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A taste of France property section

A Charming Medieval Townhouse near riverside

by Oliver

This attractive stone-built house is a medieval gem set in the historic quartier of Cessenon-sur-Orb among winding pedestrian passageways that lead to the riverside.

The town is a lively hub at the heart of the St Chinian wine region with twice-weekly markets selling local produce, several popular cafes and restaurants, artisanal boulangeries and a boucherie.

The backdrop is the sparkling River Orb; the honey-stone bell tower of a once-imposing chateau, and the buttressed masonry of the 14th century Eglise de St- Pierre St- Paul.

The house is a short walk from the centre, passing the ancient Fontaine Sucre and turning into Rue du Barry d’Orb where at street-level double wooden doors open on to the original cobbled stable. A family of vignerons once kept their horse and wagon here and the wooden feed manger can still be found on a back wall. This spacious area has been used as a boutique art gallery, and currently serves as garaging for a small family car plus useful storage.

On a warm day the double doors can be fully opened to the street
for a summer barbecue. The quaint laundry sink and water-supply behind plantain shutters in the corner lend themselves to a pop-up outdoor kitchen.

A rare find in sought-after Cessenon, the house offers three floors of family living space.

Stone steps ascend from the stable/garage to the comfortable sitting-room with its original terracotta tiled floor and sizeable dining alcove. Floor-to-ceiling French windows open on to a juliet balcony overlooking neighbouring streets, pantile rooftops and the mountains beyond.

This pleasing space is warmed in winter and cooled in summer by reversible air-conditioning. There is also an ornate enamelled woodburning stove.
A quirky gallery kitchen with pine-top breakfast bar adds to the vintage chic of the living space with its pretty wooden doors leading off to the tiled shower room and toilet, and to useful spaces for bookshelves and storage.

Some brocante furniture pieces will be included in the sale price of the house.

There are TV, telephone and internet connection points in the sitting-room.

The social space around the French doors is perfect for family relaxation - playing cards or board games, watching television or reading and enjoying the muted sounds of Cessenon’s street life outside.

Along a short passage-way is the main bedroom, spacious and airy with many original features. Reversible air-conditioning maintains a comfortable temperature. This is a cool sanctuary where the mellow chime of the town’s bell-tower clock is the only sound from outside.

Upstairs is a similar-sized bedroom with french windows overlooking an ancient courtyard at the rear, the site of the town’s former Palais de Justice and a historic hostel which once gave shelter to pilgrims on their way to Spain’s renowned Camino Way.

A characterful stairway leads to the top floor, a stunning open space perfect for use as an artist’s studio or home office/workshop and easily adapted to a party venue or third bedroom.

This is a high-ceilinged room with original exposed beams and a view of the ancient pulley device which once raised hay bales to the attic area for winter storage. The fodder would be tipped into a chute leading down to the ground-floor manger .

Life in Cessenon is a unique combination of modern-day adventure - canoeing, challenging mountain bike trails and hiking - and the timelessness of vine cultivation in the patchwork fields still in family ownership .

This house in the Rue du Barry d’Orb is at the very centre of a special corner of rural France.

Living space on two floors: two bedrooms, kitchen, dining alcove and sitting-room, 80 sq metres.
Stable area: 19 sq metres; garage 32 sq metres; studio 32 sq metres; small attic room 16.5 sq metres.

Contact Oliver 0033 686770320

The cheapest way to Normandy at the moment

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