This fine 9-bedroomed castle is being sold with an independent 2-bedroomed gite and spacious out-buildings which could be converted into more accommodation, if required.
The property dominates a small wine village in the Corbières wine region, about 20 kms east of Carcassonne. It also dominates the key communications route – the Aude valley – which links Toulouse to the Mediterranean. The 17th century Canal du Midi (now a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is close by.
The main house has been completely re-wired, re-plumbed and re-thought over the past 10 years. It is now fitted out as a luxury guest house or very select summer rental. Or just as a splendid family home.
Ground floor: large and spacious entrance hall with bay windows looking out over the vineyards. Fitted kitchen with stone worktops, range, marble fireplace, oak herring bone floors and plenty of space. Pantry and larder give extra space.
Three big reception rooms make up most of the rest of this floor: a fine dining room, again with wood-panelling, oak flooring and ornate green marble fireplace: a bright yet cosy sitting room with decorative oak fireplace and a, more intimate, ‘den’ with a bar and comfortable seating that was formerly the original kitchen. Off this last room is a tiny passage leading to the spa room – a total surprise – at the base of one of the four corner towers. All these rooms – kitchen included – give on to the walled garden and pool area on the chateau’s southern façade.
First floor: six double bedrooms of which four have en-suite bathrooms. Again, the floors are oak and the bathrooms are bigger than many people’s kitchens. We are in classy guest house territory here.
Second floor: formerly the servants’ quarters, this level houses another three bedrooms, a small gym, an office and two other rooms currently used for storage. One of the bedrooms has an ensuite bathroom: the others are served by a large family bathroom.
Across the courtyard is the gite: a simple but recently renovated two-bedroomed apartment in one of the out-buildings. It has its own patio and separate entrance. There’s another out-building off the courtyard which offers over 400m² of potential for adding further accommodation or creating some sort of venue/meeting room.
Finally, the Chateau garden – lush with beds of colourful Oleander – with a perfect pool at one end, views over the the village roof-tops and the Corbières beyond, but without anyone over-looking its privacy (this is a chateau after all!).
We haven’t even touched on the hidden passages, ghosts of Templars past, secret rooms and a special north-facing artists’ hideaway. Nor the imposing stone staircase, the ceiling mouldings, the fireplace made of the same marble as Napoleon’s tomb …
Our opinion: Buyers are understandably wary of the word ‘château’. It conjures up images of bottomless money-pits, ruinous bills generated by Listed Building obligations and images of crumbling battlements crushing some poor guest under a mediaeval rock. Yes, but not this one! It has been dragged into the 21st century by someone who has taken the time – and spent the money – on restoring the building and gardens to a very high standard. The extraordinary energy figures speak for themselves: a ‘B’ and an ‘A’ rating … for a 900 year-old building! Buyers can be sure that they are getting comfort that few modern buildings can provide.
What would we do with it? Two possibilities: either a very upmarket Guest House (using 5 guest rooms on the first floor – owners live on the spacious second floor) or as a ‘very big gite’. The demand in the Languedoc at present is for 8 or 9-bedroom gites with private pool. (Owners can live in the gite during these rental periods). These let for €6000 to €7000 a week in the high season.
A third possibility would be to create further accommodation in the out-buildings.
It is not every day that a Templar chateau comes on the market: contact us today!