It’s a peaceful rural setting for these lovely old stone cottages, near the main house La Forge and with private woods pretty with wildflowers in the spring. Back in the 18th century, it would have been a whole lot noisier, when the foundry here was busy making cannonballs. Through an old gateway is a large courtyard, with chapel ruins as well as the beautifully restored outbuildings and spaces for guests to eat outside. The ‘Maison du Curé’, the old chaplain’s residence with a little balcony terrace, is just right for a couple. Two couples or a small family will fit nicely into ‘Compostella’, sharing one bathroom but with an immense living and kitchen space. Big-hearted Australian owners Rosie and John, and their big and friendly dog, live in the main house. Rosie is happy to take guests on a tour of local towns (attractive Beaumont en Périgord is closest, three miles away), organise trips to hunt truffles or mushrooms, or to canoe on the Dordogne beneath hilltop villages and châteaux. There’s a rich artistic community within reach too, with jewellery makers and painters’ studios to visit.