French provincial towns provide fascinating history and an escape from city life for those dreaming of a rural retreat, but without the isolation of some properties deep in the countyside. The old walled town of St Gaultier is a perfect example. Located in the little-known Indre (36) region and situated on the banks of the River Creuse the town features a monastery founded by the Abbey of Lesterps in 1100 with a 12th century Romanesque church. Links to the Vatican have been a feature of St Gaultier’s history, providing protection against destruction in the 100 Years War with the English, and probably the only French town to be paid by the papacy in gold florins.
The remains of towers and ramparts from the medieval walled ‘city’ can be found throughout the town, and this property’s tower is known to have been occupied by Henri IV, ‘Good Kind Henry’ during his St Gaultier stay.
If a tower appeals but more space is required, this elegant Maison de Maître in a small square offers living and commercial space aplenty.
Walk down the short medieval road by the Abbot church and you arrive at the riverbank for the Creuse, perfect for an evening stroll. This property offers spectacular panoramic views of the riverbank and countryside beyond as well as the historic town skyline.
The town is a gateway to the tranquil Parc de la Brenne, known for its’ 3000 lakes and exceptional flora and fauna. Activities range from canoeing to cycling festivals, bird watching, writing, and art workshops to live bands performing in Parc villages. This property is located in the heart of the Parc and offers generous accommodation within easy reach of St Gaultier.
For those looking for a smaller or second home, St Gaultier offers many pretty smaller properties and this charming house has the river, market, shops and historic centre all a short stroll away.