CHÂTEAU DE L'EPINAY
This Castle, now transformed into a Hotel, Spa and Restaurant, is a remarkable residence whose history dates back to the 12th century and may be as early as the year 1000 for the first fortifications. The energy and power of this building is the result of multiple constructions and renovations, as the main part of the building dates from the 15th and 17th centuries.
The transformation of the Château into a Hotel began in 2004, when the Montuoro family became the owner of the domain. After the first renovations, the place opens its doors as Bed & Breakfast. Over the years, the family renovates the floors, bedrooms and outbuildings, finally opening in 2015 as a Hotel, Spa and Restaurant with 23 rooms up to date. The hotel is now family run!
Our shared vision is to promote the Château de l'Epinay in France and internationally to combine luxury hotels with an wellness center to regenerate and align body and soul. It will base its sustainability on customer satisfaction and a sharing philosophy that tends towards more responsible consumption, respectful of nature, and better for health.
FROM THE XIIème CENTURY UNTIL TODAY
A stone's throw from the Loire Valley Castles, an avenue of roses leads to this 15th and 17th century residence. Mahogany furniture, large crystal chandeliers or even black and white family photos will immerse you in the refined and warm atmosphere of the place.
Currently, the castle has a facade with mullioned windows surmounted by dormers with pinnacles and hooks. Beautiful gargoyles, one of which is adorned with a cow's head, punctuate this facade, the sculptures of which were left unfinished during the last alterations in the 19th century. This main building is embedded between two towers, a 12th century window and a 15th century square tower. The fuie would in fact be a tower of the old fortified enclosure, transformed into a dovecote and covered in the 17th century with a dome with a lantern evoking Serrant.
The lantern itself is surmounted by an astonishing spike of lead over a meter high and adorned with a beautiful pigeon and three acanthus leaves. The right of dovecote, a privilege granted by the king to high-justice fiefs, included 400 bowling holes and a ladder, pivoting on a central axis, made it possible to clean and collect the manure as fertilizer. Each bowling hole corresponded to a number of acres of land. This right of dovecote was therefore a function of the area of the domain and therefore highly sought after as an exterior mark of prestige.
This main facade does not suggest that at the rear of the castle, on the opposite side of the courtyard, stands a 15th century stately home which recalls the charm of some Breton manors, here mixing schist and tufa. It retains a square tower housing a beautiful spiral staircase. Major works in the 17th century extended this house to the south by a long building with large windows and a pedimented door like the facade of the Abbey of Saint-Georges. Opposite this 15th-16th century stately home still stand the remains of the medieval fortress: a high surrounding wall with a ruined walkway of a square entrance chatelet that gave access to the interior courtyard of the house.
Throughout the centuries, the Château de l'Epinay has known many illustrious families. Each has been able to add its own touch and contribute to the undeniable charm that characterizes it today.
Large Angevin families have owned the stronghold of Epinay. The Gastinels, founders of the fief in the 12th century, succeeded the Montalais de Vern in the 15th and 16th centuries, the La Jaille in 1451, the Brie-Serrant, the d'Andigné. It was at the end of the 16th century that the land passed by marriage to the Andigné family, who retained the fiefdom until 1730, when the de Cumonts became owners. One of the descendants of this family, Arthur de Cumont, who inherited the property in 1874, was Minister of Public Instruction. In our time, the fief was for a long time the property of Mr Gasiorowski, then mayor of Saint-Georges. The castle was bought in 1988 after suffering from long years of abandonment and was largely restored with great care.
The fief also evokes one of the most prestigious names in French literature, Jean Racine, whose memory is curiously associated with the history of Epinay and more particularly with the Priory by the lawsuit opposing him to Le Ferron for obtaining of this office in 1666 following the resignation of his uncle Antoine Sconin, canon of Uzès and Prior of Epinay.
After 3 years of proceedings, Racine gave up the title of Prior of Epinay and will keep the echo of these quarrels in the only comedy he will write: "Les Plaideurs": "the chicane is a language which is more foreign to me. only to nobody and I only used a few barbaric words that I may have learned in the court of a trial that neither my judges nor I have ever heard ”.
The Countess of Pimbèche in this famous comedy therefore owes its existence in part to a disputed title of Prior of Epinay, which Racine nevertheless mentioned in the privilege of "Andromache" in 1667.