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Beauvais
€682,000
Property features
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  • 3 bedrooms
  • 1 bathrooms
  • 5 habitable rooms
  • 880 square meters of living space
  • 660 square meters of surface of the outbuildings
Property description
An old, 1,540 m², Cistercian abbey, 1½ hours from Paris in the French department of Oise - ref 511106
Paris is 1½ hours away via the A16 motorway. Beauvais, its airport and its train station, with 1¼-hour links to the French capital, is 25 km away. The Channel coast is an hour’s drive away; Rouen, 72 km away; the nearest market town with local shops, just 4 minutes away. This pastural spot, very near to urban facilities, is in a region featuring French bocage countryside, ideal for pastureland for raising cattle. This old abbey is to be found in part of the Bray Country, in the French department of Oise, which historically belonged to the Beauvaisis area, more specifically known as the Bray-Picard Country.
Founded in 1134 in the hollow of a little valley and sold as National Property at the time of the French Revolution, this rich Cistercian abbey was substantially dismantled, essentially through the destruction of the abbey church and the cloister in the 19th century. All that remains today are the refectory and the adjoining constructions. Visitors are welcomed by two pavilions at the concave end flanking a monumental porchway. Once through the tall gates, 18th century brick and stone buildings correspond, according to historians, to the places where the monks lived. These flank a gravel courtyard. Opposite, the view takes in the French bocage countryside, with its irregular-shaped fields separated by hedges and ditches, including a river that flows alongside the property. It is crossed by a medieval bridge leading to an old watermill.
This old abbey is listed as a French Historic Monument. A protection that predominantly applies to the monumental entrance, the old regular buildings dating from the 18th century and the vestiges of the abbey mill.

The entrance porchway

With its classical architecture, this porchway is one of the few 18th century features that are still intact. The entrance is flanked by two dressed stone pilasters, joined by a semi-circular arch, topped with a triangular pediment, the central decoration of which appears to have disappeared, and wrought iron gates. The latter are crowned with Louis XV style ironwork which is set in the midst of a half-moon-shaped composition of old brick enhanced with stone facing. The ground is covered with old paving stones and two stone benches adjoin the walls on either side.

The last monastic buildings

These buildings comprise two wings laid out on either side of the entrance porchway. They span a total floor surface area of approx. 1,540 m². The purity of the lines, the economy of materials and the simplicity of the layout give this place a character reminiscent of all Cistercian architecture. The solidity of the construction can be judged by the thickness of the walls (about one metre).
The buildings where the current owners live are on one side of the entrance. Extended by areas awaiting conversion, they span a total floor surface area of approx. 600 m². The facades feature four stone bays, the last two of which comprise semi-circular arches encompassing the top and bottom windows. The Mansard roof is impressive as it is, more or less, the same height as the facade. It is covered with slate and small tiles. Adjoining and set at right angles is the old refectory.
On the other side of the large courtyard stand the outbuildings, spanning a surface area of approx. 634 m². The facade predominantly features a wide atrium window making the large workshop that once housed a joinery, extremely bright.

The inside of the house

Meticulous care was given to the restoration of what is now a house where comfort rivals the respect given to the original structure.

The garden

The garden is a natural extension of the buildings. It can be seen from all the windows. Various species of trees and flowers are planted in a way that brings the gardens of Kent to mind. Tall pine trees provide a verdant touch throughout the winter months. A pasture belonging to the property extends the view towards the surrounding countryside. The view is obstructed on one side by the monks’ old wood.



Our opinion
A place that has been martyred, destroyed by events to the point that it almost disappeared, but also a place that still exudes a character that can be described in a single word: dignity. The Cistercians knew how to create such an atmosphere with their buildings. In this case, by adopting the style of the 18th century, they managed to preserve their “trademark”: tall, majestic buildings. The last, surviving buildings are but waiting to be rehabilitated.
In short, beautiful countryside, near to Paris and the Normandy coast: all assets for a sound project such as a haven of peace for residential artists, a starred restaurant for gourmet enthusiasts, bed & breakfast for Parisians in search of verdant surroundings, a place for holding functions and weddings or, quite simply, a family home.
Beauvais, France
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