Chateau de la Chauffie

An Heritage area of the Domaine of the Chateau de la Chauffie, an old feudal chateau, as indicated by postcards of the early twentieth century, only the ruins of the square Tower entrance and the Corps de Logis still remain. It was nevertheless still a beautiful castle, at its height, in the seventeenth century, inhabited by noble families, who marked the history of this region between here up to Rochechouart.

We do not know when a Tizon was originally installed in Chauffie. Was it as early as the 12th century, since the noble fief stronghold of La Chauffie, moved from the seigneury of Chabanais and the Comte de Angoulême, were attested at that time, In June 5th 1470, a certain Aymeri Tison (also Tizon), Sieur de la Chauffie, married off his daughter Jeanne Tizon with Pierre Perry, from an old Irish family, his father, Guillaume (William) Perry, Squire, came to France under the regime of Charles VII, Incorporated into the Scottish Guard (which included a few Irish), he fought the English alongside the King of France, during the hundred years war (1422-1461). The Angoumois being part of the royal domain, the king did give to him as a reward for his services, the land of the Mas Marteau. He is in union with Ysabeau Eimbasmade, who is also Pierre’s mother, Pierre would by inheritance become, Squire, Sieur du Mas Marteau, near Confolens. In the fifteenth century, La Chauffie is only a “strong house”. That is, a large building, with one or two towers and thick walls, supposed to monitor the surroundings and protect the territory of the “Princes of Chabanais”.

The small principality of the town was also surrounded by several other strong houses on its borders: La Brosse de Chassenon (close to la chauffie), Rochebrune de Étagnac, Pressac de Saint-Quentin, the Chétardie de Exideuil, l’Age-Bertrand de Chirac. Who would protect or prevent attacks by neighbouring lords or armed gangs.
This marriage between Pierre Perry and Jeanne Tizon, is witnessed by Guy Vicart, priest, sworn notary of the Chateau and Chatellenie de Chabanais, Confolens, Loubert and Châteaumorand). She was endowed by her father and brother Jean, with 300 ecu’s, as well as of a mill, named De la Combe, with its rights and memberships, situated on the edge of the Vienne River, the contract was signed in the presence of brother Pierre de Cambon, prior of the Priory de Pressignac, and Heliot Singaraud. The Blason of the Perry family found above the square Tower and the lodgings of the Chauffie’s front doors, but was hammered off during the Revolution. It is still found on one of the two spurs of the steeple of the XIIth and XIIIth century Church of Pressignac and likely (because very damaged) above the entry door of the Gothic Chapel of this beautiful building of the Romanesque limousin. Inside of this same Chapel, without a doubt, the new Lord of La Chauffie (which is likely the bust which is carved on the pendant of a cross), who indeed build at his own expense, just after the marriage of 1470, this Chapel, to show his wealth, but also to honor the Tizon ancestors graves. Pierre and Jeanne as well as their descendants also will get buried here. Traces of a black banner painted on the walls of the chapel at the time of the death of the Lord are still behind the altarpiece of la Vierge du Rosaire. It is likely too, that Pierre Perry developed the Bell Tower and the top of the nave of the Church of Saint-Martin de Pressignac, in order to make a refuge fortified for the population of the parish, in these troubled times that followed the One hundred- Years War, then during the wars of Religion. Pierre and Jeanne had three children, François, Marguerite and Jean.

Jeanne Tizon, would became a widow, made her will on January 16, 1496, (Haynie, Notary in the Chancery of Chabanais). She fixed the place of her burial, in the parish church of Pressignac in the tomb of her predecessors, and made several pious legacies. Pierre died on January 30, 1496, having had three children. is wife survived him a few years and bequeathed all his possessions, including the Domaines of Mas Marteau and La Chauffie, to the eldest son, François Perry. Including its memberships and dependencies (located both in the land and Châtellenie of Confolens, as well as in the county of Marche)

In the sixteenth century, we find mention of the village of Cherves-Chatelars (Charente) in an act of sale “in the dependencies of the village of Montauvet, in the parish of Cherves”, by Aimery-Vigier to François Perry, Squire, Seigneur de la Chauffie and of Mazières, sale consented for 20 livres tournois. It was once the seat of a small fief belonging to a Tizon family, Seigneurs de Montauvet).

