Château-de-la-Mothe-Chandeniers – Saving History

Recently I bought a small share in the beautiful Château-de-la-Mothe-Chandeniers. It was part of a crowd funding effort to save this amazing building and with about 18,000 other saviors I now own a small part of this Chateau. The fundraising effort raised about 1.5million euros and that should be enough to make some substantial repairs and save this beautiful building, which is in danger of falling into the moat. I think the total renovation bill will be about 3 million, and I guess the new 18,000 owners will chip in a bit more later to do that. I will give the share to my 7 year old son Louis and he can follow the renovation of the Chateaux over the next few years and we can go to France, and see how it develops. I think its a perfect way to get involved in preserving history, teach my son about heritage and it will be really interesting to watch it develop into a restored building. It was destroyed by fire sometime in the 1930’s.

Some history

The castle of the Mothe-Chandeniers, which origins trace back to the 13th century, and probably even before, is the symbol of Romantism and is an inspired and inspiring place. From 1650, when François de Rochechouart exiles there after the Fronde, the castle becomes a place where a real court will gather. In 1668, he has to abandon the Moth to its creditor. In 1776, it is René Charles de Maupeou, Vice Chancellor and Attorney General of France, who will retrieve the Mothe-Chandeniers. The marquisate is confirmed under the name of Maupeou by land patent of July 1767.

Probably plundered and left abandoned during the revolutionary period, it is not until François Hennecart, a rich Parisian entrepreneur, who purchased it in 1809 and had it restored. Diggiing the moat, renovating the park and planting a vineyard, that the castle’s aspect draws closer to today’s one.

Hennecart, saved a big part of the medieval bulding and In 1857, the baron Edgard Lejeune, A cavalry officer of the Emperor Napoléon III, undertakes around 1870 a massive reconstruction in the Romantic taste. This reconstruction transforms the castle as the English architect in charge of the works finds inspiration in the Loire castles.

On Sunday, March 13th 1932, while the baron Robert Lejeune has just installed central heating, a violent fire breaks out. The firefighters, which came from all over the region, can’t avoid a disaster. An article from the French Newspaper The Figaro grieves, at the time, to see the wealth destroyed: « a library containing very rare books, tapestries from the Gobelins, ancient furniture and paintings of great value. »

In 1963, a retired manufacturer Jules Cavroy, purchases the domain to the baron Lejeune widow to transform into a farm.

In red are all the parts from the purchase: