Magnificent medieval Chateau in the Aveyron area of SW France, Aveyron, Occitanie
This wonderful historic chateau is situated in the wild and beautiful department of the Aveyron in South West France. It is situated in the countryside close to a small market town, and has been lovingly and tastefully restored by its current owners, having previously been in the hands of one family for some seven centuries. Parts of the chateau are medieval in origin, and parts date from later additions and renovations in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The architecture is superb, and the buildings all appear to be in excellent repair. It is a property that would lend itself to use either as a substantial family home or for commercial exploitation. At present two floors of the chateau and the farmhouse are used for habitation, leaving a further floor in both buildings, plus several outbuildings, all or part of which could easily be converted to create additional living space. It therefore has plenty of further potential. The grounds have also gone through a renaissance recently, with much planting of trees and shrubs, plus the addition of a large swimming pool (16 x 5m), discreetly screened by a laurel hedge. Mature trees have also been kept to give the grounds the feel of a well-maintained park as befits such a property. The chateau and farmhouse form two sides of a large gravelled courtyard, the two buildings being separated by a castellated wall, with a doorway through to the park behind. There are also numerous outbuildings, including stables, granaries and an open garage and other outbuildings attached to the farmhouse, providing conversion or expansion potential. There is also a separate barn to the rear. Currently the south tower is used as the main entrance to the chateau, this having a magnificent stone spiral staircase connecting the floors. On the ground floor level, you have an old kitchen, which is no longer inhabited but used as a boiler and boot room. However it still has the old fireplace, and a sink with the original water pump, and it looks onto the courtyard. It has recently been fitted with new twin oil-fired boilers, plus the oil storage tank. This system feeds radiators on the first and second floors, and could be extended to the currently unused third floor if required. There is a wonderful circular wine cellar in the base of one of the towers, plus two other large unused cellars, both clean and dry and with plenty of ceiling height.
At the base of the south tower is a charming little chapel with a vaulted ceiling. This is still consecrated.
Upstairs you come to a door leading into a large hallway (5,9 x 3,5m) with a window overlooking the grounds at the far end, double doors through to the dining room to your right, and a doorway through to the kitchen and study to your left. Like all the rooms on this floor, there are beautiful exposed polished oak floorboards, and a very authentic period feel. The interior period is more 19th century than medieval with carved wood and marble fireplaces, and large windows. The rooms are all of generous but homely proportions.
The dining room (5,6 x 6,2m) has a wonderful beamed ceiling à la Française, a window overlooking the courtyard, and a door leading to the north tower, which has a separate doorway out to the courtyard – the shortest route to the farmhouse. There is a carved wooden fireplace with a fitted gas log effect fire.
Through another set of double doors, you enter thedrawing room (9,8 x 6,2m) which has triple aspect windows, a doorway back to the south tower staircase, and a plaster ceiling. There is a fine marble fireplace fitted with a log burning stove.
The study / library (5,7 x 3,5m) has a nice intimate feeling, with a window overlooking the courtyard, a fireplace, and lots of period fitted cupboards and shelves.
The kitchen(6 x 6m) has windows overlooking the park with the town in the background. It is a nice light room with a wood-burning Godin stove with hotplate, plus a large electric oven with a 4 ring gas hob. It is a room that is perfect for family meals with plenty of space for a large dining table. There is a separate food preparation room of 4m2 with a sink and tiled worktop, storage below, and plumbing for a dishwasher. A door leads to steps down to a cloakroom cum laundry room with exposed stone walls, fitted with a toilet, washbasin and plumbing for a washing machine. There is a doorway here leading out to a large west-facing terrace bordering the park – the shortest route to the pool!
On the next floor, two adjacent doors from the tower staircase lead to the following rooms. The second door leads to a small lobby leading to bedrooms 1 and 2, both bedrooms having antique oak parquet floors:
Bedroom 1 (3,1 x 6,2m) with double aspect windows overlooking the grounds Bedroom 2 (3,8 x 4,8m) with a separate walk-in wardrobe with a lovely carved solid wood door, a marble fireplace
The first door leads to a landing (3,5 x 4m) with doors off to the following rooms:
Shower room(2,6 x 2,8m) with a tiled floor, a fitted shower cubicle, a toilet, an antique basin with matching taps. A separate cloakroom with a basin and toilet. Bedroom 3 (5,6 x 6,2m)with a marble fireplace, and an en suite bathroom arranged in one of the towers, with a claw foot bath, a basin, and a toilet cunningly and curiously located in a little cupboard. Bedroom 4 (5,5 x 6,2m).This is definitely the master bedroom both in terms of its generous dimension, but also because of its twin windows looking out over the grounds. It has an en suite shower room located in a tower, this fitted with a fitted and tiled shower cubicle, a toilet and an antique basin and bidet. It also has an electric towel dryer plus another linked to the central heating. Bedroom 5 (6,2 x 3,3m)has the feeling of a cabin on a galleon with its exposed ceiling timbers and slightly limited head height due to it being in an attic. It has a dormer window as its porthole overlooking the courtyard.
On the floor above, you have the same space again, without bedroom 5, but this floor is not inhabited. It has however been simply decorated and is clean and tidy, and ready to be arranged. At present there is a large landing with built-in cupboards, and doors off to three rooms. This could be converted into an independent apartment or become two en suite bedrooms. One of the rooms has a very old cut stone fireplace, and there is also a tower room with plumbing, which could be made into a bathroom or kitchenette. Upstairs there are extensive attics, all of which are boarded and clean, and the roof appears to be in excellent condition. The farmhouse is located adjacent to the château, and is totally independent. It is also of some antiquity, but has been renovated keeping its period features, and adding oil fired central heating throughout most of the house. A stable door with glazed panels leads in from the front courtyard to a large kitchen diner (4,9 x 5,5m) with a simple fitted kitchen of formica cupboards with a worktop above, housed beneath the old chimney breast. It has exposed ceiling beams, and windows to the front. There is a closed stairway to the first floor, a glazed panel door to the old souillarde and thence outside, and another doorway to the living room. The souillarde, traditionally a stone paved room with stone ledges was once the all purpose washroom for houses round these parts, is well preserved although it does have a more modern sink installed, plus a door to a gravelled courtyard behind.
The living room (5 x 3,6m) is a nice light room with exposed ceiling beams and double aspect windows looking out into the garden.
Upstairs the following rooms are located off a central corridor:
Bedroom 1 (3,9 x 4,6m) overlooking the front courtyard, with exposed ceiling beams, and a radiator. Bedroom 2(3,9 x 4m) with a window over the park. A simple shower room also with a toilet, basin and electric heater. Bedroom 3(2,5 x 3,7m) with a window to the rear. Linen room or fourth bedroom(3,7 x 2,8m) also with a window to the rear. Off another little lobby you will find a bathroom with a heated towel rail, claw foot bath, and basin. There is a separate toilet with washbasin alongside.
There is a sizeable convertible loft above.
Attached to the farmhouse there are the old stables with a sizeable workshop with a cobbled floor, and a loft above suitable for conversion. There is a boiler room behind this with a door through to the rear. There is also a single garage with stone steps alongside leading up to an old pigeonnier.
Behind the farmhouse is a separate entrance to the grounds from the lane, a large field recently planted with productive cherry trees, and further outbuildings, notably a barn.
The swimming pool is well-placed for all day sunshine, situated behind these outbuildings, well screened by a laurel hedge, and surrounded by a paved terrace.
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