2 Rue du Fort
4 Rue du Fort
Mary Michael Chapman
- english, french
About Mary Michael Chapman
I have a long background in the conservation of old buildings. I was a director of Nimbus Conservation and was involved in working on the Tower of London, Windsor Castle and Wells Cathedral, among many others. I am an artist and the house includes contemporary pieces of mine and others. The people in the town have been fabulously welcoming and have made every effort to understand what I'm on about.
Mary Michael Chapman purchased this House in 2005
Why Mary Michael Chapman chose Bellac
I have always wanted to own and preserve my own medieval house and was delighted to be able to buy our property in Bellac in 2005. It was in a sorry state, and needed urgent structural repair. Parts of the building were on the verge of collapse. I have worked hard there and it has taken much longer than I had imagined, of course. I have maintained as much of the original features as is compatible with modern living, and have added some contemporary twists too. We chose the region as my sister had just moved nearby- she promptly left for Portugal, but we had fallen for the area, which is quiet and rural-another forgotten corner of France.
What makes this House unique
It's a home from home for us. We tried to make the place like a Landmark Trust property, only affordable, and have enjoyed furnishing and decorating a place on a very different scale to our cottage at home in Somerset. There are some quirky touches-some take a bit of seeking out, which we hope people will enjoy doing. We have made friends locally and know where to shop, eat and swim etc. Everything is really accessible and close. We didn't want to have to get in a car in order to buy our morning baguette, or to go out for a meal. The Limousin has the feel of the Cotswolds or the Lake District, but without the traffic and you somehow feel lighter whenever you're there.
100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
Damage and incidentals
You will be responsible for any damage to the rental property caused by you or your party during your stay.
Max guests: 8
If you want a unique experience living in a historic and idiosyncratic house, you will adore this! It's well-equipped but still steeped in the past and we loved our time there.
What a beautiful place
The house is amazing and so quirky. The town is sleepy and the views amazing across the valley. We had a brilliant time and well worth the visit. Definitely recommend if you want a quiet break.
What a fantastic place to stay. It's like living in a piece of history! Everything we needed was provided. The house was really clean and comfortable. The view from the terrace is great although not accessible from the back of the house but we just passed our bits through the window and walked round.
The house is half way up a hill, so no getting out of a climb one way or the other. Down is the river, very pretty and a nice bar/restaurant to sit and while away the hours. Up is the town, sadly not many shops still open but a few restaurants, boulangerie, boucherie, supermarkets and a tourist office. I can highly recommend 'Le Cheval Blanc' for an excellent french meal at a great price. There are a few larger supermarkets about a 2 minute drive away.
We didn't do a lot in the area as only at the house for 3 nights and we were there to relax and enjoy the house and town.
Beautiful old house in the heart of France accessible by train
This was a wonderful old house, restored faithfully by Michael Chapman. It is in great ( and quiet) location in the old part of town with a great view over a valley to the rear, and to the church at the front. It is reputed to be the oldest house on the town, so do expect creaks , sloping floors, lots of stairs and other characterful eccentricities! It is very comfortable and well equipped, and Bellac itself is a very charming town, that felt to us like 'La France profonde' Only a little over 2.5 hours by train from Paris, but a world away. Plenty of shops in the town for all you need, a couple of excellent restaurants,cinema and swimming pool, and with a good train service you don't need to bring a car. There are plenty of good walks form the town, and if you have a bike you will be in heaven on the many tiny lanes. Michael and Mary were very responsive and helpful throughout the booking process.
This is truly a one off accommodation dating back hundreds of years yet lovingly restored.
Plenty of room for a large family and a beautiful patio area overlooking the viaduct.
Lac de St Pardoux is 20 minutes drive away. It has a free beach, cycle paths, sailing and pedaloes.
Eurostar from London St Pancras to Poitiers or Limoges, via Lille or Paris. There is a commuter train between Poitiers and Limoges, which stops at Bellac. The house is 10 minutes walk from the very small railway station.
From Stansted, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool or Southampton by Ryanair and Flybe, to Limoges Bellegarde Airport (30 mins by car or taxi to house)
Via ferries to Caen, Le Havre, Cherbourg or St Malo. Then a 6-8 hour drive to Bellac.
Ancient villages of Mortemart, Chateauponsac, Montrol Senard and le Dorat all 15-30 minutes away.
Close to the Blond "mountains".
Limoges-30 minute drive. Poitiers-1 hour. (Both easily accessible by train). Futuroscope (great for kids) - one and a half hour drive.
Oradour sur Glane-a village destroyed by the Gestapo, maintained as a moving memorial-25 mins.
There is a tennis court and open air swimming pool with slides a 10 minute walk from the house, a boules pitch by the river a 5 minute walk away. Licensed fishing is available on all the rivers and lakes in the vicinity, and there is a golf course outside the nearby village of Mortemart.
There are many excellent restaurants in the area. The Limousin is famed for its beef, and also has a reputation in France for some of the finest lamb. Although wine is not made locally, the Limousin borders many wine producing regions and therefore offers a wide variety of wines at delightfully low prices.