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French Property News - October issueLe Cuvage is back in the news again with the October issue of French Property News – the second 'Real Life' diary about the renovation and development of 'Le Cuvage', Brian and Lucy Franklin's 'Grand Design' project in the Roannais, Rhône-Alpes.

The next stage of their story in the October issue follows on from their discovery of Perreux, a medieval hill village in the heart of the Roannais, and their first entrée into France with the purchase of an old stables in a Chateau's woodland grounds.

They then moved on to a much bigger and more serious project – the complete renovation  and conversion of an old wine-making barn ('pressoir'), dating back to the 1830's, and situated in the same extensive chateau grounds.French Property News - Step by Step articleOld photo of Chateau des Cresses - early 1900's 

Following on from their impulse purchase of The Stables in Roanne in the Rhône-Alpes region, Brian and Lucy Franklin finished their renovation and conversion of this property within 2 years.

After 8 years, or so, of using The Stables for holidays, in 2002 they were given the opportunity to buy a very large barn, less than a minute's walk from their current dwelling.

It was owned by Madame Arlette Siedel, the last French owner of the Château des Cresses, surrounded by all its wonderful woodland and farmland, which extended as far as the eye could see. Acres and acres of it!Le Cuvage, constructed in 1830
The Cuvage (actually, a 'pressoir' – wine-making barn) was massive. Over 700 sq m, with a roof apex height of over 7 metres! All set within the original château grounds of over two acres.

Mme Siedel used to rent the place out for winter storage for half a dozen caravans.


After several reconnoitres, Brian and Lucy Franklin, agreed with their French friends, Adeline Vu Van and Jean-Francois Bretton to fully assess the possibility of buying this enormous building and developing it together.Le Cuvage - west-facing facade
Lucy' mother, Juliane, was also intrigued about the potential of a  joint venture, and encouraged them to investigate further. Even at 75 years of age, she was also getting excited about a possible new life in France, and quickly offered to invest in the project!

With the extremely successful renovation and conversion of 'The Stables', and their excellent relationship they had with their French friends, they felt considerably confident that they could create something wonderful with 'Le Cuvage'.

We'll you keep posted on the next stage of their intriguing story next month.

Watch out for the November issue of French Property News. It's worth a look!