Listed Manor Housenear Auch
Legendary and mythological frescoes
This impressive manor house with its attendant cottages and stone outbuildings, is set in the heart of the Gascon countryside, and is ideal both as a grand family estate, or as a base for a multitude of business opportunities.
With easy access to Auch, the location is entirely peaceful. With walled gardens, magnificent parkland, separate wings, two swimming pools, a spa and original features throughout, this manor house is a rare and unique example of local French history, with a layer of Italian decadence and romanticism a well-preserved souvenir of its rich international heritage. Gascony is often known as the Tuscany of France; and Italian influence is felt even more so with this property. Documents held by the current owner show that this impressive domain dates to 1668.
Legendary and mythological characters
The property was first purchased in 1786 and the external walls and most of the current buildings date from around this time. It was the first owner who planted many of the tall trees that now differentiate the manor from other large estates in the region, including the two magnificent Cedar of Lebanon trees which stand either side of the main entrance.
The property remained in the hands of the first owner until 1821 when it was sold on and became a wine producing estate which from then on was referred to as a ‘Domaine.’ The second family were principally solicitors and barristers by profession but one of the family members, Bernard, was an artist whose work was sufficiently well-known to warrant an exhibition in Paris and whose son eventually sold the ‘Domaine’ on to a painter of Jewish Italian descent in 1925, who found the light and beauty of the region pleasing to the eye.
History tells us that the wife of the painter was less than satisfied with her new home! Disgruntled at having to move to rural France, to an as yet unrestored property, she took up residence in an elegant town hotel, demanding that her husband create a small corner of Italy for her, before she would return.
Devoted to his wife, the artist spent the next few months painting the ceilings, walls and furniture of the house with characters of myth and legend and scenes from their homeland. These painting can still be seen today.
The paintings are memorable for their bold brush strokes and skilled lines and design. Whether the subject is decadent and bourgeois, as in the early years of his residency at the manor, or nature bathed in sunlight, as in his later life, the colours are vivid, pure and dramatic.
Classified as a historical monument
We purchased the domaine in 1997 and the last twenty years have been eventful, challenging, demanding and extremely happy. The manor house has fulfilled all our expectations; we feel extremely fortunate to live in this beautiful region and still marvel at the rolling verdant countryside with its distant backdrop of the majestic Pyrenees. But even more so we feel privileged to live in this property and to have had the opportunity to discover its stones, its amazing history and to restore life into the buildings and the estate. The cachet and prestige that we enjoy as the owners of a Monument Historique and the former home of such a fascinating artist has introduced contacts and opportunities into our lives that we will continue to enjoy and value for many years to come.
This is a calm and healing place which yet has a vibrancy which is kindled by the presence of people. Second only to the enjoyment we get from living here is our pleasure at sharing the estate with our guests; at meeting people from all over the world, ensuring that they have a wonderful and memorable stay and in many cases, welcoming them back as friends.
We arrived with many ideas and plans for our future and that of the Domaine. We found our fulfilment in restoring the buildings and the estate to a thriving working property. However there are many different ways in which a future owner could operate and develop the property.
But it is now time for the property to pass into new hands; this is a decision which has been taken with reluctance and great sadness due to the sudden death of my beloved partner. Ian is present in every stone of the buildings and every blade of grass on the Domaine. It will be hard to leave, but sell I must, and I sincerely hope to find future owners who will continue to enjoy, love and cherish this property as we have
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