For Sale: 18th Century Chateau 40km from Paris
In 1782, this property known as “Terre des Boullets”, which was given noble status in the 16th century and was owned by the Ségur family under Louis XIV, belonged to Dame-Angélique-Labouré, widow of a gentleman of the royal hunting grounds and captain of the cavalry in Santo-Domingo. When she died, her nephew Claude-Bellanger, colonel of the Guard and highly ranking member of the King’s household, was named as her heir provided that he rebuilt the old residence which was starting to fall down.
Claude-Bellanger, born without wealth, was a brilliant adventurer as existed at this time. He was also a very good-looking man, said to be the most attractive of his regiment. He consequently became the protégé of the King’s favourite, Madame-du-Barry, for whom he offered to go to England to kidnap the author of a lampoon that insulted her. However, this lady’s man nearly died following an indiscretion as the author of the lampoon was expecting him and Bellanger almost met his ending through drowning in the river Thames. Having later become first officer of the King’s Guard and set to inherit his aunt’s wealth, he met Adelaide-Giambonne, daughter of a Genoese banker and a former “resident of the Parc-aux-Cerfs”, as Louis XV’s mistresses were modestly called. Bellanger married the beautiful Adelaide, but the latter, perhaps inspired by her mother’s example, soon fell for a noble aristocrat, Prince-de-Conti. After a divorce which was the talk of the town and several duels which opposed him against some of De-Conti’s friends, Bellanger withdrew to his property and rather than repair the old residence, decided to replace it with a brand new chateau, worthy of his current rank. After many adventures, the work was entrusted to Nicolas-Claude-Girardin. This renowned architect, third in the 1772 Prix-de-Rome in architecture, ran the agency of Etienne-Louis-Boullée, one of the century’s greatest architects, whom he had succeeded. Girardin was responsible for such buildings as the Elysée Palace greenhouses, Saint-Nicolas-du-Roule Chapel and Beaujon hospital. His style was marked by the simplicity of the plans and the room layout as well as his taste for bare surface areas and straight edges which gave his creations a powerful, austere character, much admired by his contemporaries.
The estate, spanning a total surface area of 40 ha, comprises:
- a chateau and its outbuildings,
- French formal gardens, extending on either side of the building, the moats of which are filled with water and the surroundings largely unobstructed. The main, wooded alleyway leads to a main courtyard between parterres featuring lawn, boxwood and other decoratively-trimmed trees. Behind the building, a double row of lime trees provides an outstanding view over the forest estate. Rectangular parterres featuring water are also bordered by lime trees.
- Wooded parklands, spanning approx. 30 ha and enclosed by 2 m high fencing, feature sumptuous forest alleyways and are planted with deciduous trees including oak, ash and beech trees.
- A listed lake, spanning approx. 10 ha, features banks lined with flat stone taken from the old chateau.
- An old, walled vegetable garden spans a surface area of approx. 2 ha.
See Below for Photos