Chateau du Breuil Rochereaux, Seigneurie of Saint Michel
Chateau du Breuil Rochereaux was the seat of the Saint-Michel Seigneurie. It appertained to the Castle of Loches on liege fealty with rights of low, middle and high justice.
Chédigny and Saint Michel were two separate entities with different parishes. Chedigny consisted of a group of several religious properties: such as the St Pierre Church and the fief du Chambrier, both property of the Abbey of Villeloin, the Jarry Chapel property of the Beulieu Benedictins, St Agnes of Orfeuil property of the Benedictine Monastery of Orleans, or Les Hubaudières property of the Chartreux du Liget, etc.
St.Michel was an ancient seigneurie with the church of St Michel and seigneurial chapel in the gift of the Seigneur. At the revolution, the castle and church were ransacked and the records (which can be seen at the Departmental Archives) show that all the property deeds of the Castle, Church and land were confiscated and ceremonially burned by the “citizens” of Chedigny. The castle and parish church of Saint-Michel were effectively nationalised and put up for sale and the two parishes were amalgamated in 1792 with Chedigny taking charge. The church was demolished and the chapel fell into disrepair and was later converted for residential use. Some of Chateau du Breuil’s seigneurs are buried in the cellar crypt of this house.
Following the amalgamation, the castle, known for centuries as the Saint –Michel Castle, started being referred to as the Chedigny Castle. This has caused confusion and some c19 historians began assuming there might have been another castle on the other side of the river. There are no records or references to a Chedigny Castle and the configuration of the grounds does not have the required elements for such a presence.
The earliest known Seigneur was Bochard de Saint Michel, recorded in 1204.
The castle belonged amongst others to: René de Rasines, the Knight Pierre Couraud (a transcript of his 1662 Oath of Allegiance for the fief of Saint Michel to the Seigneur of Azay sur Indre has survived and a copy can be seen in the salon).
Around 1515 the fiefs of La Follaine and Saint Michel were awarded to Jean François de Cardonne
Seigneur of Azay sur Insur Indre. The Le Breton family owned it between 1715 to 1784, followed by the Odard family who re-acquired it after the Revolution. Their coats of arms were published in the 1875 Bulletin of the “Societé Archèologique de Touraine”.
In 1879 Henry Beaussier, former magistrate, became the owner through his mother’s donation. He initiated major alteration works: the outbuildings were demolished and new ones build further away whilst the main castle building was extended and modernised. The Estate Manager’s records at that time have survived giving an interesting insight on the works, workmen and suppliers Of particular interest are Architect’s (Léon Massé ) instructions and trademen’s Invoices (some paid 7 years after the work was completed !).
In 1890, the work not quite finished, Henry Beaussier sells to Albert Dauprat who became rich as a result of his and his father's association with Ferdinant de Lesseps during the construction of the Suez and Panama Canals. In an article published in 1905 in the “Science Sociale” magazine, Albert Dauprat was very pleased with himself about acquiring the Castle for being lucky to be able to take advantage of “someone else’s folly”! Alas, he found himself impoverished by unsuccessful attempts of agricultural innovation and lost investments in the Russian railways.
Sold to a local farmer by the last surviving member of the Dauprat family, shortly before her death, the castle, unloved and unappreciated was sold again in 1988 in a sorry state after years of neglect.
The current owner, who acquired the property in 1988, has been undertaking considerable work of restoration, refurbishment and modernisation ever since.
The British newspaper THE TIMES has listed Chateau du Breuil of Chédigny as one of the “Best 50 Holiday destinations in France” 2017. Château du Breuil (Chédigny's BEST KEPT SECRET!), offers self -catering accommodation in the oldest part of the castle for groups of 4, 6 or 8 persons from 15€ to 25 € / person / night, (subject to season), in a historic setting. (Not suitable for children under 8).
The village of Chédigny, with its 700 rosebushes and the recently recreated garden of the Presbytery, is one of the latest attraction in the Loire Valley well known for its gardens.
Le journal britannique THE TIMES a classé le Château du Breuil de Chédigny parmi les «50 meilleures destinations de vacances en France». Le secret le mieux gardé de Chédigny, Château du Breuil propose des hébergements en gîte dans la partie la plus ancienne du château pour groupes de 4, 6 ou 8 personnes (15 € à 25 € / personne / nuit, selon saison), dans un cadre historique. (Ne convient pas aux enfants de moins de 8 ans).
Le village de Chédigny avec ses 700 rosiers et le récemment recréée jardin du Presbytère est l'une des dernières attractions de la Vallée de la Loire, bien connue pour ses jardins.