Categories: Chateaux Historic/Listed properties Unique property
Location: Aquitaine, FranceClick Here for detailed information on France)
This magnificent chateau, listed as a Historic Monument, has within its walls a wealth of wonderful architectural features, and it has sheltered some of the most colourful personalities in the history of France - there are intriguing links to Henry 1V, Catherine de Medici and also George Washington during the American War of Independence.
Situated in a prominent position on the border of Lot et Garonne, just 30 kms south of Bergerac and the Dordogne valley, the chateau is secluded behind the ancient walls that have protected it for centuries, set in 8.78 acres of lovely parkland. From these walls you can enjoy views of the beautiful rolling countryside of the Lot et Garonne, rich in the warm golden colours of the sunflowers, plum orchards and vineyards.
This is a region of France which lovingly preserves the jewels of its history and architecture – the chateaux , the medieval bastide towns and as you walk the narrow streets of the small towns and villages, each with their weekly markets in the central square, there is a timelessness, and you can feel the history and heritage that has gone before.
Entering the chateau through the ancient gateway, there is a lovely courtyard and you walk through carefully maintained French traditional gardens. This beautiful property was constructed in 3 separate wings, built from the 13th Century through to the 18th Century.
The Medieval Chateau is on 3 levels and has been sympathetically renovated to the highest standards throughout, using traditional methods and authentic materials, with skilled workmanship by the best French artisans. There is a wealth of terracotta tiled floors, wonderful traditional carpentry, exposed stone walls, superb fireplaces and stained glass windows, ironwork and hand-made nails.
On the ground floor is a spacious lounge with an imposing 15th century fireplace – all the reception rooms have wonderful vaulted ceilings and traditional tiled flooring.
Yet this is a chateau in which you can enjoy all the advantages of modern living with under-floor gas heating, mains drainage and modern plumbing and electrics. This is a luxurious family home, renovated with the utmost taste and sensitivity with 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, and a heated pool.
The Renaissance Chateau : this wing of the chateau was constructed during the Renaissance period and has many superb architectural features – it houses two superb fireplaces listed as two of the five ‘most beautiful fireplaces/ cheminées in France’.
At garden level you enter the main salon or ‘Guards Room’ where you will find the magnificent Renaissance fireplace, created by the architect Souffron – this was the banqueting room for Henri IV, with wonderful stained glass transom windows, a ceiling in the French style and traditional diamond/ losangé floor tiles.
The King’s Bedroom was named after Henri IV and Catherine de Medicis who stayed there. It has a superb fireplace in white marble, with scenes of a striking relief, in the style of the famous Ecole de Fontainbleau.
The bedroom of the Duke is in perfect symmetry to the King’s Bedroom and has a superb fireplace in pink marble. There are two apartments situated at each end of the building on this floor comprising 5 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
There are 3 levels each of 600m² in this wing of the chateau. On the ground floor is a large cellar or ‘cave’ used to store wine through the centuries. On the first floor is a vast attic area of 600m² where the roof has been recently replaced with traditional carpentry in the style of an upturned boat, this area is ripe to be converted to yet more accommodation.
The Central Chateau – The Dome: With a distinctive domed roof this wing of the chateau was added in the 17th and 18th century. On the ground floor is a large fully-equipped kitchen ideally situated to service the main banqueting hall. On the first floor is a large library and on the second floor apartments to be renovated.
The Guardian's House situated at the gateway to the chateau is a stone built character cottage, fully renovated with 3 bedrooms and also on mains drainage.
The exterior has heated pool made from the same stone as the ancient Keep beside it. The pool is set in beautiful formal French gardens which have an automatic watering system. There are two large barns. The Prunellerie and the ancient barn, situated outside the chateau walls amongst orchards.
The chateau is surrounded by 8.78 acres of lovely parkland with woods, pastures, various fruit trees and orchards, encircled by the ancient chateau walls giving complete privacy and seclusion.
The chateau was constructed by the family Caumont, famous French aristocrats, who gained important status during the 13th Century.
The first Duke Antonin Nompar de Caumont was a friend of King Louis XIV and famous for his bravery. His love affair with the cousin of the King, “Grande Mademoiselle”, whom he secretly married, will remain in the annals forever. He was ordered by King Louis XIV to create a chateau to accommodate King James 1 of England and his family. The philosopher, La Bruyére said “he was not allowed to dream as he lived”.
The 2nd Duke, Armand de Gontaud Biron, became especially well-known for his part in the American War of Independence. He fought beside Lafayette and led the “Legion de Lauzun” which is famous for the aid given to George Washington’s cause at the battle of Yorktown.
Today in the Capitol building Washington, USA, the famous painting is displayed - ‘The surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown’; in the painting are George Washington, le Marquis de Lafayette, the Duke de Lauzun, and the defeated English general, Cornwallis.
Also there is a bridge between Washington and Arlington inaugurated in 2006 , named: ‘The bridge of the legion of Lauzun’ - testimony to the deep significance of the name of Lauzun in American history.
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- Chateau Caumont
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