Character property of the month
A beautiful stone house in the quiet countryside of Lot is brimming with period character, discovers Sophie Gardner-roberts
A charming stone house with pigeonnier in the Lot countryside
Nothing quite says ‘French character property’ like an old stone house with a pigeonnier, don’t you think? Pigeonniers (dovecotes) seem to be especially loved by many enthusiasts of French rural homes – just look at our editor, who pens her Thoughts from the Pigeonnier every month!
Historically, pigeonniers were a sign of wealth and therefore mostly built on the land of rich landowners in the Middle Ages. The taller and more intricately built they were, the wealthier and more powerful the owner, which explains the stunning designs on some dovecotes in south-west France.
The one attached to this beautiful house looks similar to a pigeonnier pied de mulet, although it lacks the vertical drop wall in the middle of the roof that gives it the ‘mule’s foot’ profile the style is named after. In any case, it gives this striking house unique character.
And that’s just from the outside. The 17th-century stone property has been beautifully renovated to make a comfortable home boasting 190m2 of living space. There are four bedrooms, three of which are set in the top floor under the eaves, and the fourth, currently used as a 30m2 guest bedroom, is in the old wine cellar. The interiors show off the period character of the house with exposed stone walls and beamed ceilings.
On the ground floor is the rest of the home which includes a spacious living room with walnut parquet flooring and a stunning period open fire, and a large open-plan kitchen, also with a fireplace but this time fitted with a ceramic woodburner.
The grounds are just as lovely, planted with trees and flower beds but equipped with extras that would allow you to make the most of the pleasant weather the area is blessed with: a swimming pool and a tennis court. Ancient outbuildings include a bread oven, a two-storey stone barn and woodshed-turned-garage with room for two cars.
The whole property sits in 7,200m2 of land in the village of St-médard in Lot. You could buy an additional 2.5ha of meadow and woods plus 2,500m2 of vines – scope for a hobby vineyard perhaps? – for an extra €35,000.
St-médard is an old and quiet village that sits just to the north of the stunning Lot valley. You are in wine and truffle country and on the doorstep of lovely hiking routes, with Cahors just under half an hour away.
Historically, pigeonniers were a sign of wealth and therefore mostly built on the land of rich landowners in the Middle Ages