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History La Cerisaie

History La Cerisaie

La Cerisaie, (The cherry orchard) was built in 1869 on the remains of a former soap factory. The client, Casimir Mouret, moved into the house at the end of that year together with his wife. His initials (CM) are inscribed in an ironwork above the front door and can still be seen today. Their son Jules studied medicine in Montpellier and a few years later became the first ENT specialist in France. T he anatomical museum in Montpellier still has a cupboard with medical objects. In addition, Jules was also a painter .

Jules inherited the house from his parents and over time it became a summer residence. Most of the time, Jules lived with his wife and their two daughters in Montpellier, where he worked as a doctor. Jules died in 1924. His wife Honnerien then came to live permanently in Riols with their children. At that time the house had no central heating and the water supply was still very provisional at that time. The seven fireplaces with marble mantelpieces in the various rooms kept the house warm and comfortable in winter.

The house was sold in 1974. The new French owner (Langois family) had a number of necessary improvements carried out in the 1970s and 1980s, including the renewal of the electricity network and the water drainage. The swimming pool was built in 1987. Part of the cherry orchard (then more than 400 meters long) was sold. But all in all, La Cerisaie currently still measures about 3,500 square meters, and there are still 13 cherry trees.

In 1994, La Cerisaie came into the hands of the first Dutch owners who transformed the house into a Bed & Breakfast, carefully handling the authenticity of the house. In 2004 it briefly came into the hands of other compatriots and since 2005 Luc and Marja Simkens have been the owners. In 2023, Leon Verest and Stefan Wigger took over as the fourth generation of Dutch people. Since then another doctor lives in this beautiful Maison de Maître.

The House
The walls of La Cerisaie are made of large pieces of marble, then one of the most obvious raw materials in the region. Around 1850, the marble industry, together with the textile industry, was the most important branch of industry and therefore the source of income for this region.

Due to the thick marble walls (one meter thick on the ground floor), the house and therefore the rooms remain cool for a long time, even during the hot summer months.

Many of the original elements in the house have been preserved: the marble fireplaces, the tiles in the hall and kitchens, the wooden floors, the high panel doors and the hard stone staircase. Even the mirrors in the library and dining room have been there since 1869! On the ground floor, the original windows with two millimeter thin 'drawn' glass have been preserved. All window frames on the first and second floors have been replaced by double-glazed windows that can be properly closed, without detracting from the appearance and atmosphere of the house. All shutters on the windows, on the other hand, are still original.

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Published 02-12-2022 / Copyright © La Cerisaie