Montargen is the French home of Jill & Tom Hart, situated in Aquitaine, South West France, near Agen between Bordeaux & Toulouse. Being the former owners of the award-winning Eildon Holiday Cottages in Melrose, Scotland, the success of these Category 1 accessible cottages in the Scottish Borders encouraged them to open Montargen for the benefit of their many friends and former guests who expressed the desire for similar facilities abroad, and others who may not yet have sampled this level of ambience and standards.
“Le Sempesserre” & “La Séoune” are two beautiful wheelchair accessible holiday gites for all the family, including any disabled, less able (reduced mobility/PMR) and elderly family members. The gites have been developed with the great thought to accessibility, meaning that all members of the family, regardless of age or mobility, can enjoy a holiday together with equal satisfaction. Nor do you have to be disabled to appreciate the architectural design and beautiful holiday living accommodation in the grounds of the stunning 13th century Manoir.
Saint-Maurin is a commune in the Lot-et-Garonne department in south-western France. The village lies on the road from Agen to Bourg-de-Visa in the valley of the Escornebœuf, a tributary of the Séoune. It is in the arrondissement of Agen in the province of Aquitaine. The mayor is Philippe Ollier, elected in 2008 to replace André Gayral, who retired. The population is around 450.
Saint-Maurin is just off the main A62 (E72) autoroute (toll motorway) between Toulouse (one hour) and Bordeaux (two hours) close to the large provincial town of Agen (20 mins). A car is essential for staying at the property, and will give access to the village (3 mins) and the unspoilt countryside and small villages, towns and bastides (fortified hill towns) that litter the Lot-et Garonne, which as its name suggests is the area south of the river Lot and north of the river Garonne. This is the area immediately to the south of the more well-known but also more commercialised Perigord region of the Dordogne. Part of Aquitaine, the area of south west France, the ancient connections with the UK go back to Norman times when Aquitaine was part of the Norman lands emanating from Henry II’s marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine.
Saint-Maurin, the only village in France of that name, is named after the saint to whom the village’s 11th-century abbey is dedicated. The abbey, parts of which still stand beside the village square, was built by Benedictine monks. Reliefs cut into the stone of an archway portray Maurin having the top of his head cut off and his brains spooned out !!
The abbey was destroyed during the Albigeois war, and then rebuilt. It was further ravaged in the 14th century, this time by troops on the English side in the Hundred Years War. It was again rebuilt in the 15th century but was then attacked once more by Huguenots.
The abbey passed into the ownership of the village in 1645 and was never rebuilt. Many of the walls were demolished as a source of building stone but much of the main arch still stands. The monks’ garden exists and so do the stables, now houses. The abbey is now a Monument de France and is being restored. Beneath and beside the town hall is a museum of artefacts from the village’s agricultural past.
The village, like most of the local villages in the region, has its own cafe/restaurant and a local minimart for daily provisions, including the essentials of freshly-baked baguettes and flutes (crusty bread), pastries, cheeses, pates, wines and essential household items.
For more images of Montargen go to the picture Gallery.