a 17th century chateau to be restored, with chapel and outbuildings
40 minutes south of Nantes, close to the Vendée, the chateau is situated not far from a road which allows you to reach the beaches of the Atlantic coast, the TGV station and the airport which operates a daily flight to the capital. The estate is part of a small town of about 4,500 inhabitants, offering all essential shops and services. Crossed by a river, the green pasturelands combine agriculture and wine-growing (Muscadet appellation).
The complex forms a U-shape and comprises the facade of the former lord's residence in the centre, the building for the servants to the south and the service rooms to the north. The sloping roofs of the lodges situated at the ends of the wings are slate, while those of the main building are clad with tiles. A separate round tower topped by a conical roof stands next to the building.
The 15th century chapel is located a little further on, next to the old farmhouse. Accessed from a porch, with a pedestrian door and a wicket gate, its ridge is adorned with five stone balls and their pedestal.
The old gardens lie to the north of the house. Long used for market gardening, they are divided into two parts: the part near the house is crossed by a waterway fed by a stream. The upper part is a large one-hectare expanse, surrounded by walls.
To the west, the green lawned garden offers a breathtaking view of a bucolic landscape of pastures and plains that glow in the evening light of the setting sun.
This modest and authentic Poitevin dwelling, built around a courtyard paved with remarkable flagstones, became in the 17th century, after transformations, a delightful pleasure house. All that remains of what was the central part of this "hôtel noble" (noble residence) is the facade, which is also listed as a historic monument. The three doors are topped by pediments: triangular on the right and left and semi-circular in the centre. A pyramid-shaped roof crowns the upper part. Originally, the central building sat between two large two-storey lodges with attics under the roof. Only the northern lodge is still in good condition. It is extended by a building that housed the service rooms and a cubic lodge where two dormer windows were created in the 20th century. The three adjoining buildings form the north wing and house the current living quarters.
The north wing
On the ground floor, the living space of 440 m² is divided into two kitchens, a sitting room, a dining room, a drawing room and a library with large fireplaces. One of these is typical of the chateaux of Gilles de Rais. There is also an opening in the form of a loophole, as well as traces of a fire dating from the French Wars of Religion. The floor on this level is paved with terracotta tiles. Eight bedrooms and several shower rooms are located on the first floor. Many of the architectural elements have been preserved: beams, parquet floors and French windows with so-called “geules de loup” (rounded double-rebated leafs). The attic is accessed from the main staircase. Strictly speaking, these are lofts that cover the large sitting room and the dining room to the east: a vast space of approx. 80 m² crossed by wide beams, complemented by a more modest loft and a bedroom featuring an arched dormer window. In the lodge to the west, a second staircase leads to a room that could be converted, with a striking roof structure and original joists. Three cellars have retained their old paving and spread out over part of the basement.
The south wing
The south wing, dating from the 14th and 17th centuries, extends over approx. 250 m² and offers promising volumes. It includes, in the lodge, a bakery with two bread ovens as well as the stable, paved with large grooved flagstones. On the first floor, in addition to the fodder loft, there is a small room with wattle and daub walls and a beautiful curved beam.
The old apple press butts onto the front of the old house and serves as a workshop.
The pepperpot turret
This is one of the few alterations dating from the 20th century. Originally, this corner tower was attached to the stately residence and had a flat tiled roof. At the beginning of the last century, it was detached from the rest of the building, rounded and topped with a pepperpot roof.
The chapel was built in 1490. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, it has since lost its bell tower, the former existence of which is witnessed by four remaining oak posts in the roof structure. The facade includes an entrance door, with two pilasters topped by a capital on each side, which support an entablature serving as the base for a basket arched pediment. The original interior of the chapel is well preserved. The altar is surmounted by a double window in the flamboyant Gothic style, the bottom of which is hidden by a 17th century altarpiece with four marble columns and a blind arcade decorated with three cherubs' heads. The central painting is a beautifully executed portrait of the Virgin and Child. The twelve consecration crosses and two holy water fonts, each next to the two doors, call to mind the age of the building. The north and south walls feature holes behind which are ceramic vessels, called acoustic jars, which convey an excellent acoustic to the chapel. Also noteworthy is the exceptional 17th century gilded wooden statue of the Virgin Mary, which originally stood on the altarpiece, and the graves of several members of the families who owned the chateau. A tombstone on the ground marks the burial of the last lord of Brittany. The building is listed and protected, both the interior and exterior.
It runs through the gardens and is completely walled in. It is 6 metres wide and has two T-arms, each about 40 metres long. One of these ends in the circular part that closes the courtyard. There are at least five flights of stairs, which allow you to descend halfway down, and small locks. It could therefore be used for irrigation but also as a fish reserve. Ingenious for the time, when temperatures were expected to be negative in the middle of winter, the locks were opened. The water would then spill onto the land and freeze during the night. In the morning, the ice formed was loaded onto carts and stored in the "ice house", a room near the entrance to the courtyard and listed as such in the land register.
On the borders of the provinces of Brittany and Poitou, the chateau awaits a new impetus for the centuries to come. From the chapel to the waterway, each stone here can tell a story, one that evokes the time of the lords and a land cultivated in harmony with the rhythm of the seasons. Although the complex is currently in need of renovation, it is in a remarkable state of preservation, which would justify an extension of the French National Heritage protection and the tax provisions granted in this respect. The place opens up a wide range of possibilities and offers as many spaces for hosting as for creating. The view of the surrounding landscape is breathtaking and the iodine air that gently sweeps over the vines on the horizon is a reminder that the Atlantic and its beaches are only a short distance away.
|Land registry surface area||5 ha 32 a|
|Main building surface area||444 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||7|
|Outbuilding surface area||250 m2|
Nelly Richardeau +33 1 42 84 80 85
NB: The above information is not only the result of our visit to the property; it is also based on information provided by the current owner. It is by no means comprehensive or strictly accurate especially where surface areas and construction dates are concerned. We cannot, therefore, be held liable for any misrepresentation.