Back in 2009 we were instructed by the new owners of the property to obtain planning permission (permis de construire) to return the property to its former condition for use as a family home.
When we submitted the plans to the Mairie in Coulonces it transpired that the property was of local historic importance. It was originally the manor house built in the 15th century surrounded by a moat until 17th century when it became the birthplace of Pierre Poliniere (1671- 1734) who became a physician with a keen interest in mathatics and science. One of his inventions was the forerunner of the light bulb using static electricity. For this he was appointed to Royal Court of Louis XV at Versailles. He lived at the property throughout his life and extended the building by infilling the moat and building the 2 storey end extensions. Pierre Poliniere collapsed and died in the garden and there is a granite pillar with an inscription to mark the spot.
The property was in a poor state of repair and required complete renovation and when the roof was removed the two end extensions started to move probably due to being built over a former moat! That resulted in major strengthening of the structure rebuilding large sections of the stonework. During this phase of works we discovered a number of live WW2 grenades linked with a trip wire. The bomb squad were called in and it turned out that these were American grenades and during the allied invasion of Normandy the property was occupied by a tank squadron prior to the battle for Vire and the building had been bobby-trapped in case of a German counter-attack. They also found unexploded tank shells and land mines.
The works included the complete replacement of the roof using traditional construction methods and materials plus new floors throughout with open beamed ceilings. Original stone fireplaces have been reinstated, internal stone walls re-pointed, oak double glazed windows fitted and a central oak feature staircase help maintain the character of a Norman manor house.
An under floor central heating system using an air heat exchanger provides a very economical solution to heat a habitable floor space in excess of 300m² and all external walls and roof space have been insulated to help achieve thermal efficiency.
With a well-equipped fitted kitchen, family bathroom 3 en-suite shower rooms the property has been re-instated to a magnificent 6 bedroom family home that retains many original features whilst benefitting from the latest building materials.
The link to a potted history of Pierre Poliniere and the house can be seen at http://www.lamanchelibre.fr/Promenades-insolites--la-lumiere-de-Coulonces,2.media?a=17909
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Liaison Construction is an Anglo-French professional construction practice with 20 years experience of working in France and are able to offer a comprehensive range of services. So whether you just need to a second opinion before you buy or those property owners either looking to renovate or extend their homes please do not hesitate to contact us. We also provide a full project management service for clients looking to deveolp.
1 Hawthorn Road
t 0208 669 6576
m 07711 082105
f 0208 669 5980