Ormes, Saône et Loire, France

In June 2017, we purchased a house for Martine in the small village of Ormes on the Saône River near Tournus, in the Department of Saône-et-Loire in the Bourgogne region of France, two hours from Geneva, so she could be closer to our grandchildren. The house dates from the late 18th century, starting as a way station on the post road, and was renovated some 40 years ago, but then left vacant for several years. It had major structural problems, and it has taken a lot of work to make it habitable and more energy efficient. In one room in the newer (lefthand) part of the house, we found the year 1833 written in the plaster.

There is not much in the village of Ormes except for the church just across the street, but there is a larger village with stores 2 kilometers away, and the town of Tournus is a short drive down the river and across a bridge. It is a short walk down to the riverside

The real attraction is its park of 1.5 hectares, with many old trees, a pond, meadows, and what was once beautiful landscaping. From some places, there is a view down to the river. With the house unoccupied for several years, everything was overgrown, and it is taking some effort to bring the garden back to its former glory.


House and garden in March 2018

House . House . House
House after major renovations and some new windows

House, garden side . House. main entrancemain gate and church across the street
Garden side; main entrance on street side; main gate and church across the street

Garden looking towards the river . Garden . Garden with pond
Park behind the house looking towards the river, with a pond below the house


pond . pond . pond
Pond partly restored

tree beyond pondview from the houseview from the house
Large tree beyond the pond; views from the house

The Saône River is a short walk down from the house, which is fortunately above the flood plain

old well . Saône River side . alongside the river
Old well alongside the house; path along the riverside



House and garden as they were in June 2017 when the house was purchased

Ormes, gate . house from garden sideliving room and terrace 
Street view with the entrance gate; the house from the garden side before renovation; living room and terrace

house entrance . house . Martine starting to garden
Entrance to the house; two stories plus extensive cellers; Martine starting to garden

view towards the Saône River . park from the house . house from the park
View towards the Saône River; the overgrown park from the house; the house from the park

in the park . park and view . in the park
Views in the park, as it was, overgrown from lack of maintenance

pond . pond . in the park
The pond with a little island; meadows and trees in the park


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Last updated 12 May 2018

Photographs copyright © Arthur Lyon Dahl 2017-2018