Monday, 30 November 2020

What Was at the Market in Autumn?

These photos were taken at Loches and Preuilly markets in October (before the current lockdown began).

Bulk (packaging free) grocery truck at Loches market. Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Bulk (packaging free) grocery truck.

Cheese specials at Loches market. Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Cheese specials.

Cheese truck at Loches market. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
The wonderful cheese truck.

Creams and yoghurts on a cheese stall at Loches market. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Creams, desserts and yoghurts on the cheese truck.

Desserts on the dairy truck at Loches market. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Dairy desserts on the cheese truck.

Prawns on a fish truck at Preuilly sur Claise market. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Prawns and langoustines on a fish truck.

Goats cheese on a market truck at Loches. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Goats cheeses on the cheese truck.

Loches market during Covid19 autumn 2020. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Loches market.

Fruit and vegetable stall, Loches market. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Greengrocers stall.

Organic vegetables at a market, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Locally grown organic vegetables, including unusual varieties such as salsify.

Preuilly sur Claise market, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Preuilly sur Claise market.

 


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For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

We are also on Instagram, so check us out to see a regularly updated selection of our very best photos. 

Sunday, 29 November 2020

The End of the Manly Ferries

 This is sad...

The large, double ended ferries that currently ply between Sydney'sCircular Quay and Manly are to be replaced. They are quite easily the best thing about Sydney, and to see them go will be sad.

True, some days the noise of the ferries booms across the harbour and can't be escaped, but the ride between Circular Quay and Manly feels special. No matter how much cleaner, quieter or more modern the replacements are, for people of a certain age (anyone currently over 5 years old) the trip will lose some of its magic.

The new boats (I won't call them ferries) are catamarans built in China, examples of which can already be seen on the harbour on lesser routes. They will only carry 40% of the number of people of the boats they are replacing, and they won't have a little shop selling junk food.

In all, that's sad.

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Driving Through a Village in the Charente-Maritime

 

Driving through a village in Charente-Maritime, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

Driving through a village in Charente-Maritime, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

Driving through a village in Charente-Maritime, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

Driving through a village in Charente-Maritime, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

Driving through a village in Charente-Maritime, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.


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For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

We are also on Instagram, so check us out to see a regularly updated selection of our very best photos. 

Friday, 27 November 2020

Sainte Catherine de Fierbois

Sainte Catherine de Fierbois is a charming and very old village with a population of 650 that grew up around a chapel supposedly built at the orders of Charles Martel in 732, after he vanquished the Moors in the Battle of Poitiers. It is dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria, patron saint of soldiers, in thanks. The legend says that he left his sword behind the altar. The 'fierbois' part of the name refers to the wild wood which grew in the area.

Former Saint James chapel, now library, Sainte Catherine de Fierbois, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Former Chapel of Saint James, now municipal library.

The village is on the old Route to Spain, and is an offical waystop on the pilgrim route to Compostella. During the Hundred Years War its fame grew, and many knights, peasants and travellers came here to pledge their devotion. Inevitably miracles started to occur, especially cures.


Medieval pilgrim hostelry now Town Hall, Sainte Catherine de Fierbois, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Former medieval pilgrim hostelry, now Town Hall.

Around 1400, local Lord, Jean de Meingre, known as Boucicaut, had a chaplaincy built to accommodate the increasing hordes of pilgrims. The building, which is now the Town Hall and recently restored, is right in the centre of the village and originally had a chapel at one end dedicated to Saint James, as well as three dormitories (one for the poor), a courtyard, garden and meadow. The chapel now serves as the municipal library. There is a small statue of Saint Catherine on the buttress.


Rear of the former medieval pilgrim hostelry, now Town Hall, Sainte Catherine de Fierbois, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
The rear of the former pilgrim hostelry.

Joan of Arc stayed here, dressed in men's clothing, with her six male companions, on her way to see the Dauphin Charles, on 4 and 5 March 1429. From here she wrote Charles a letter requesting to see him. He responded favourably and sent two men to escort her to Chinon.

Lane by church, Sainte Catherine de Fierbois, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
The lane down the side of the church.

The Maison du Dauphin is so called because it is believed Charles VII once stayed there, but it was built by the Lord of nearby Sainte Maure de Touraine in 1478, more than a decade after Charles' death. It features four mullioned windows and a low front door surrounded by decorative carving. The gables have crochets (decorative hooks) and winged dragons. On either side of the door is an escutcheon -- one with the arms of France, the other so degraded it is impossible to say. The building was completely restored in 2007.


