- 12 bedrooms
- 2 bathrooms
- 18 habitable rooms
- 1050 square meters of living space
20 minutes from the A62 motorway, making it possible to reach Toulouse or Bordeaux in less than 90 minutes. 30 minutes from Agen and its railway station, with TGV trains providing 190-minute links to Paris, as well as its regional airport, with 3 return flights per day to Paris-Orly.
The Serres region in the Guyenne area dominates the Lot and the Garonne Valleys. The verdant landscape features hills and little valleys. This property stands on the outskirts of a village, with 280 inhabitants and a school, constructed on the edge of a rocky hillside, dominating the centuries old stone houses in the Lot Valley. The view stretches to the confluence of the river Lot with the river Garonne.
Up until the 19th century, a good red wine was produced here and exported to Bordeaux. But hazelnut trees are currently grown on these sunny slopes.
This residence dates from 1750. It was no doubt constructed on the vestiges of an older building as is proved by the masonry moats. Known as a chateau in the 18th century, it then belonged to one of the king’s grey musketeers.
In a quiet street, dominating the valley, two stone columns mark the entrance, concealed from view by the vegetation. A driveway leads to the parklands and the east facade of the house.
An impressive watch-tower, surrounded by a stone cornice for stopping raiders and windows with moulded cornices, faces the driveway. At its base is a stone arch. It is extended to the south by the vestiges of the stables and a bread oven. Set at right angles is a building featuring three arcades, the one through one of which provides a view of the countryside. This building was linked to the house via a barn which has been replaced by a swimming pool. Surrounded by old walls, bordered with oleander bushes, Florence cypress and olive trees, it brings Tuscany to mind.
The parklands are planted, as was customary in the 18th and 19th centuries, with beautiful trees selected for their foliage and their growth. Copses of bay leaf and boxwood trees form a sort of enclosure delimiting the garden. An orchard is included in the garden. It comprises an old Landes style henhouse supported on piles. Nearby is a French bowls pitch.
The north facade, looking down on the road the runs alongside the village, is quite classical. In the centre, the glazed French window, opening on to a balcony with balusters, is topped with a triangular pediment, featuring an oculus. Two tall, small-paned windows are on either side. The lower section, with its central door opening into the cellar, has continuous rusticated masonry. The colour of the stone used for construction is worthy of note: the village was built using stone from a local quarry, renowned for the superb clear hue of its slightly ochre coloured limestone.
The east facade opens on to the parklands via a French window set in a slight projection, flanked by two engaged columns. Three tall, small-paned windows are on the left and right-hand sides. Directly above, under the roof, small attic windows feature curved lintels. A wide, curved stairway goes down to a level covered in gravel, followed by the garden. The house has a second entrance on the west side. The street runs alongside the buildings to a carpark created on the grasslands above.
On the west side, a flight of steps leads to a porch way, paved with terracotta tiles, providing access to the entrance hall via a tall French window, the kitchen and the summer dining room.
The house awaiting renovation
This house stands below the entrance terrace, separated from it by a passageway planted with vegetation. A door, on the east side, provides access to a room with a large stone fireplace and its alcove, where salt was once stored. The floor is covered with terracotta tiles. The second, adjoining room is more dilapidated. But it contains the vestiges of what must have been a very tall fireplace with, no doubt, a bread oven. It opens via a French window on to a grassy area, set between the ruins of the old stables and the carpark, which could become an enclosed garden. Once restored, this house could be used as a holiday rental accommodation unit or as a caretaker’s cottage.
Superb old stones in all their splendour. The inside, the outside, the parklands and the landscape, all are beautifully neat and tidy here. This residence features profusion, without abundance, and real elegance, without airs and graces. As if only more and more home comforts were added over the years to a building that was not subject to alteration. Fortunately there is still a house to restore. The members of a large family seeking to settle in the region or to move back to their roots will be able to live here with the impression that they have never lived anywhere else. So much space and the large variety of rooms could be used for many other purposes. Such a swimming pool could be imagined in Tivoli or even Tuscany, instead of being here in glorious Gascony.
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