Styles of Property
A rich diversity of building styles is found in Gascony, reflecting the
status and requirements of the original owners. Architectural detail varies
according to the availability of local materials which include stone,
oak frame, clay brick and terracotta tile. A welcoming feature of many
Gascon houses is a handsome hand-carved staircase. Purslow's Gascony has
been involved with the sale and marketing of all the following styles
of properties that follow.
Scroll down to see all styles.
Chateaux & Estates
The medieval nobility built castles, châteaux fort, that were primarily defensive but also advertised their power and wealth. Châteaux de plaisance followed from the 16th century when the emphasis gave way to comfort and display. After the revolution, the term 'château' described any number of grand country houses, especially if resplendent with towers and set in a landscaped park.
Manoirs were built on a more intimate scale with little or no concern for defense. Maisons de Maïtre were substantial country dwellings built in the 18th and 19th centuries, designed for owners who lived off agricultural rents. Other variations in this category include gentilhommiéres, which were country residences built for wealthy town dwellers or chartreuses which have a single storey.
In their original design, fermes, gave more attention to housing livestock and harvest than families. Their importance can be measured by the scale of their outbuildings, which in some cases form partial courtyards. The typical L-shaped wing of the Gascon farmhouse converts readily to extra living accommodation and the thick walls provide insulation both in summer and winter.
Houses in hamlets or small villages could have originally have been farms, manoirs or even small châteaux, sometimes with substantial gardens. Many smaller villages no longer have any local shops so while village properties offer security and community, they still entail a drive for everyday supplies.