Cathar Country Houses – French Property Specialists – Southwest France
Le Château de Terride
On 8 hectares of land, overlooking the walled city below, this medieval castle steeped in history is undoubtedly the signature property of Mirepoix – one of the Grands Sites of the Midi-Pyrenées region – and a tourist destination in its own right. Offering many options for living and working space, the property consists of a main house of 300 m² on 2 levels, with an unfinished attic of more than 170 m² – just waiting to become an owner’s apartment or the most incredible gîte – plus a private chapel and a medieval tower of 160 m² on 2 levels with 2 extraordinary fireplaces. The tower is classified as a historic monument and was part of the original château dating back as far as 960AD! And if that isn’t enough to work with, the 120 m² caretaker’s house at the entrance of the property adds a level of flexibility for those wanting to operate a Chambres d’Hotes, conference facility or retreat business.
The unique nature of this special property is immediately felt as you approach via the arched bridge spanning the original ramparts and medieval fortifications surrounding the entire property. A wooded park, a pool area, meadows and other groves make up the rest of the property on the plateau – all offering panoramic views of the city of Mirepoix and the full range of the Pyrenees. Much of the 8 hectares are fenced – ideal grazing land for horses if you wish! One of the most fascinating features of this property is that the original ramparts are still visible and attest to the fact that this Chateau at one time was significantly larger and housed many many people. Captured by Simon de Montfort in 1209, along with the town of Mirepoix, it was given to the Lévis family. At that time, Mirepoix was on the same side of the river and stretched out from its protective Chateau along the banks of the river l’Hers. When the city was destroyed by the great flood of 1289, Mirepoix was rebuilt on the higher plateau on the other side of the river. It is said that much of the Chateau was then dismantled to use its sizeable stones to create a bridge spanning the river and to build the bastide walls of the new city. There is an artist’s rendering of what the Chateau must have looked like at one time based on the remains and written accounts – don’t miss seeing it when you visit!
The Chateau itself has been carefully brought back to life with a stone spiral staircase anchoring the center of the Chateau. With dining room, salon, kitchen and office / bedroom with en suite bath all on the main floor, this Chateau is immensely liveable as a family home. On the first floor there are 4 large and bright bedrooms, 2 with en suite shower rooms, and if Chambres d’hotes was in your plan there is ample space to add en suites to the other two bedrooms at this level (with “wet walls” already laid out) so that the transformation from family home to business would be very simple and inexpensive. Plus, the 170sqm unfinished full height attic space is available to create the most glorious apartment.
The impressive tower at the corner of what was once the original Chateau offers incredible opportunities for additional guest apartments, gîtes or function space. 160 sqm on two levels, it would be very easy to add plumbing to each floor and the current owners have left this for the next pair of loving hands to create their own dream. Historically, these rooms have hosted the regional annual fete for the French Foreign Legion and the impressive photos of these gatherings attest to the magic that can be created here. The two stone fireplaces alone – big enough to stand a horse in – are enough to paint the picture….
The ‘Maison de Guardian” – the Guardian’s House – is of a far more recent date than the other buildings within the Chateau complex. The availability of this home adds tremendous flexibility to the possibilities for the estate. The next owner can decide to use it as an income stream in its own right, as additional rentable space for events within the Chateau grounds, as function space, or – as is totally feasible – to use it as Owners Accommodation if the entire Chateau is to be rented.
We would like to pay tribute to the current owner and his wife and family, who had the vision to bring this historic Chateau into its current form. Jennifer and I always say that ” houses find their people ” … we really do believe this to be true and possibly even more so in the case of a Chateau. It takes a certain kind of vision to see the potential, to be the one to lift the Chateau to its next stage of existence. With such a significant history one has to be the genius ” guardian ‘ who moves the vision forward.
On the whole, it is an ideal location – 1 hour 30 from the sea, and only an hour to the mountains and Toulouse International Airport. Perfect for creating the family home of your dreams or a thriving events business / Chambre d’Hotes. Don’t miss your chance to own a special piece of history in the region we like to call France’s Best Kept Secret!