For just over four hundred thousand dollars you can own a fairy tale castle in France sitting on about fifteen acres of land with a barn, a dovecote, which is a home for pigeons, a rustic three bedroom house, a miniature chateau, a center pavilion and two round towers.
According to Patrice Besse Castles and Mansions of France at Patrice Besse, experts in the sales of historical properties, the grounds are made up of two small lakes and marshy areas which were once part of a moat that encircled the castle and is surrounded by grasslands, fields, hedgerows and orchards.
It is a very private location with its own road off of D907. Inside of what was, in the 16th century, the inner courtyard is the ruins of a 19th century house, an old bakery, a grinding wheel and a well. Outside of the former moat location are the ruins of a 16th century barn and the dovecote.
The structures have undergone several restorations and the property is listed as a French historic monument which means it enjoys environmental protection for the radius of about a third of a mile out.
The “Manoir de la Sausserie” is about one hundred and fifty miles west of Paris near Domfront in Orne, just south of Normandy.
The Medieval castle was originally owned by Robert-le-Saucier who, in 1198, was given the land for his service to Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen consort to Louis VII of France until his death in 1152 and then Queen consort to Henry II of England and mother of Richard I, the Lionheart, and King John who signed the Magna Carta in 1215.
After the tumultuous time of the Hundred Years’ War from 1337 to 1453 between the House of Plantagenet, the rulers of England who claimed control of France, and the House of Valois of France, the towers and the moat were constructed. When the manor house was destroyed in the mid-1860s, the moats were filled in and the other buildings began to deteriorate leaving only the chateau which is constructed of sandstone, granite, and oak with chestnut roof shingles.
The pavilions at the top of the towers are joined by a lower passageway with a drawbridge on each end indicating the moat completely surrounded the castle. The towers reach just over forty-two and one-half feet with spiral staircases running between the interior spaces, some with 16th century fireplaces, exposed wooden beams, and terra cotta floors.
Many of the first floor rooms have large and small holes in the walls that allowed a gun to be shot at almost ground level to defend the castle. The pavilions are made of half timbering on the top and also feature rooms with old granite block fireplaces.
Many of the materials from the destroyed manor house were recycled and used for the eleven hundred and eighty four square foot house on the property that boasts a kitchen, living room, three bedrooms, a bathroom and a boiler room. There is quite a bit of unfinished attic space that can be fixed up, and it also has carriage doors.
he dovecote is an octagonal building situated about three hundred feet from the castle and was updated in the 17th century. Forty additional acres around the site with another house and related outbuildings can be purchased along with the castle property.
The property is close enough for an almost two hour trip to Normandy for a summer holiday on the beach or exploring historical sites, and it’s also two hours to Le Mans for an exciting annual twenty-four hour sports car race. Paris is only a three hour drive to the east via N12 for a cultural and gastronomic trip not to be forgotten.
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The train can be used but saves only a few minutes and is more expensive; but if the time is available, one can sit back and enjoy the view of the countryside. The small village of Saint-Mars-d’Égrenne is only ten minutes away for supplies.