View of the church in Sainte Catherine de Fierbois, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
View of the church, with a statue of Joan in front.

Maison du Dauphin, Sainte Catherine de Fierbois, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
La Maison du Dauphin.

Winged dragon on the Maison du Dauphin, Sainte Catherine de Fierbois, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Winged dragon on the roof of the Maison du Dauphin.

House in Sainte Catherine de Fierbois, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
A tall narrow house next to the church.

War memorial, Sainte Catherine de Fierbois, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
War memorial, featuring a twice lifesize bronze cockerel in the middle. The cockerel is apparently a fountain and spouts water out of its beak.

Well in a garden, Sainte Catherine de Fierbois, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
A very old well in a private garden, with two lions heads on the rim.

 


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For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

We are also on Instagram, so check us out to see a regularly updated selection of our very best photos. 

Thursday, 26 November 2020

Curious Carvings

Back in the days in October when we could go out and about we came across a very curiously carved house, on the market place in Bossée. Local friends who have seen the images can't tell us anything about it. There appears to be nothing on the internet. And yet these carvings clearly mean something.

Carved house, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
The curiously carved house in Bossée.
 

The sculptor is a folk artist, recording events and places in his life (I imagine it is a he...). In the centre there is the profile of a soldier emblazoned with the dates of the First World War. 

Folk art relief sculpture of a WWI soldier on a house, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
A First World War soldier.

 

Then there is a frieze over one of the windows. It shows, as far as I can tell, from left to right, the village church (just across the road); the house itself (pre soldier); then there is a keystone decorated with a lion and fruit, and another house; and on the right, an man in the forest with his dog. The trees remind me of trees in medieval church wall paintings. On the house, perching on the loft pulley arm, is a crow like bird. Finally, the keystones of the first floor window lintels are decoratively carved, with fruit and a ram's head.

Folk art relief frieze over a window in a village house, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Frieze over one of the windows.


We would love to know the story behind these carvings. Their creation must be just within living memory for someone in the area. I can't believe their history is truly lost, and it would be sad if it was.


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For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

We are also on Instagram, so check us out to see a regularly updated selection of our very best photos. 

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Chateau de Grillemont

A castle called Grillemont in this place, near La Chapelle Blanche Saint Martin, first appears in the written records in 1050. Sometime around 1200 the place came into the hands of one of the founders of the Knights Templar then around 1465 the chateau became the property of Roland de Lescoët. He held many high offices in the court of Louis XI, being his chamberlain, councillor, Grand Master of the Hunt, and Governor of Loches (where the King spent much time). Louis XI would travel between his main residence of the Chateau of Plessis les Tours and his favourite hunting lodge in Loches, via his chamberlain's Chateau of Grillemont. He would be accompanied by other members of court, ranging from Tristan l'Hermite (the Lord High Provost of France, who was in charge of security) to Olivier le Dain (the King's barber). De Lescoët turned the castle into an imposing fortress.

Chateau de Grillemont, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
A view of the back.

In 1739 the chateau was bought from the Lescoët family by François Balthazard Dangé d'Orsay, Secretary-Councillor to the Crown and one of the fabulously wealthy and notorious 'tax farmers'. François Balthazard was responsible for making major alterations to conform to the taste of the day, including demolishing the keep and creating many more openings for windows and doors than had existed previously. Inside he created a huge music room and a grand staircase. The Dangé d'Orsay family didn't last more than a couple of generations at the chateau before selling to Hippolyte Collineau in 1798. He was an arms manufacturer and dealer from Nantes, and sold the chateau a decade later in order to fund the purchase a parcel of land elsewhere. Thus it was acquired by Louis Auguste Pilté, from Orléans, who had made a fortune from vinegars and brines.

Chateau de Grillemont, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

Pilté exchanged his chateau with one in Calvados owned by the Comte de Gasville. The Comte undertook major works at Grillemont, including adding an east wing and tried unsuccessfully to put the land to sugarbeet cultivation. Gasville appears to have got into financial difficulties and sold all the contents. The chateau remained unoccupied for several years until 1850, when Poitevin banker and humanist Gérasime Lecointre bought it at auction.

