Monday, 25 June 2018

Changing times.


                                

When I first came to live in my village, the chateau (above) was lived in by a woman and her three children, who soon became very good friends.

The children grew-up and left home, and L remained rattling around in her big house so the family eventually decided to sell.

Unfortunately she sold to a dubious Italian wide-boy who stripped the house of its old oak panelling, and anything else of value that was removable, and installed a host of cheap chavvy fittings that would have looked better in a Footballers' 'executive home'.

He also somehow forgot to pay L, and was eventually taken to court.

The next owner, C, did his best to restore the house to its former state, and spent between 15 and 20 years (?) doing so. He also (for some bizarre French reason), had almost every exterior square centimetre of the house sandblasted; to be rid of any vestige of its great age.

C has decided to move on, and a new man is now at the helm. We haven't yet met, but I hear that he has an important collection of old cars. Whether or not the cars will be kept here at the chateau, I don't know; but I do hope so. He sounds like fun.

p.s. This more recent photo (below) shows the small Rose Garden I designed for the Chateau (lower right quarter). Nothing particularly original, but I'm glad to see it's still there.



23 comments:

  1. Sad when someone destroys history like that.

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    1. The stripping of old chateaux was quite common; with most of the artifacts ending up in Japan. The French are now much more protective of their heritage, and are at pains to preserve most old buildings.

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  2. I hope not see a lot of garage doors punched into the walls.

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    1. There are some very big stone built barns in the old farmstead area. I expect he'll use those (if he intends to bring them here).

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  3. Bye Bye Mr. Blablabla. Your words are "juste du vent"..Vous êtes un Monsieur Insipide.

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    1. Ah; good to see you back. I was almost beginning to miss your insults!

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    2. You're not a nice man too. Ridiculous above all, with your little schoolboy behaviour.

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  4. Not all people with money have good taste or are cultured; that Italian sounds the case. I'm glad the chateau was restored to its original state.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. He was not a nice man. An unfortunate part of the Chateau's history.

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  5. Have you seen any of the " Escape to the Chateau" TV series? The original ones are with Dick Strawbridge and his wife Angela. They have a beautiful place in N. France that they have done up over about 5 years. There is now another series..."Escape to the chateau DIY" that features many other , mainly English people ,transforming the many old chateaus. These are voiced by Dick, and he often goes to help them out too. Great stuff....I love the progs !

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    1. I've seen bits and pieces of both programmes; never a whole episode. He's an interesting guy.

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  6. Stories like that make me very glad we have English Heritage and Historic England here. Shame we had to wait until the 1960s destruction to get them.

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    1. When I moved here in 1972 I can remember some government dep't recommending certain colours for painting shutters; but that was about all. There was no 'listing' of ancient properties.

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  7. Some of the chateaux in the tv programme that Frances talks about, also my favourite programme, have had the interiors stripped out as you describe in the post and some very amazing and visionary young Brits are moving in to these places and restoring them to their former glory.

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    1. Most of the very best restorations have been undertaken by either Brits or Cloggies. The locals simply left everything to fall down.

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    2. I like those tv programmes too....they have more vision and bottle than I ever would have

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    3. And some of them are a tad foolish.

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  8. It is a beautiful home and it is interesting to read about how each of the owners wanted it to be. I live in a historic area. Our laws dictate what can and cannot be done to the outside of these old homes but not the inside. Different strokes for different folks. How nice that your designed rose garden still exists.

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    1. I haven't visited the house for a long time, so I was pleased to see that my little contribution is still there. It's reasonably 'classic', so no real reason to change it.

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  9. I first saw that chateau from the other side of the valley when we were out cycling. It's almost invisible from the road.

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    1. You can only see it in Winter, but the higher-up you are, the more you can see the tower. It's not really in a classic chateau position.

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  10. What a beautiful building. I hope the best for the new owner.
    Wonderful that you designed the rose garden.

    cheers, parsnip

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    Replies
    1. I was quite pleased with my little design at the time; I'd actually forgotten all about it.

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