Thank you for choosing to stay at our beautiful French farm house.
As the owner director of a financial planning firm, every day I talk to my clients about achieving their dreams and ambitions. One of mine was to buy a property in the south of France.
My family and I have been visiting Provence for the last few years largely because of how appealing and beautiful it is. The weather is warm, the scenery is stunning, the food is amazing and the local wines are wonderful, especially the local rosé.
In 2013, we decided to get serious about our property search after spending many winters evening surfing French property websites for the perfect retreat. After viewing many properties during our summer holiday, we stumbled upon the advertisement for Mas de la Quintine and decided to arrange a viewing even though our key criteria for the property were ‘modern and easy to maintain single dwelling with low maintenance garden’. As you can see, we didn’t exactly stick to the plan but as soon as we saw the house and gardens, we fell in love with the property.
It has taken around 18 months to complete the renovation of the house and conversion of the annexe to a self-contained unit. The gardens have been landscaped and improved by our very hardworking gardener and our fantastic pool man installed a pool heater at Alison’s insistence!
We feel very fortunate to be able to buy in this location. It truly is a slice of paradise. There is just so much to do within a very short distance of our holiday home. In 45 minutes you can be at the top of Mont Ventoux with incredible views; you can drive to all the pretty little villages throughout the Luberon or you can spend time lounging at the pool, basking in the sun.
Unfortunately, we can't be there all year round and so want wanted to let it out to families and friends who share our love of southern France, Provence and the Luberon. Houses are for living in and we have put our heart and soul into this house, to make it look and feel very special. The garden is like a little paradise and we truly hope that visiting guests share in this magic and have a great time.
We hope you have a wonderful holiday.
Paul & Alison Cleworth
Here, the passage of time and the work wrought by man have left their mark …The Romans planted vineyards, the Greeks cultivated the olive tree and the popes, reigning in nearby Avignon, retained possession of the Carpentras area for centuries, strongly influencing the cultural development of the area.
The word “Venaissin” appears for the first time during the High Middle Ages, and historians continue to dispute the origin. Some think it comes from Vendasca or Venasque, a nearby town which was a bishopric between the 5th and 9th centuries. Others think it comes from the original name of Avignon, Avinicus. After a period of warring tribes and invasions, the Romans planted vineyards and olive trees, making Carpentras a prime market centre. However, in 1229, the Treaty of Paris, signed by Saint Louis, King of France, forced the Count of Toulouse, defeated by the Albigensians, to relinquish the Comtat Venaissin to the Holy See. The Comtat Venaissin became a pontifical state, and remained so until 1791, when it became part of France. The Pope appointed a bishop from Rome, known as a “rector”, to administer the Comtat. The bishops first stayed in Venasque, then in Pernes, and moved to Carpentras in 1320, where they remained until the area became part of France.
Around the same time, the Popes fled Rome for reasons of unrest and danger. Pope Clement V settled in Carpentras in 1309, then went on to Avignon. Later popes built the renowned Palace of the Popes. They stayed in Avignon until 1432, when they returned to Italy. The County of Avignon was placed under the authority of the Holy See, but was not made part of the Comtat Venaissin. There were two separate entities: the County of Avignon, and the Comtat Venaissin. In becoming the administrative capital of the Comtat Venaissin during the Middle Ages, Carpentras underwent lasting influences. First, it belonged to the Popes, and secondly, due to the fact that the Popes offered protection to the Jews, there was a strong Jewish presence and influence. Jews had been banished from the Kingdom of France, and took refuge in the papal territory of the Comtat Venaissin, where they settled and practiced their religion. Physicians, bankers, merchants, the Jews were welcomed then later assigned to strict quarters, known as “carrieres”. When the Comtat became part of France on 14 September 1791, the Comtatin Jews became full and equal French citizens.
The oldest records concerning the neighborhood are preserved in the library of Carpentras and make note of a farmhouse at this location in the 9th century. The archive establishes the Avignon papacy donated the domain to the order of the Canons.
At that time, only the ground floor of the property existed. The wall thickness of the ground floor is characteristic of the medieval era. A map of shows a small chapel where the kitchen is now located. It is noted that the window of the kitchen opens precisely east at sunrise.
The Mas and the adjoining houses were a monastic complex. The monastery possessed three mills: one of them was destroyed but the other two still exist: they are now family homes like Mas de la Quintine. The first is the house situated at the beginning of the road called 'Great House of Quintine'. The lower level of this house, situated below the level of the road is still quite a large room equipped with milling equipment of the era. The current owner was still working there in the 70s. The other mill is located further into the land; this is the 'Moulin du Milieu'. Its large main room still includes large horizontal stone wheel used to crush cereals and other crops. These water mills were powered by the stream flowing near the west side of the house, which was significantly higher in the period.
There was an underground tunnel connected the three mills in the monastery. It can still be accessed via the neighboring house. The cellar of Mas de la Quintine situated under the annex is a small part of the tunnel that was walled up many years ago. A small doorway at the rear of the main house dining room connected to the main front yard of the complex.
The canons occupied the site for nearly 800 years. In the 18th century, the Jesuits replaced them. But during the revolution, the religious were hunted and fierce battles took place in the neighborhood leaving many properties ransacked and looted. After the Revolution in 1794, the complex was bought by peasant families. At that time, there was no running water or electricity. The ground floor consisted of only the kitchen and the dining room as a place called 'habitable'. The dining room fireplace was functioning. The first floor was of later construction and contained only attics and storage although we understand that bedroom 3 with its stone walls was devoted to the breeding of silk worms. The walls also are there less thick and the smallest stone. The annexe was originally a barn with feeders for pigs and it remained as an empty storage space until conversion to an independent apartment in 2014. An original sundial is located on the façade of the Mas; it works perfectly.