Fifteenth-century France was a time of civil unrest, with factions warring for control of the country. So how appropriate that this medieval lodging house from the era is fortified with high walls and a watchtower – the state-of-the-art security system of the day.
Today the stone chateau outside Angouleme, in the south Charente region of western France, has been fully renovated in keeping with its period character.
The estate covers 6 hectares, or more than 14 acres, and consists of the primary residence, a 16th-century dovecote turned into an office, an outbuilding converted into a separate dwelling, stables, a riding arena, a swimming pool and a farmhouse ready for restoration. Outbuildings contain a gigantic bread oven and a workshop.
There’s also a reception room that can accommodate up to 100 guests with a bar and an outdoor catering kitchen for events. It includes a mezzanine, a home cinema system and bathrooms.
The main dwelling, a light-colored stone structure with turrets and a tile roof, is accessed through a one-time carriage entrance that opens to an inner courtyard centered on a towering tree. Lawn and formal shrubbery soften the expanse.
The stone-lined living spaces blend old and new, capturing an essence of the late Middle Ages. Details include lime-washed wood, weathered metal and thick wooden beams.
One wing of the chateau contains a living room with a fireplace, a kitchen and an upstairs bedroom. Stone walls and a stone sink lend rusticity to the kitchen. The bathrooms feature local stone as well.
Three en-suite guest rooms, one with a separate living room, are located in the side buildings. Within the 8,934 square feet of living space are six bedrooms and five bathrooms.
A stone-walled swimming pool is adjacent to meadows.
The estate is roughly an hour north of Bordeaux and a half-hour from Angouleme.
Local attractions include the sculpture-filled Angouleme Cathedral, several museums, an old town with cobblestone streets, an annual comic book festival and a classic car grand prix. Canoeing, kayaking or touring on the River Charente are among outdoor activities.
Regional delicacies include pork dishes, snails, pate, the cantaloupe-like Charente’s melon, chocolates and macaroons.
The nearby town of Cognac has vineyard and distillery tours.
The closest airport to Angouleme is in Limoges, about 83 kilometers (51 miles) away.