Get an imposing building set in a stunning location in France with nearly 900 years of history

Top Quote If you buy this fully renovated home which is 900 years old, you won’t just be getting an imposing building set in a stunning location. You will also be purchasing a slice of French medieval history. End Quote
    QuoteIt is very rare to see such old property on the market in FranceQuote
  • (1888PressRelease) September 25, 2009 - If you buy this fully renovated home you won’t just be getting an imposing building set in a stunning location. You will also be purchasing a slice of French medieval history. For this house was originally built by the famous and powerful Knights Templar back in the 12th century.

    The Templars were created by a French knight Hugues de Payens in 1118 as a group to protect pilgrims on their way to Holy Lands. Jerusalem had been captured and secured in 1099 during the First Crusade but the journey there and back could still be a dangerous one. In a sense the Templars operated rather like a private firm of security guards.

    The order was supported by Baldwin, the king of Jerusalem, and it was allowed to establish their base in the city’s Temple Mount. Its members called themselves the Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon, and their emblem depicted two knights riding on the same horse, to emphasise their poverty.

    However, from this modest beginning the order quickly grew to become one of the most powerful organisations in Europe and beyond. By 1129 it had been officially sanctioned by the church and from then on was answerable only to the pope. Soon it began to handle large sums of money – often taking care of pilgrims’ money for safekeeping – and to an extent became an early form of bank.

    Apart from helping pilgrims, running estates and looking after money the Templar network was also devoted to helping the sick and needy. The knights established hospitals known as maladreries to treat the sick or les malades and these were usually located just outside a town or settlement. This was to avoid infecting the local population in case the hospital was treating people with contagious diseases. That explains why this particular medieval building, with its beautiful arched entrance, stands in such a tranquil setting.

    14817-smallDespite their many worthwhile causes, the Templars’ power and collective wealth ensure they had many enemies – including in France. The French king Philip IV – known as Philip the Fair – was not alone in considering the Templars a potential threat, as they were in a sense a state within a state, with their own troops, network and finances. But Philip also had more mundane reasons for disliking the Templars – he was said to be heavily in debt to them. The king put pressure on Pope Clement V to take action against the Templars, using flimsy rumours that the order were blasphemers and guilty of immoral acts as a pretext. On Friday 13 October 1307 Philip had the Grand Master Jacques de Molay and many other senior Templars in France arrested and tortured. De Molay was eventually burnt in 1314 by which time the Templars had been officially dissolved by the church. (It is said that just before he died De Molay predicted both Clement and Philip would be dead soon – and certainly both perished within a year.)

    So, after nearly 200 years, the Templars had gone. But their legacy of wonderful buildings endured, as this house near Bergerac in the Dordogne bears elegant testimony (reference 14817 on It is set in a 28.8 acre land and comes with a pond, natural spring and various outbuildings including a barn and a bread oven. The property offers 450m2 of living space, comprising on the ground floor: entrance, 34m2 lounge with a fireplace, dining room with a fireplace, 18m2 kitchen with free standing units, 2 bedrooms, bathroom, wc, dressing room and a laundry room. On the first floor there is a 42m2 lounge, 23m2 bedroom, 28m2 bedroom, 2 bathrooms, 36m2 bedroom and a 15m2 room in the tower. The house also has a cellar and a boiler room. Electricity, mains water, broadband, septic tank, wood and oil heating connected.

    This house is full of charm and character with original French ceiling (plafond a la francaise), exposed stones, fireplaces and beams. The property is accessed by a magnificent stone porch way leading into an interior courtyard. Located only a short drive from Bergerac. Bergerac is the largest town in the Perigord Pourpre department, an area that derives its name from the purple grapes that grow in the region's 125 sq km of vineyards. Set on a riverbank, it was once a flourishing trading port and has easy access to the surrounding countryside and many famous wine producers.

    The town of Bergerac offers superb cultural variety. Numerous events are organized throughout the year. 5 days a week there is a street market with a wide range of fresh local products. The town has become renowned for numerous disciplines, particularly rowing, woman’s handball, parachuting, rugby and also promotes other activities like a horse riding, harnessed horse competition, tennis, regattas, fishing, cycling, rally and many, many more. Bergerac has its own airport with several low cost flights to the UK.

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