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8 LEGGETTFRANCE.COM

INSPIRING INTERIORS LEGGETT MAGAZINE

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Rows of

painted

shutters

open onto

the pool and

garden area

E

NGRAVED ON THE

keystone above the

front door at the Domaine de Colombat

is

the date 1594. A 'gentleman's residence',

it is set within

a deeply forested area typical

of the Dordogne region.

Today, it's home to Carelle

and Stephen Sherwood. They

moved here in 2000 and have

since completely renovated

Colombat to create the most

beautiful of family homes.

"It was used as a hunting

lodge by Henri IV of France as

he travelled between his two

kingdoms - Colombat being

midway between Pau and Paris," Stephen explains.

"Hidden in the forest, over

the years it changed hands

from family to family, including

a Napoleonic general who was

buried in the woods, and was

the site of many adventures.

In WWII an American pilot was

hidden here for 10 days before

successfully escaping via Spain,

the Maquis used it as a safe

house until the Nazis raided it

- there's a German vehicle still

hidden in the woods!"

Peacefully surrounded by

100 acres of forest with a further eight of

grassland closer to

the house, it's hard to believe

that all this happened only a

generation ago.

Surrounded by lush gardens, this beautiful long golden

stone house sits perfectly

within its surroundings, its rows

of shutters painted exactly the

right shade of blue. A peaceful

lake burgeoning with water

lilies and an ancient pigeonnier

complete this beautiful scene.

And what a transformation

they've made! Carelle and

Stephen's vision was clear: "we

started by removing internal

partitions to open up rooms.

Along the way we found many

treasures including ancient

stone fireplaces hidden behind

brick façades. We also inserted

dormers into the Mansard roof

in true Perigordine style."

To the right of the old carriage

house that now serves as

Carelle's orangery for wintering

plants is the main house and

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