment we step through the gateway. The position of the house and its architecture make this a worthy project.
The garden is divided into several segments each of which is different in ambience, with the formal parkland to the front, and more open gardens and terraces leading to the pool at the rear.
A flight of stone steps lead (most elegantly!) to the front door, which is shaded by the waxy leaves of an old magnolia tree.
The door opens onto an entrance hall which runs to the rear of the property in a “T” shape.
The ambiance is cosy and warm, with vestiges of old parquet floors, and an elegant décor now faded by time.
There are two intimate “boudoirs” on each side of the corridor, leading in turn both to a grand and formal sitting-room, with French doors to a terrace at the side of the property on one side, and to the master en-suite bedroom on the other.
The main reception-room is a lovely room, with high ceilings, an impressive central fireplace and double-aspect windows. This is a light and sunny space and the heart of the household.
The dining-room, also with an open fireplace, has doors to the rear gardens, and steps down to the pool at the end of the lawn. This is a generously sized room, with plenty of space for a large dining-room table and armchairs placed beside the chimney.
The kitchen is tucked away at the end, with doors opening onto an internal courtyard blessed with the twisted boughs of an ancient fig tree.
There are two further bedrooms in the upper section of the inner hallway, both of which share a downstairs shower-room.
The bathrooms and kitchens are dated, yet the property is easily habitable, warm and comfortable. There is a faded grandeur throughout, and it is easy to imagine how one could breathe life and beauty into this naturally classical and elegant home again.
Works to consider when purchasing this home:
The main problem which needs addressing are the floors to the front of the property. The old terracotta tiles have lifted in the downstairs front-facing “boudoir” and master bedroom. This is possibly due to the enormity of the roots of the magnolia tree at the front of the house, but this would need verification from a surveyor or builder.
The lovely old parquet floor in the main reception-room has seen signs of movement, with the wooden slats having lifted or separated in places.
The single-glazed windows require attention, the energy efficiency level of the home undoubtedly benefiting from a change to double-glazed windows. There are currently traces of damp to the old rotten frames and on some of the walls beneath the windows.
The bathroom and kitchen are dated but clean and perfectly useable.
The lovely heavy wrought-iron radiators are highly sought-after, but require stripping as some have rusted, and repainting, if the current heating system is to be conserved.
The property requires repainting and redecorating throughout. Some of the walls are covered in hung tissue or material and there is some evidence of cracking and damage to the plaster work behind.
Why would such a project be worthwhile?
This is a sumptuous example of a Gascon Chartreuse, a building which in comparison to the typical square Gascon farmhouse, is relatively rare, and hence much sought-after.
The views to the rear of the property and the size of the gardens, as well as the tranquil setting within the village, make for an attractive “ensemble.”
Point of Note regarding the bedrooms:
In the main house, if one wishes to conserve the two “boudoirs” which sit on each side of the central hallway as private studies, or antechambers to the main reception-room and master-bedroom, there are just three bedrooms for members of the family.
Of course, the “boudoirs” could be used as bedrooms (or as rooms for small children) but one might run the risk of spoiling the elegance and symmetry of the property which flows nicely at present. More recently these two rooms were used as a small study/reading-room and a television room.
Part of the charm invested in the current lay-out of the property is the sense one has of entering a small and intimate space, before opening a door onto a much grander space; a common factor in the traditional 18th century home.
In this sense, if we consider that there are 3 main bedrooms in the main house, and 4 reception rooms (main reception-room, dining-room and 2 “boudoirs”), it is important to remember that the guest house in the gardens provides extra accommodation.
The Guest House:
The guest house is a later addition to the property and was built using modern materials in the early 1980s. The property is in excellent condition, albeit with a slightly dated kitchen and bathroom, with a kitchen, reception-room, bedroom, bathroom and separate toilet.
The property also comprises a garage for one vehicle and two outbuildings for storage.
To whom might this property appeal?
This property will appeal to lovers of fine and classical architecture and anyone seeking a bourgeois and elegant family home, in traditional French style.
There is an ambiance here, and a certain “look” to the property which is certain to appeal to lovers of the 18th century.
The parkland offers an interesting outdoor space, and yet is manageable; with its many ancient trees adding an extra layer of interest to it. This is a “garden” in the truest sense of the word, as opposed to a “field” or a “plot” of land.
This property would make an ideal main residence or a holiday home.
The rooms flow beautifully; and although there is a sense of space, the total surface-area remains manageable, with generously sized rooms, but not too many rooms for this to be a comfortably sized family home.
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