Blason de René Gallebrun situé dans la chapelle du Châtelet

The Chatelet in the 16th century

Before the 16th century, what we only know about the Chatelet are its successive owners. Around 1520, a nobleman, René Gallebrun, moved to the Chatelet. He had the Chatelet, as we can see it today, built or rebuilt on an ancient medieval motte.

Its architecture is inspired by Renaissance motifs- including shells and pilasters- but is still related to the end of the Middle Ages with its guns, the grooves of the drawbridge, moats…

The Chapel, the oldest part, lies under an intersecting ribbed vault decorated with René Gallebrun’s coat of arms, a lion headed with 5 roses.

In René Gallebrun’s time, there were also a windmill to grind flour for the castle kitchen, and a timber-framed building.

For 300 years the Chatelet has been transmitted by women, mostly. It became a mere place of meeting for the hunt, but was preserved from alterations and reconstructions. Besides, in 1880, there was a project, which, fortunately, was never seen through.

Restoration project dating from 17 August 1881 amounting to 22,000 francs
Portrait de Véronique Pichard propriétaire du Châtelet en 1813 arrière arrière arrière arrière grand mère du propriétaire actuel

The Châtelet in the 19th and 20th century

Balzac was probably familiar with the castle since he mentions a certain Madame du Chatelet, in Les Illusions Perdues.

In addition, Saché lies but a few kilometres away.

During World War II, the Chatelet hosted Loys Masson, a poet of the Resistance, and a friend of Louis Aragon’s. Loys Masson hid there for over a year, in 1943-1944, catered for by the family living in the castle farm.

He wrote a novel , The Moat, in which he tells about his life in the Chatelet; and, for the record, François de Lannoy, the current owner’s father, has kept Loys Masson’s camp bed.

« Only halfway down the path did he start to make out the moat and its amazing mildness. It was a tarnished silver bracelet mounted on abalone; reflected trees and old mud were there forever, and though it had not drawn anything for centuries, a wooden bridge there, hanged a resonance of the past. Behind the castle it led to, all of a sudden, the noble, dense and legendary forest was revealed ». (The Moat, p.10)

Le Chatelet


The Chatelet today

In the same family for 300 years, this castle built in 1520, has undergone no transformation since its construction; as a result, it was classified a Historical Monument in 1962.

In 2006, on my father’s death, we decided to undertake a long restoration campaign. After 8 years of work, the major part of which was carried out by ourselves, today , the restored Chatelet welcomes overnight tourists and fine stone lovers. Here time seems to have stopped…