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A manoir of speaking

A manoir of speaking

21 Jan 2014 BY Tim Wells

The French word "château" immediately conjures up images of the magnificient palaces on the Loire visited by millions of tourists annually. In fact the countryside throughout France is dotted with châteaux of all sizes and descriptions, and most of them started life as the manor house of the local feudal lord. The battlements, portcullises, drawbridges, and keeps evoked by the English “castle” are more likely to give way to more decorative architectural features. Dominique’s Villas has an interesting small collection of châteaux, the oldest of which is the 12th century Château d’Anizy (BG20) in Burgundy. Restored in the 15th century, it is actually nearer the Loire than some more famous “Loire” châteaux – although very far upriver. Its defences were destroyed during the Revolution, but you can still see arrow slots. The 13th century Château de la Garinie (AV10) in the Aveyron has three imposing towers but no other fortifications. The Château de Beauvoir (AU20) dates from the 14th century. It was occupied during the Hundred Years’ War, but in 1369 Duke Louis of Bourbon, returning from captivity in London, retook the château from the English and killed them all. The most recent is the Renaissance style - but built in the 19th century – Château de la Malartrie (DL115), overlooking the Dordogne River valley and the picturesque town of La Roque-Gageac. Another prestigious and recently restored château is the Manoir de Rignac (DL33) - see photo above.

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