Gascon Châteauclose to Lectoure
in Italian Renaissance style
Constructed in the 15th century and redesigned in the 17th this sumptuous château was designed in the style of the Italian Renaissance. In the North of the Gers it is located a short drive away from the popular market towns of Lectoure, Fleurance and St Clar.
Situated in a quiet location, down a tranquil country lane, and far from the main road, the property offers over 7 hectares of glorious parkland and an abundance of trees. The property is entirely private being both hedged and gated, with a small stream bordering the land at the bottom.
The main body of the château comprises eight bedrooms, and a vast main reception/dining-room, and first floor library/reception-room.
With a separate guest house.
The flamboyant Italian-style first floor “loggia” – with its covered terrace and arcades overlooking the tranquil gardens is an absolute delight. With a paved pool area, 2 dovecotes, and a vast 170m2 hangar the garden is full of interest with a vast array of mature trees, roses and bushes and an orchard.
This property provides a peaceful sanctuary from the world, in a location that is unique, being utterly private, and yet in the located heart of one of the most sought-after areas of SW France.
Let’s look in more detail …
The local area, the parkland, gardens, and outbuildings
The drive by car to the property is as pleasant one. With easy access to the local market towns of Lectoure and Fleurance the property is tranquil yet easily accessible. The TGV line to Paris in Agen is under an hour away, and Toulouse international airport, just over an hour.
As we leave the market towns behind, the countryside is rich and peaceful, with small country lanes cutting through emerald, green fields, where in the summer crops of sunflowers or wheat grow in an area fondly known as French Tuscany.
If Gascony is the Tuscany of France, then this property offers all the joys of Renaissance Italy. Designed in pure Italian style, the property was built by a rich noble family in the 15th century.
From the outside very little can be seen, as a thick natural hedge encircles the perimeter of the land. The entrance to the property is enclosed by two fine wrought-iron gates, both of which are in perfect keeping with the château and marking the entrance in style.
The château is located at the end of a quiet lane that opens out onto fields, so one is not troubled by any passing traffic. The occasional hare or deer, perhaps.
We enter from the side gate to the main entrance, with a view of a splendid pigeonnier or dovecote to our right. The pool nestles beside the first of the two dovecotes and is sheltered by rose-covered walls.
There is a water-well with a decorative wrought iron frame on the top. Always ideal to have a source of water on the land, to keep the lovely gardens fresh and green; not forgetting the small river that runs along the bottom field.
There are over seven hectares of land in total, ensuring utmost tranquility for anyone residing here. Of those seven hectares the land around the gardens, and the guest house, comprises an orchard (to the front of the guest house) neatly mown lawns, and mature trees. There is an ornamental row of topiary, and a small river at the bottom of the land. The gardens feel rich and bucolic. In an area known for its scorching hot summers, there is a freshness to the parkland, shaded by ancient boughs of the trees. The ambience here is one of lush greenery.
As we turn around the chateau to the rear gardens, we catch our first glimpse of the fantastic loggia, a covered terrace with arches running the full length of the property which is purely Italian Renaissance in style; joyous and romantic with its impressive corner pavillions. The main master bedroom opens onto the loggia, offering a morning view over the gardens; a sure promise that one’s day will begin on a note of beauty and tranquility.
The Chateau has a joie de vivre which one might not expect from a Medieval building. It is warm and welcoming from the outside with its mellow golden walls catching the last of the autumn sunshine.
Let’s open the grand entrance door, and step inside…
The main entrance to the chateau is paved in stone with a wooden staircase to the first floor. As one would expect the entrance is formal and is divided into two distinct sections with the original wooden front door at the entrance, and at the end of the hallway a second door, with the intelligent addition of a glass door that allows the light to flood into the hallway, in a way which is not traditionally medieval but certainly delightful for modern living, where one’s instinct is to let the sunshine in, and to keep the warmth inside.
From the central hallway, we take a brief look at a large room which has not been restored for any other purpose than storage, but with a large opening at the far end, in a room which is interesting in so far as it is of similar size to the main reception room, and certainly offers possibilities for further development of the property’s habitable area, planning permissions permitting.
The main reception/dining-room is a fantastic space for entertainment. With its quirky vaults the room is divided into two distinct sections. The first part of the room (from the central hallway) has a lovely stone fireplace where the family gather. The perfect place for a winter or Christmas gathering. The second part of the room is used as a dining-area. There are large windows to the gardens in both the reception and dining areas.
At the far end of the room, a doorway leads into a tower area, with a pleasantly Medieval feel to it, where there is a downstairs cloakroom and lavatory.
The kitchen sits a little way apart from the dining-room, for ease, and has recently been completely refurbished. This is a warm and inviting room, with ample space for a breakfast table, and tasteful modern units.
From the kitchen a doorway opens onto the loggia. This utterly charming terrace offers views onto the gardens from between the arches and is a delightful place to sit in the shade on a scorching hot summer’s day.
There are two wings to the first floor, set from a central staircase. Two of the bathrooms are built into the quirky corner pavilion towers. The master bedroom and the study both open onto the charming loggia. From the master bedroom you can steal a view of the morning from between the arcades of the first-floor loggia, take coffee outside on a warm private terrace area, or fall back to sleep watching the light muslin curtains flutter between the arches. This is a room in which the imagination can take flight!
Also on the first floor, there is a deliciously private library, which is provides a tranquil retreat from the downstairs reception-rooms. With its rows of bookshelves, and cinema area, this is a lovely private room, where the owners can escape when the house is full of guests.
One of the upstairs bedrooms is currently used as a private study but could also be used as an extra bedroom.
With a total of eight bedrooms and four bathrooms on the two upstairs wings of the house, we note that each room is blessed with high volumes, tall windows, far-reaching views and many period features which have been preserved.
The current owners have carried out an extensive scheme of works since they first moved in, and a vast majority of all the rooms have been recently redecorated or refurbished. The kitchen is brand new.
The oil fuel boiler has just been replaced and we have noted the clever installation of the thick glass doors on the lower level that ensure the spacious ground-floor living area is snug throughout the winter months.
This property is now welcoming throughout all four seasons and is in an excellent state of repair. The gardens are also immaculate and must work has been carried out to regain parts of the plot that had become overgrown.
The Guest House
With two bedrooms, a central reception room/kitchen and bathroom, the guest house is set well apart from the house, by the orchard, and is a decided advantage to this property either for lettings or for family and friends.
Our thoughts here at Bliss
This property is perfect for lovers of Medieval Renaissance architecture; a home with a lashing of Romantic charm, that provides oodles of space both internally and externally. This property is located close to all the main tourist areas of the Gers but ensures a private retreat from the world. Most of the work has been done, and despite its impressive size, this is a comfortable ready to move into home, immediately habitable, and well heated.
Click images to enlarge
Safe & Secure
The property is equipped with an alarm linked to a video surveillance system which detects all movement in the property.