At the end of the 19th century the Lecointre descendants embarked on a major restoration managed by the municipal architect for Tours, Charles Guérin. They wanted a comfortable modern home and so installed modern wonders such as central heating. The Prussian War of 1870 and the First World War of 1914-18 passed by without much direct influence on the chateau, but that cannot be said of the Second World War.

Initially the chateau was seconded as offices for the Ministry of Commerce, but it was soon taken over by the Germans and 500 of their horses. Then from February 1941 to February 1943 it was barracks for German border guards.

The chateau had ended up in the Occupied Zone, very close to the Demarcation Line, guarded by some thirty-odd German soldiers and their dogs. It became a prison, incarcerating 846 people who would then be taken to Tours for trial. Finally, the last occupation was a group of nuns, evicted from the Hospital of Saint Gatien in Tours and in need of a new home, with their chaplain. These days it's a private home, open to the public for guided tours in the summer.

Today three medieval towers are extant, as well as the medieval inner courtyard wall. To the north of the chateau are the service buildings, which date from the third quarter of the 19th century. Both the chateau and the service block form U shaped buildings around their respective courtyards.



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For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

We are also on Instagram, so check us out to see a regularly updated selection of our very best photos. 

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

A Dairy Herd

 I photographed this dairy herd near Bossée in October because I liked the look of how big and solid the cows looked, and particularly because there was a mix of breeds, out in pasture. 

Dairy herd, Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
I think the brown cow is a French Brown.

Dairy herd, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
The herd grazing, mostly Holsteins, but at least two other breeds as well.

Dairy cows, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
The cow looking at us in the middle is a Normande, very typical with her brown ears, around the nose and eyes and spotted body.



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For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

We are also on Instagram, so check us out to see a regularly updated selection of our very best photos. 

Monday, 23 November 2020

Naan (Indian Flat Breads)


Homemade naan (indian flatbreads). Cooked and photographed by Susan Walter.

Naan are something it is difficult to get in rural France. I'm told some supermarkets do sell them, but I've never found them. And anyway, homemade is so much nicer. They are light and cushiony, warm and absorbant.

 I use this very nice local stoneground flour.
Stoneground wheat flour. Indre, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Ingredients
A sachet of dried yeast (8g)
1 tsp sugar
150 ml warm water (between 40C and 42C is ideal)
300 g bread flour, plus extra for dusting work surface
1 tsp salt
125 g pot of natural yoghurt
2 tbsp melted butter, plus extra to brush finished naan
A little canola oil to grease the bowl
Nigella (black onion), sesame or poppy seeds

Method
  1. Put the yeast, sugar and two tablespoons of warm water into a small bowl and stir well. Cover and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes (it should have started to froth).
  2. Put the flour and salt into a stand mixer bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Stir the yoghurt into the yeast mixture, pour into the flour, add the butter. Using the cake mixing paddle on a slow speed on the stand mixer to combine, then slowly pour in water as you mix.
  4. Continue mixing on a slow speed for 10 minutes. This kneads the dough.
  5. Coat the top of the dough with a drizzle of oil, cover the bowl and set aside to prove for 2 hours (or overnight in the fridge).
  6. Scrape the dough out onto a generously floured work surface. Hand knead the dough, sprinkling with a bit of flour, until it is no longer sticky, but only just. It must be soft and silky.
  7. Divide the dough into 8 balls.
  8. Heat a large heavy frying pan (ideally cast iron, or a good non-stick) over the highest heat until really smoking.
  9. Flatten the balls with your hands and lift one end so they form the traditional teardrop shape.
  10. Put one in the frying pan.
  11. When you can see bubbles in the naan and a little bit of brown appearing at the edges, turn the naan over and cook for another 30 seconds or so. The cooked sides should have a few burnt black patches.
  12. Repeat 10-11 until all the dough is cooked. This will create a lot of smoke in the kitchen, so make sure you’ve got a window open or an exhaust fan going.
  13. The naan can be kept warm in the oven if you will be eating them immediately, or cooled, wrapped and frozen. Once thawed, 30 seconds in the microwave heats them up nicely.
  14. Brush the warm naan with melted butter and sprinkle with seeds.

    Serve with aloo gobi and other Indian style curries.

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For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

We are also on Instagram, so check us out to see a regularly updated selection of our very best photos. 

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Goodenia

Goodenia sp, Iluka, New South Wales, Australia. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
 

There are 179 species of Goodenia, and all but a few of them are endemic to Australia. I don't know which one this is, but it was photographed in coastal heath at Iluka, in northern New South Wales. Almost all of them have yellow flowers and this easily recognisable flower form.


