Great artists throughout history have been inspired by le mas, a farmhouse commonly found in rural Provence. If you’re buying countryside property in Provence, it’s likely you’ve been captivated by this distinctive type of stone house too.
One of over 200 Provençial landscapes by Vincent Van Gogh.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to holiday in one, you’ll know all about the painted shutters, vaulted ceilings, shady poplar trees and green pastures that make a mas picture perfect. For many buyers, these idyllic holidays are what spur them on to buy an idyll of their own.
A large mas in Saint Remy de Provence is ideal for entertaining en masse.
So what makes a mas and how does it differ from other countryside property in Provence? David King, Winkworth’s French property expert explains that despite regional variations from north to south, the unifying features of a mas stem from its original role as a self-sufficient small-holding, yielding its own produce, milk and meat. “Dating back to the seventeenth century, families built compact working farms from local stone, making them as big as their purses allowed,” says David. “Downstairs rooms included a kitchen and animal shelter, while upstairs were sleeping quarters, a food store, and sometimes a room dedicated to silk production. A lovingly restored mas will bear witness to those working origins today.”
From Luberon to the Camargue, an original feature of south-facing mas houses is their lack of rear-wall windows, intended to protect occupants from north winds. Another point-in-common is the scattering of outbuildings and annexes you’ll often see when you view a mas for sale in Provence. Little did those farmers know, as their fortunes and properties grew, that their incidental outbuildings would one day make mas property so marketable.
Sympathetically restored to offer excellent value for money - could this mas in Arles be your corner of Provence?
At Winkworth International, we take pride in knowing what matters to a mas buyer. Whether your property is a permanent home or a holiday retreat, respectful restoration, a tranquil pace of life and the opportunity to own a piece of French history will probably feature in your brief. Browse our Provence property listings and you’ll see that all this is possible.
Having sold historic properties across Provence for many years, we’re well placed to advise on the practicalities of buying a Provence mas. We know exactly where to find hidden gems, like this large and lovingly renovated farmhouse with a separate petit mas, in the beautiful Eygalieres countryside.
A conversation with a Winkworth France property specialist is an excellent place to start your search for a mas in Provence; so get in touch to hear more.
Image Source: Wikipedia.com