Impressive châteauin the heart of Gascony
Italian Style Chateau
Toutes les mesures sont approximatives
- Montréal du Gers
Romanticists, aspiring Gothic heroes & heroines apply within….
If your heart is stirred by visions of a Chateau with ochre-coloured walls in the setting sun; of high ceilings, and period charm without the need for perfection; or if you are someone for whom beauty outweighs all sense of the practical… then “read” on Macduff: this paragraph could be the first stepping-stone on the road to a great adventure.
This is a property for those who are grand of heart, for souls imbued with a touch of gentle folly and for whom the reward is something quite beautiful: A cinematic backdrop, a theatrical pastiche of every castle-based movie you have ever viewed; a home of character with all the grandeur of the Italian Renaissance.
The entrance & gardens
The arrival to any Chateau must by necessity be somewhat majestic and here the avenue does not disappoint, being suitably mysterious with vegetation high on each side. The long stone driveway opens out onto a forecourt with a circular driveway which circles around a central island of Cyprus trees.
The chateau rises before us, amber and gold in the sunlight, its flaking façade perfect in its imperfection. Its windows are guarded by tall French Grey shutters, its central doorway is grand and majestic in its welcome.
The property rises high above a stone terrace and decorative fishpond.
The façade to the North reveals a series of stone arcades, open to the elements.
To each side of the Chateau there are woods and gardens, with hundred-year-old trees, all of which lend a sense of mystery to the lieu.
To the front of the property there is a stone fishpond beyond which is a flight of stone steps up to the terrace and the grand front door.
The stone barn to the right of the Château is the perfect backdrop to the grand hydrangea bushes which have grown tall in its shade. The barn to the rear is partially inaccessible and now more or less in a ruined state. Once a stable block, this building might yet be salvaged. A second outbuilding to the front of the driveway is in a similar condition.
Sitting to the right of the main terrace, in a recess beyond, is a stone building or orangery, with a sink and an array of pots, to harbour the lemon and orange trees over winter.
The grand front door opens onto a majestic hallway, from which a turning wooden staircase rises to the first floor, with a sweep of wrought iron balcony, and walls which look as if one has fallen headfirst into the pages of an Italian Gothic novel.
The walls are remarkable, in the pastiche of a pastiche setting sun, their gentle ochre and yellow tones catching the sunlight from the west in a theatrical manner.
The kitchen & Pantry area
To the right of the entrance hall door, there is a large double kitchen, with a fireplace and windows over the front forecourt and to the gardens at the side of the property. The ceilings are high, and the room spacious enough to incorporate a large dining room table, and a rear section with a sink, for food preparation. Beyond the kitchen is a small vestibule, which serves as a pantry, and an inner corridor with a large cupboard, which houses the washing machine and dryer, and overlooking the gardens to the rear, a room currently used as a study, and a downstairs 1930’s style bathroom.
The Drawing Room
From the main entrance hall, it is pleasing to access the grand drawing room via the original eighteenth century doors. The drawing room offers a view onto the rear garden via a set of characterful French windows that open onto the rear terrace. The room has a central fireplace which is not currently in use and as in many of the rooms here at the Chateau, we invite guests to look upwards at the ornate ceilings.
The drawing room opens internally onto two other rooms, one on each side.
Firstly, a grand dining room, conveniently placed between the drawing room, and (via the internal hallway) back to the rear pantry and kitchen.
The second room is smaller in size and used as a snug, or living room, where the family gather to watch television or play games. From the door of the snug, we return to the main hallway, passing a doorway with steps leading down to the cellar below.
Central Turning Staircase
The staircase in the central hallway is a delight, and climbing to the first floor, we experience its generous proportions, and the majestic tall ceilings which lead the eye upwards to the first-floor landing.
The first floor
The first floor has all the elegance one would expect, with tall windows to the front forecourt of the property. A half landing, with a secret door leads up a tiny internal staircase to one of the ante chambers above, serving no logical purpose other than to evacuate servants (or lovers?) from the bedroom in haste. A delight for amateurs of Hide and Seek, whatever one’s age.
On the first floor via a second internal hallway, there are four double bedrooms and at each end of the property a vestibule or oval room and a family bathroom at each end of the property (or a total of two bathroom on the first floor and one on the ground floor).
The second-floor vestibules, which are oval, might well be used as antechambers, dressing rooms, or children’s bedroom. Each of the rooms is similar in style and period feature: tall ceilings, lovely wooden floors, fireplaces and views over the parkland.
A doorway opens onto a second stairway, in brut form and far less grandiose than the first, leading to the impressive attic space above. This huge space has at one end the tremendous open archways. At the opposite end these have been bricked in but beg to be opened.
The space sets the imagination on fire. Whatever architectural plans are born here, they must of course be validated by the local planning authorities that be, but this is a space which in sheer volume at least (with the romantic idea of an arched view over the gardens at one end, if not two ends of the property) offers endless possibilities.
Who might want to live here? – and what needs doing?
This is not a modest property by any stretch of the imagination. It has a grandeur which requires a generous budget and a grain of delightful folly. Beyond the purchase price, unless one is content to live here throughout the warmer months of the year, there will be by necessity the need to be some thought and finances given to insulating the property to minimize running costs. The top floor, whether it obtains planning permissions in the future or not, whatever the project might be, is currently open to the elements at one end (via a series of Romanic “in the summer” archways) and not currently insulated either on the floor or the ceiling.
The property was decorated some years ago by an interior designer and the walls are in their own delightful way a work of Art, which add much charm to the building. If the style and colours please, then there is nothing that needs doing other than choosing furniture for each room. The windows however require some attention. The lovely old window frames are single glazed, and the choice here will be one of heart or head. But if the current window frames are to be kept some repair work will be necessary. The bathrooms have a period charm but are completely unmodernized (one of these has a quaint 1930 air to it), and the decision to change these or not will be one of aesthetics.
All this said, the property will appeal to anyone who loves the architecture of an old French Chateau. This is the perfect home for a large family or a business project. This is a house to fill with family, friends and furniture. The elegant rooms beg to be decorated and the tall ceilings offer a fantastic opportunity to hang great chandeliers, or pieces of Art on the walls. The home of a Collector, an Artist, a Designer? A small bijou hotel… the possibilities are endless.
This will be a property which will tug on the heart strings of many, for it is so easy to imagine the Chateau illuminated in the evening, the backdrop to any number of wonderful soirées. A property which requires full evening dress, full glasses, a full imagination, and a not immodest purse. But oh! ……Quelle Joie!!!
A Little Bit of Fun
Recommended Books to take on the trip: Enchanted April – Elizabeth Von Arnim (try the 1993 movie if not the book)
Recommended movies : Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) or A Good Year ( 2006)
Recommended drinks: The very best pink champagne to reflect the golden pink and amber tones of these lovely old walls.
Total habitable surface area: approximately 368m2
2 ante chambers (or children’s bedrooms)
3 family bathrooms (2 on the first floor one on the ground floor)
Grand drawing room
Spacious kitchen and rear kitchen
Immense third floor attic space
Various outbuildings requiring restoration
Parkland of over three hectares with mature trees
Plot size: 37690m2
Property Tax: 2285
2 water wells
Double Glazing: No (original wooden windows).
Shutters in fair condition except on the top floor
Roof: Original roof (to be verified
Oil fired central heating (De Dietrich boiler)
2 plastic tanks house the oil in the basement
Kitchen fireplace working order (others may have been capped off and are not used)
Smart metre: no
1 hot water tank
Internet: by OZONE – satellite
Click images to enlarge