Saint Ouen Les Vignes Castle
During the 100 year war (1336 to 1453), the river north of the Loire was British property. Le Chateaux de Saint Ouen les Vignes was originally constructed as a fortress during the war by the
Louis XIV and Comte VIGARANI
In 1662 the fortress was acquired by the Count Vigarani, steward of the festivals and the entertainment of King Louis X1V.
Count Vigarani ordered the fortress to be destroyed, but preserved the vaulted caverns and the Donjon of the middle age. The original stones of the fortress became the foundation to reconstruct a chateau in the Renaissance style, as well as inspired by the Roman models of the Counter Reformation with large openings towards the South.
Eventually abandoned and falling apart due to difficult weather, the Castle was purchased by the French Treasury Retirement in 1962 to make a vacation center. To meet security safety requirements, large construction work was a priority for security, however to the detriment ofthis historic site. This included an Olympic Size pool (25m x 12m) was built in the central courtyard of the Castle, destroying the beauty of the site.
A few years later the castle was sold to an association. Due to financial difficulties, once again the castle was progressively abandoned.
We purchased this castle in the autumn of 2015. It was restored from 2016 to 2018, respecting the historic guidelines of Patrimony of France on the exterior as well as restoring the historic characterof the castle and finally transforming it into a Bed and Breakfast, maison d’hotes in French.
The pool was constructed above a lead foundation, surrounded by barriers 1m20, hidden by hedges, making it impossible to see the castle from the entry gates. The pool was technically ‘out of order’: pumps to replace, leaks. Esthetically the pool was surrounded by concrete slabs without any greenery
Prior to attacking the major works of renovation, we were obliged to consolidate the structure of the castle floors by inserting metal beams.
All of the walls (with the exception of the load bearing walls) were removed and the rooms were resized in accordance with our architects’ plans.
The next 2 years, we forged ahead with much courage to restore this beautiful dwelling.