The origins of the house are probably 12th century, starting as a pilgrims rest (Logis)  on one of the lesser roots to Santiago de Compostela where the sacred holy was kept. The structure would have been largely of wood and stone and run by monks. Even today Speedwell that tiny little blue flower grows wild in the garden. This charming little flower was given to pilgrims to help them on their way, hence the name 'speed well'.

Somewhere in the 13th Century the Cluny family acquired the property and created a family home and farm. It was then bought by the De Ranques who by 1740 had turned the house into the imposing residence it is now. The owner was now a seigneurie (a sort of feudal title) which goes with the property today. The estate included two villages and lands around, it is believed that Prin Derancon is a corruption of the family name.

At this time the garden was set out to impress with the Canals, known as Conch locally. They were dug and lined with lime putty to keep in the water. These waterways fed by a spring were used to keep fish and fresh water mussels with grills in strategic places,  food for winter as was the magnificent pigeon house at the front.

The Ch√Ęteau would be known as a manor house in England as it originally had a farm attached which was a vineyard. The plethora of buildings housed the workers and servants almost a small village having its own bakery and wash house. In the mid 80s the main house and farm were sold separately leaving the house with the 'Park' which I gradually turned into gardens.

Heavy snow in 1960s

Looking south along the main canal towards the bridge next to Italian walk. most of the trees are gone initially they were planted to hold the banks.

The mega storm of 2000

The storm was the largest and fearsest for a century or more sweeping across the country toppling trees like matchstick traveling up as far as Versaille. We lost more than 50 trees some crashing through wall, fortunately none hit the house. Remarkable the two plain trees that guard the entrance remained firmly upright though one did move a few inches.


Looks like a war zone

© Anthony Van der Woerd 2017

Website development by Appetere

Kentico CMS for ASP.NET - Content Management System