|Minimum Stay||2 nights|
The house has a first floor sitting/dining room, with wood burning stove and a Juliet balcony overlooking the Vincou valley. This adjoins the kitchen, which is fully equipped with fridge/freezer, cooker and dishwasher. Limoges crockery and all cooking utensils are provided.
The master bedroom with double bed and view over the valley is on the 2nd floor, where there is also a bedroom with a single bed. The main bathroom with WC, sink and bath with overhead shower is on this floor.
There is a twin bedded room on the 3rd floor.
The fourth bedroom, also twin bedded (including an ancient cot de lit-pretty rare!), is on the ground floor, next to the 2nd bathroom which has a sink, WC and shower. The washing machine is also in this bathroom.
Towels, kitchen and bed linen are provided (the only Ikea evidence in the house).
The stairs in this house are the original spiral ones and so are steep and narrow.
This unique house dates back to the 15th Century and stands on the site of a 10th century chateau in Bellac, a small town between Limoges and Poitiers The house has been carefully conserved by the English owner, retaining original features including floorboards, tiles, fireplaces, panelling and wattle and daub walls. It is situated in the Place d'Eglise where there is ample free parking. There is a small patio garden with views over the Vincou valley.
The next door house is also available for rent.
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.
Michael Chapman purchased this house in 2005
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.
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.
This half house is just amazing. It is EXACTLY as per the photos. The medieval era is my favourite for history, and this place lives the dream, except with some of the mod cons. When a heater failed to work we had Help knock on the door almost as soon as I sent off the email. Great service.
Bellac is a great jumping off point for sight-seeing. Oradour is a poignant must see and is very close. Aubusson for tapestry museum and a lovely medieval town; Aulnay and Saintes; Poitiers; Chauvigny; Angles sur L'Anglin; Saint Savin; Montmorillon. The roads are great for driving and Bellac has the cheapest petrol we've seen in France.
Thank you Michael. This has been a spectacular experience.
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.