Gascony – Renaissance château
Luxury guest house – going concern
pool, gardens, independent gite and owners’ quarters
In a circular ‘bastide’ – plus beau village de France – in the Armagnac region
€1,250,000 * ref 239
This is an opportunity to buy one of France’s most prestigious Renaissance châteaux, located in a tiny ‘bastide’ village in Gascony, in the region renowned for its high-quality spirit Armagnac … and the Three Musketeers. Unlike many others, this château has been renovated and refurbished with style and taste.
Although the original château dates back to 1068 the ravages of war, foreign occupation and vengeful kings saw to it that the old mediaeval fortress was razed to the ground in 1488 and the present building constructed in 1491. King Charles VII probably ordered the sacking of the old château as punishment for its owners siding with the English during the Hundred years War.
Old grudges have now been forgotten and the château welcomes English and French – as well as other Europeans and guests from the New World – into its confines as a luxury Guest House.
The premises comprise more than 1000m² of surface area. This is divided up roughly so:
– ground floor: restaurant dining room, kitchens, wine store, pantries, laundry rooms
– first floor: two guest suites (east wing) and the owner’s quarters on the south face (3 bedrooms, lounge/dining room)
– second floor: 4 guest suites
– upper floor: meeting room/billiard room and three or four unused ensuite bedrooms.
Attached to the main château on the west wing is the two-bedroomed gite. This is a splendid two-storey ‘cottage’ with spacious kitchen/diner, lounge and two large ensuite bedrooms.
The whole building – château and gite – is heated by a combination oil-fired and wood-fired (pellet) central heating system of prodigious power and economy. Thanks to the new roof, excellent insulation and modern boilers, the chateau boasts an incredible ‘B’ rating for energy consumption.
Outside, the gardens stretch east and south until the moat/river which forms the boundary line. There is about one hectare in all. This includes a discreet car-park for 12 or so vehicles, the boiler house, the summer kitchen and dining area and, of course, the magnificent 12 metre pool.
Many buyers are loath to invest in chateaux as they have a reputation of turning into bottomless money pits. Not this one. Mainly because all the work has been done: roof, electrics, plumbing are all recent and the château is an active guest house welcoming people from all over the world. It is run by hotel professionals who have maintained and improved the building continually. We feel, however, that the business is under-developed. The top floor could be opened up to seminars and meetings for local businesses. A true restaurant with expert chef could be started up (it has a ‘Licence IV’ a full liquor licence). It could be a venue for weddings, Armagnac-tastings, jazz festivals. The owners could live in the cottage and let out the whole chateau as a sort of luxury gite for 30 people … Whatever your project, you are unlikely to find a more attractive and well-finished château than this one in France. Certainly not at this knock-down price!
* agency fees included reference n°: 239
more information or to arrange a viewing – email
- Ref n°: 239
- Summary: Rest assured; this is not a bottomless money pit! The château has been totally renovated and brought into the 21st century. It is currently exploited as an upmarket guest house. There's a 2 bedroomed 'cottage' that goes with the sale and the owner's have their own 3-bedroomed wing. Pool, gardens, moat and car-park make this a dead cert for wedding receptions, should you want to go down this route.
- Address: Occitanie
- Price: €1,250,000
- Commission: 3% (included in asking price)
- Surface Area: 1000m² living space
- Bedrooms: 18
- Bathrooms: 9
- Pools: 13 metre pool
Gascony in South West France covers most of the area to the south west of a line joining Bordeaux, Agen and Toulouse, that is, the western part of the Midi Pyrenees region, and the coastal section of Aquitaine.
It is one of the least inhabited regions of France, which contributes to its charm, the landscape features gentle river valleys, mixed woodland and rich farmland producing maize and sunflowers. Majestic views of the Pyrenees etch the horizon.
Pretty medieval villages of mellow stone nestle in the green rolling hills, many of them with arcaded central squares, perfect for a long lunch on a warm afternoon. Auch, the historical centre of Gascony, (and the town of D’Artagnan), boasts a magnificent cathedral, several museums, and a maze of attractive pedestrianised streets.
The climate is mild and warm and the wines of the region offer variety and quality, from the spicy red Madiran, the tannic Tursan, through to the elegant sweet Pacherenc which teams perfectly with foie gras. Then there is Armagnac, the digestif of the region, whose unique ageing process allows layers of subtle flavours to develop, and, its enthusiasts will explain, protects against heart disease and obesity.
Generally speaking, a liking for duck is useful when eating in Gascony, but there is much else besides foie gras, confit, magret de canard, and all the other iterations of that humble bird. The ‘jambon du pays’ is excellent and teams perfectly with the famed melons from Lectoure, whose fragrant juicy flesh bears no relation to their pale cousins beloved of the supermarkets. Local markets offer a vast array of excellent fresh fruit and vegetables.
The inhabitants of the area are amongst the most long lived in France, they attribute this to the high quality of their local produce, and they could be correct!