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For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

We are also on Instagram, so check us out to see a regularly updated selection of our very best photos. 

Friday, 20 November 2020

I Think, Therefore I Mask

 

Statue of Descartes in his birth town, masked during Covid19 lockdown. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Statue of Descartes in his birth town, masked during Covid19 lockdown.

In the land of Descartes, we think, therefore we wear a mask. In the now eponymously named town of his birth his statue wears a mask. I suspect it was put there on the instructions of the Town Hall, which is just out of shot, behind on the right.



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For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

We are also on Instagram, so check us out to see a regularly updated selection of our very best photos. 

Thursday, 19 November 2020

A Short Walk Around Le Grand Pressigny in Autumn

A walk with friends on 12 October, before it became too difficult to manage the public health requirements, and then lockdown was reimposed. Here are some photos from that walk.

A glimpse of the Chateau du Grand Pressigny. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
A glimpse of the Chateau du Grand Pressigny from beyond the old enclosure wall.

Chateau du Grand Pressigny. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Chateau du Grand Pressigny from across the fields.

Le Grand Pressigny. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Le Grand Pressigny.

Church, Le Grand Pressigny. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
The church in Le Grand Pressigny.

17C tower, Chateau du Grand Pressigny. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
17 century tower of the Chateau du Grand Pressigny.

Garden in a hamlet. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
A garden in a hamlet.

Merovingian sarcophagus in the grounds of the museum, Le Grand Pressigny. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
A Merovingian sarcophagus, with a characteristic three armed cross on the lid, in the grounds of the chateau-museum.

 


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For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

We are also on Instagram, so check us out to see a regularly updated selection of our very best photos. 

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Forteresse de Montbazon

The Fortress of Montbazon is open to the public from April to September and puts on lots of workshops and displays about medieval life.


 

It sits on top of a rocky outcrop overlooking the town of Montbazon and the Indre Valley, controllng both the roads and the river access. It is one of the oldest fortresses in France, constructed by Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou as part of his programme to rule the Touraine and defeat his enemy in Blois. Dendrochronology shows that the keep at Montbazon is much the same age as the ones at Langeais and Loches, so the 10th century keep is a contender for the oldest in France and it continued in use as a military stronghold until 15th century. At the end of its time as a fortress designed to menace the neighbours a luxury residental chateau was built and Louis XI, Catherine de Medici and Henry IV (Henry of Navarre) all stayed here for quite long periods of time. Three centuries later it was unoccupied and deteriorated to the point of being a ruin.

In the 20th century it attracted the attention of American landscape architect William Perry Dudley, who acquired it in 1922 and owned it until his suicide in 1965. Both he and subsequent owners the Attertons undertook extensive repairs, rebuilding and restoration. More recently, landslides endangering the houses below the 28 metre keep, have caused concern and disruption.

Forteresse de Montbazon, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

 

It is assumed that there has been a defensive settlement on this spur since before the Romans colonised Gaul. It is protected on two sides by watercourses -- the River Indre and one of its tributaries. To the south a defensive ditch was dug in medieval times, creating an enclosure of about 1.2 hectares. The town of Montbazon grew up after the fortress was constructed. The original fortress was probably made of wood, on top of an earth mound, replaced by the stone keep a decade later. The records hint that Fulk Nerra erected the castle here, without permission from the Abbey at Cormery who owned the land, but at the command of the King, Robert II the Pious. 

The first phase of building in stone was a two storey keep, erected by Fulk Nerra at the end of the 10th century. His son then engaged in extensive repairs and rebuilding of this tower. In the second half of the 11th century a secondary tower was added and the height of the keep extended. During the 12th century it was controlled by the English Plantagenets, who dug some extra defensive ditches and built a chapel. At the beginning of the 13th century the French King Philippe Auguste wrested control back and built at least one other tower and joined everything up with a curtain wall. One of his towers collapsed in 2001.

