Character properties with a past life make some of the most interesting homes abroad. Could one of these quirky conversions catch your eye?

Once a station, now a charming French home

Railway station in France
Spending an unnecessary amount of time in a train station isn’t usually a pleasant experience, but not in this instance. This charming four/five bedroom house was once the railway station serving a small village in the Agnac district of France’s Lot department. It’s also on the edge of the Dordogne, five minutes from Eymet.

Built in 1870, it’s packed with period features, including the original sign of the village name on the outside of the old waiting room – now a garage. Stone for the old platform has been cleverly used for the base of the fireplace in the living room. It comes with a mature, landscaped garden and saltwater pool. For more info, including the price, click on the image.

A former bakery in Crete

Bakery in Crete
Years ago, occupants of this property in Greece would have awoken each day to the heavenly smell of baking bread. Even without that treat, today this former bakery in the ancient village of Vamos, in the popular Chania district of western Crete, is no less a gem of a property.

It’s been beautifully transformed into a four-bedroom home, incorporating lots of the original stone and wooden features, including arches and the former bread oven that takes centre stage in the kitchen. Other highlights include a BBQ area, a built-in hot tub outside and fantastic views from the terraces and balconies of both the White Mountains and local village.

Lovingly restored olive mill in Spain

Olive mill in Spain
Try buying a detached house in the Spanish countryside that doesn’t have an olive tree on its land. You’ll struggle. This stunning home in Málaga goes one step further, having once been a mill for producing that treasured liquid so integral to the Mediterranean diet, olive oil.

Fifteen minutes from the whitewashed town of Frigiliana and accessed by a track, the 19th-Century property has been lovingly renovated by its owners. Many features of the mill’s original interior have been retained but a highlight has to be the large millstones cleverly integrated into the living spaces. With four bedrooms and four bathrooms, it’s a spacious home in a tranquil, rural setting that oozes authentic charm.

Converted schoolhouse in Ireland

Schoolhouse in Ireland
Once upon a time, mischievous children did their best to stay away from this building. These days this passionately converted schoolhouse, which has acted also as a place of worship, would make a very welcoming home in County Wicklow.

The main hall has been turned into an elegant, airy living and dining area, and combines homely furnishings with original features, such as the large arched windows, open rafter ceiling, polished wooden floor, and both a wood-burner and open fireplace. With three bedrooms, this Enniskerry property is surrounded by picturesque countryside and boasts views of Maulin Mountain.

How about a water mill or convent?
France being a land of rivers and lakes, it’s not surprising the countryside there is dotted with former water mills. We’ve found a beautifully restored one dating from the 19th Century in the Dordogne, complete with a working wheel, tennis court, separate guest accommodation and 2.5-acre plot. To find out more, click here. Meanwhile, those in touch with their spiritual side – and with a larger budget – might be tempted by a restored former convent set in the countryside near the Umbrian town of Todi, Italy. The property is listed and comes complete with a tower. Read about it here.




Written by Overseas Guides Company.

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