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Welcome to the Château des Sénéchaux
Situated in the heart of the Dordogne countryside, just 10km from the charming Venice of the Périgord, Brantôme, the Château des Sénéchaux offers Four Star Accommodation comprising three luxurious properties, each with unique views, seclusion and a sense of intimacy.
Château des Sénéchaux
Bourdeilles, 24310 - A Potted History
The foundation for the Château des Sénéchaux which was built in the 1500's on the ruins of a hospital for the poor dating back to 1451. With slate and tile topped towers, gothic arches, a prison cell, extensive cellars, and a secret tunnel, the property is loaded with fairytale charm.
This 15th century manor, for several years, was the former accommodation and seat of the Seneschals of the barony of Bourdeille.
André de Bourdeille was the husband of Jaquette de Montbron, a "female architect" who had the Renaissance castle built at great expense near the former medieval residence.
Here she had hoped to receive Queen Catherine de Medici, for whom she was lady-in-waiting, but sadly this visit did not take place.
André and Jaquette's eldest son, Henri, and their grandson, François-Sicaire, were also Seneschals of Périgord.
Bourdeilles is a beautiful village located in the valley of the Dronne, a narrow and winding river which stretches for just over 200 km.
The Château des Sénéchaux, which lies between the the 11th century Keep or the 13th century St Pierre church, hides its charms until you reach the gates.
The château is built of dressed stone and limestone rubble. The north facade overlooks the Dronne from the cliff on which it is built. This façade, as well as the west façade show the wealth of the family and the defensive character of the property, with impregnable stone walls that can reach 22m in height.
In the northeast corner of the main property, a hexagonal tower, home to a grand spiral staircase, is pierced with transom mullions in glazed stone (16th century), and completed by a second turret on the north side.
A third tower with a decorative slate roof completes the ensemble. Reading the Napoleonic cadastre clearly shows the additions made, in particular the construction of two pavilions (17th century) delimiting an interior courtyard which is entered from the south. A wall of the inner courtyard has a small tri-lobed bay from the Gothic period (15th century).
The presence of a helmet of a Seneschal in the tympanum of the classical door testifies to the primary function of the residence, as do the prison cell and the secret tunnel leading to the Château de Bourdeilles.
The life of the château post Napoleon is somewhat less colourful, as the property came into the hands of private owners, however at the end of the 1800's it had come full circle from the Hopitum de Hélias, again becoming home to a doctor, Dr Lafon who used part of the stable block as his infirmary.
Subsequently, a gentleman merchant of haberdashery and wall tapestries, Mr Geneste, bought the property, and he and his wife invested greatly in the updating and decoration of the main house. During his time, the house exuded a sense of family warmth and life.
The last owners before us were for the first time, British, and in the early years they were hosts to artists and students, and used the courtyard for weddings and other festive gatherings.
Now, the entire property has been renovated by us, providing a marvellous home for our family, and stylish and luxurious accommodation in the Dordogne for our guests.
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