Forteresse de Montbazon, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

 

Around 1425 Guy de la Rochefoucald built a fancy residence opposite the old keep and divided up the lower courtyard. There are no drawings of this chateau, and the contemporary descriptions are vague. All we can really say is that it was large, multi-storey and grand enough to have housed Charles VII and his mistress Antoinette de Maignelais in 1450, and Charles spent the winter there nearly a decade later. His son Louis XI enjoyed two sojourns there, and Catherine de Medici, her son Francois II and his bride Mary Stuart were guests in 1560. By the beginning of the 17th century the new chateau was abandoned and was demolished in 1746. The rubble was used to repair the Route d'Espagne (now designated the N10). The chapel and a large part of the curtain wall suffered the same fate. The old keep itself only avoided destruction because it was so big and tall it proved too complicated to demolish.

In 1790 the fortress was fragile enough to be threatening to fall on houses in the town below and the top floor was deliberately knocked down a year later.  Two years after that all the crenellations were removed as a political act against despotism. Then in 1797 the tower was hit by lightning and cracked from top to bottom.

Forteresse de Montbazon, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

 

In 1823 a Chappe telegraph in the Paris-Bayonne line was installed on the highest point, with a little hut for the telegraph operator. It was replaced by an electric telegraph in 1853. In 1860 the site was bought by Joseph Delaville de Roulx and restored. Special care was taken with the north-east corner of the keep because the Empress Eugenie financed a gigantic statue of the Virgin and Child to be put up there. The idea was to attract pilgrims on their way to Compostella. Locals at the time were unconvinced by engineering efforts to reinforce the tower so it could take the weight. The statue was made by a local metalworker and is hollow, constructed of copper plates rivetted together, then partially filled with rubble stones and concrete to set her on the tower.

William Dudley bought the site in 1922 for 9000 francs from a de Roulx descendant, and lived there until 1939 with his companion the American painter Lilian Whitteker, who remained there until 1970. Once installed they became friends of Charles Bedaux and Fern Lombard Bedaux at the nearby Chateau of Candé, and Dudley worked on the garden of the Manoir de Fontenay with Joachim Carvallo of Villandry. Dudley was already married and in 1925 his wife Grace also moved in. The two women remained friends throughout and kept in touch even after the Dudley's divorced. After the Second World War Lilian Whitteker was friendly with fellow artists living in the area, Alexander Calder and Max Ernst. 

Forteresse de Montbazon, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

Dudley had volunteered for the US Marines when America entered the First World War and had discovered Montbazon in 1918, when he was sent to Chambray-les-Tours to convalesce after being wounded.  Initially there was only one habitable room, accessible only by an exterior ladder. They cooked in a wooden lean-to in the courtyard. They embarked on a vast programme of works that lasted more than 30 years and cost in excess of 127 000 francs. Soon after their arrival they rebuilt the tower in the southern curtain wall, becoming known as the Tour Lilian, and the extension to the east became their residence, with stained glass from the famous Tourangeau workshop of Lux-Fournier or old glass reset. They changed and improved the access, added back the crenellations to the towers and unblocked the entrances to the subterranean cellars. These underground passages are 14 kilometres of galleries on three levels going right under the town. Originally they were the quarries from where the stone to build the above ground fortress came. Later they became storage spaces and escape tunnels.

Dudley completely remodelled the park and adorned it with statues made by local sculptors or by himself. He planted some vines and created a Gothic garden to the south of the keep. The final job was to consolidate the keep in 1957, which was starting to buckle under the weight of the Virgin. The solution was an internal cement belt. There were concerns about the great crack in the tower and a monitoring device was installed. Dudley made his only post-War visit to the site to supervise these works. It was Dudley, soon after acquisition, who got the fortress listed as a Historic Monument, and also opened it to the public, although very few came.

Five years after Dudley's death, the complicated inheritance case finally came down in favour of his second wife and their daughter. The town of Montbazon, in the expectation of becoming the owners, had developed a plan to turn the site into a venue for artistic creation. Pragmatically, they intended to allow Lilian Whitteker to continue to live there, since she showed no sign of being willing to move out. But in 1970 the new mayor rejected the project and refused the inheritance. Dudley's family just wanted to get rid of the place as quickly as possible, but they were out of luck. By the 1980s the place was badly deteriorated, the statues stolen from the park and the stained glass carried off.

In 1999 an anglo-french couple called Harry and Jacqueline Atterton bought the site with the idea of restoring it and opening to the public, which they did in 2003. In 2009 a property investment group bought the place and continued the work the Attertons had started. Since 2010 their charity the Chevaliers du Faucon noir have run workshops, events, reinactments and guided visits.



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For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

We are also on Instagram, so check us out to see a regularly updated selection of our very best photos.