Page 0021

21

OPPOSITE

The château as it

is now and as it

was before renovations began.

ABOVE

Large living spaces with mediaeval

features

and

a staircase in one

of the towers.

LEGGETT MAGAZINE RESTORATION

15th century - the capital Valletta being named for

him.

Moving on 500 years, New

Zealander Ruvé Duncan and

her English husband Michael

Bucknell were lunching in nearby

Najac after another fruitless

house-hunting expedition

in the region. "After lunch we

looked in an estate agent's window

and spotted a photo of an

unrestored château - we fell in

love with the artist's impression

of what it could look like once

restored - by the next day we'd

bought it!"

What followed is a story of

research, study, care and determination.

Their first step was to

move from Geneva to Parisot to

live in the cottage next to the

château where rose petals were

once distilled into precious essential oil. Ruvé

had managed

renovations before but nothing,

she says, as old or big as the

château. "We both took early

retirement in 2000 to manage

the restoration. We studied

many French books about renovation, and I started by

writing

an 18-page specification for

the French artisans. We didn't

employ an architect or project

manager, which worked well for

us as we were able to discuss

details with the artisans and, in

return, got great advice!"

Renovations continued, and

after two years they were able

to move in to some rooms. Ruvé

says their temporary kitchen is

now her dressing room! By November

2005 it was complete.

Their attention to detail is

more than impressive. "One

challenge had been to restore

the circular towers which were

'decapitated' during the French

revolution," Michael says. "Our

master stonemason helped us

source the rounded Quercy

stones we needed from a local

farmer's ancient pigeonnier - it

was the perfect match!"

Today the château, spread

over six floors, retains many

mediaeval features, including

a stone circular staircase in the

west tower, two miniature towers,

large stone fireplaces and

arrow slits, as well as the ancient latrine

now converted into

a marvellous 'throne' discreetly

covering a modern toilet.

And their impeccable renovation

has ensured maintenance

is minimal, from the new

roof with handmade tiles, to

the insulation, double glazing,

central heating and utilities required

to meet the demands of

the 21st century.

The Château de l'Astorguié

is enchanting, totally private

but adjacent to all the facilities

of Parisot. The ornate stone entrance

leads directly to the spiral

staircase in the west tower.

On this level there is the sitting

room with original fireplace

LEGGETT IMMOBILIER - LOCAL KNOWLEDGE YOU CAN TRUST

Index

  1. Page 0001
  2. Page 0002
  3. Page 0003
  4. Page 0004
  5. Page 0005
  6. Page 0006
  7. Page 0007
  8. Page 0008
  9. Page 0009
  10. Page 0010
  11. Page 0011
  12. Page 0012
  13. Page 0013
  14. Page 0014
  15. Page 0015
  16. Page 0016
  17. Page 0017
  18. Page 0018
  19. Page 0019
  20. Page 0020
  21. Page 0021
  22. Page 0022
  23. Page 0023
  24. Page 0024
  25. Page 0025
  26. Page 0026
  27. Page 0027
  28. Page 0028
  29. Page 0029
  30. Page 0030
  31. Page 0031
  32. Page 0032
  33. Page 0033
  34. Page 0034
  35. Page 0035
  36. Page 0036
  37. Page 0037
  38. Page 0038
  39. Page 0039
  40. Page 0040
  41. Page 0041
  42. Page 0042
  43. Page 0043
  44. Page 0044
  45. Page 0045
  46. Page 0046
  47. Page 0047
  48. Page 0048
  49. Page 0049
  50. Page 0050
  51. Page 0051
  52. Page 0052
  53. Page 0053
  54. Page 0054
  55. Page 0055
  56. Page 0056
  57. Page 0057
  58. Page 0058
  59. Page 0059
  60. Page 0060
  61. Page 0061
  62. Page 0062
  63. Page 0063
  64. Page 0064
  65. Page 0065
  66. Page 0066
  67. Page 0067
  68. Page 0068
  69. Page 0069
  70. Page 0070
  71. Page 0071
  72. Page 0072
  73. Page 0073
  74. Page 0074
  75. Page 0075
  76. Page 0076
  77. Page 0077
  78. Page 0078
  79. Page 0079
  80. Page 0080
  81. Page 0081
  82. Page 0082
  83. Page 0083
  84. Page 0084
  85. Page 0085
  86. Page 0086
  87. Page 0087
  88. Page 0088
  89. Page 0089
  90. Page 0090
  91. Page 0091
  92. Page 0092
  93. Page 0093
  94. Page 0094
  95. Page 0095
  96. Page 0096
  97. Page 0097
  98. Page 0098
  99. Page 0099
  100. Page 0100
  101. Page 0101
  102. Page 0102
  103. Page 0103
  104. Page 0104
  105. Page 0105
  106. Page 0106
  107. Page 0107
  108. Page 0108
  109. Page 0109
  110. Page 0110
  111. Page 0111
  112. Page 0112
  113. Page 0113
  114. Page 0114
  115. Page 0115
  116. Page 0116

Related Issues