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At the end of a long driveway, Pont-Rilly stands majestically behind its wrought iron gate and moat. In the courtyard, the peacocks fan their tails beneath the palm trees; only horse and carriage would be needed to relive the splendours of the Enlightenment. One would never suspect that this beautiful example of classical architecture, symmetry and faultless elegance was saved from ruin thirty years ago. Each feature is testimony to a miracle that was accomplished with infinite patience. Guests need only to let themselves be transported by this property's eternal 18th century spirit.
We were looking for an old country house not too far from Paris and, by chance when walking past an estate agent, we saw pictures of Pont-Rilly located 350 km from Paris. During the viewing, we immediately fell in love with the chateau although it was in very bad condition. We dedicated twenty years of our life to restoring it and we are very happy to have done so. Since then, we have left Paris and are living here permanently.
Flanked by communal areas, the chateau looks out over a vast lawn and a large avenue which crosses a network of canals before reaching the courtyard. The wrought iron entrance gate is a fine example of 18th century ironwork. The gateway to the chateau is topped with a magnificent stone balcony and ornate railing. The interior of the chateau has remained unchanged since the 18th century with Versailles parquet flooring, beautiful wooden paneling and marble fireplaces in each room.
The chateau, with a fifteen-hectare park, was built in 1765. It was commissioned to local architect Pierre-Raphaël de Lozon by the Marquis d'Ourville. Nicolas Duran was entrusted with the construction of the chapel and stables, he was the architect of the Daughters of France (the daughters of Louis XV) in 1774. The bakery and mill date back to the 16th century and were part of a previous mansion. The chateau was a family home where nothing of note happened until 19 June 1944 when US troops arrived and installed the headquarters of logistics for army supplies until the end of August 1944. We bought it in 1982 when it was in ruins and destined to be demolished.
We offer the opportunity to experience the refinement of 18th century combined with modern-day comfort. The quiet environment is perfect rest, only the chiming of the chapel and the cries of peacocks break the silence. The rooms still have their original decor - wooden paneling, fireplaces and parquet floors. Each room is furnished with antiques. Breakfast is served in the dining room where the flicker of the fire is reflected in the wonderful collection of copper utensils. The jams, yoghurt and other delicacies are homemade and the juices are freshly squeezed. There is also a cheese platter with specialties from Normandy.
"La Forge d'Yvetot" is a simple yet high quality inn nearby. Walkers will appreciate the trails along the La Hague peninsula. The boat ride in the swamps of Carantan is a great way to explore the marshes of Cotentin and Bessin natural park. Tours of the Hôtel de Beaumont (the most beautiful private mansion in the Cotentin) and the chateaus of Bricquebec and Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte will delight history lovers. Fort de la Hougue, which was built by Vauban in the 17th century, is also a must-see.
130 € - 150 € / night
The guest rooms are in the left wing of the chateau and are still in their original state of decoration. They each have a bathroom with a toilet and are non-smoking. They must be reserved for a minimum of two nights.
850 € - 1500 € / week
These are three different gites. The Mill can accommodate seven people and includes a living room, a kitchen, two double rooms with a double bed, a double room with twin beds and two bathrooms with toilets. The Bakery, is for up to four people and includes a living room, a kitchen, two bedrooms (one with a queen sized bed and another with two single beds) and two bathrooms with toilets. The Orchard can accommodate six people and includes a living room where there is a double bed in an alcove, a kitchen, two bedrooms with en suite bathrooms and toilets (one of which has a queen sized bed and the other has two single beds). All gites must be reserved for a minimum of three nights from 1 December to 30 June and from 1 July to 31 August. Weekly rentals are from Saturday to Saturday. There is no wifi in the gites but it is available in the chateau.