Tuesday, 22 March 2011

A visit to Angles sur L'Anglin - to buy or not to buy, that was the question............

We first saw our house in August 2009. We had travelled across from Thollon to stay with our friends John and Maureen, near Chatillion. An immobilier had sent some details of houses, in different regions of France, that could be bought with our budget. We had a buyer lined up for our apartment, decided we had nothing to lose, so packed the car and set off!
When we met the estate agent, Tim was convinced he recognised her husband. His memory for names is awful, but he is much better with faces. After some discussion it transpired that we had taken a ski holiday with him about 25 years previously, (as the friend of a friend), and before they emigrated to France they had lived about five miles away from us!

What a small world........

We had big decisions to make, so decided to visit Angles sur L'Anglin. We didn't even look at any other property (we had looked at at least 25 in the Alps), except to glance at property advertised in windows and get a feel for prices.
We liked the house very much, but I love the mountains so there was a dilemma.

I have read some really interesting posts about Angles on Simon and Susan's blog Days on the Claise and also on another called Village de Vaux. They both have some beautiful photographs and know much more about the history.

The other big coincidence is that on our way to Angles we stopped La Roche Posay to buy a map. When we came out of the SuperU someone shouted to us. It was Chris and Sally, the parents of our daughter's partner Ben, who have a home near Angles. Chris had noticed a very similar number plate to our daughter's (there is a story there for a future post!).

An even smaller world..........

From Google images.

Angles-sur-l'Anglin is acknowledged as one of the most beautiful villages of France (plus beaux villages de France)
At the Office de Tourisme we decided the best way to see Angles was to follow the marked circuit of the upper town (ville haute), then take the steps down to the lower town (ville basse). As you walk down the steps there are some lovely views of the houses on the opposite side of the river.

The streets of the village are narrow and lined with attractive medieval houses. There is a chateau, and the Church of St Martin, a roman style church. Although the chateau is in ruins, it is still an impressive place to visit and the remains of the donjon, the prison tower, the chapel tower, and two chapels can be seen.

I read somewhere that Angles was the last stronghold of the English in the hundred years war. 

In 1948 important prehistoric carvings (said to be the most important of their kind in Europe), were discovered. They date from around 14 000 years ago and, in order to preserve them, they were not open to the public. In 2008 a replica of the Roc Aux Sorciers (witches rock) was opened.
From Google images

 In the centre of the village there is a lovely shaded area which is served by a couple of restaurants. We sat there for a drink, and wondered why some tables were being served and others ignored. We finally realised that the colour of the sun parasol determined which restaurant came to serve you. We moved to different seats and were served instantly! This is a great place to ‘people watch’.

Just across the square is an antique bookshop. On a visit last summer with my son, we looked for an old edition of L’Etranger by Albert Camus, as a present for a friend of his. They had many books by Camus, but not the one we were looking for!

Anyway, it was whilst sitting up at the chateau that we decided that we would put in an offer (not for the chateau!), and hopefully buy our house. We decided what we would pay, and started to negotiate. The rest, as I've said before, is history........

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