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Francois Perry is known as “Squire, sieur of La Chauffie, Mas Marteau and Mazières”. September 27, 1526, he “recognizes he is held in fief of the noble and powerful (Lord) Seigneur Louis, Vicomte de Rochechouart, Seigneur de Tonnay-Charente et de Mauzé, for accommodation located near the Chateau de Rochechouart, with an orchard and the Dovecote and other memberships. He made another tribute, May 21, 1539, to Jean de Vendôme, vidame de Chartres, prince de Chabanais. So François Perry placed itself under the protection of the two closest Lords of La Chauffie: those of Rochechouart and of Chabanais. This double dependence of tLa Chauffie, but also the parish of Pressignac, later cut in two by the border separating the Poitou of the Angoumois, will continue until the 19th century. François Perry married Charlotte Chauvet, daughter of Jean, Seigneur de Frédaigues. March 21, 1551, he made his will and fixed the place of his burial in the parish church of Pressignac. He had six children. It is his eldest son, Claude, who inherited all his property, but also of its debts, since in 1563, he was forced to produce a receipt for 2,000 pounds to pay the debts of his father François Perry.

Claude Perry is “Squire, Sieur of La Chauffie and Mas Marteau, in the parish of Pressignac”. He married in 1551 to Florence de Saint-Georges, daughter of Jean, Sieur du Fraisse. In May 15, 1588, Claude received letters from Henry of Navarre (the future King Henri IV) by which he was exempt from any housing people from war, and him and his family were under his protection. This exceptional kindness of one who was then the leader of the protestant party in France, proves that the Perrys had passed to the reformed Religion. The Protestant Church of Rochechouart quickly became important. In 1559 it was a resident pastor. The parishes for the new faith were Massignac, Chassenon, Pressignac (who had the “graveyard of the Huguenots”), Vayres, Oradour-sur-Vayres, Saint-Auvent, Le Lindois. However the
Vicomte de Rochechouart, Louis de Rochechouart-Pontville, great friend of Henri IV, remained Catholic, but proved very tolerant of protestants, who were most persecuted after the edict of Nantes in 1598.

Claude Perry made his will October 22, 1586. He ordered that “his body is buried in the parish church of Pressignac, in the tombs of his predecessors. He bequeathed the charge of his children and the administration of his property to his wife, Florence of St. George. His eldest son, Louis Perry, Squire, sieur of La Chauffie in the parish of Pressignac, was his legatee in 1586. On 10 March 1596, by contract of marriage, at the Chateau de Mayac in Périgord, Louis married Marguerite d’Abzac de Mayac, daughter of deceased Francis, Sieur de Mayac, de la Riviere and de Limeyrac, an old family of rich notorious protestants. The wife assisted by her mother, Marguerite d’Abzac de Mayac, which gave her “a dowry of 4000 ECU, land worth 12000 livres, in addition to rings, jewels, clothes and bridal ornaments”. Part of her dowry was paid on the price of the sale of the goods which her mother had in Lorraine, according to her faith, of the 29th of January, 1680.

May 15, 1627, Louis gave faith, homage and oath, he had to because of his noble House, fief et seigneurie de la Chauffie, memberships and dependencies, to Adrien de Montluc, prince de Chabanais, comte de Carmain, baron de Montesquiou,in the great hall o the chateau of the city, Seneschal and Principality of Chabanais. (Adrien de Montluc was the grandson of the Marshal Blaise of Montluc. The Chateau de Chabanais was demolished in 1892). Louis and Marguerite had 12 children between 1597 and 1620. They were baptized as protestants of Rochechouart. Among them, Jean, called Squire, Seigneur de Pressignac and Limeyrac, and Raymond.

Raymond Perry was baptised in the Protestant religion on the June 1, 1614, at the preaching of Rochechouart, and married, on 5 February 1641, Souveraine de Lageard, daughter of Philippe, Knight,
sieur de Charnard, Saint-Martial de Viveyrol et Beauregard, Adviser to the King and his Seneschal in the royal terrain of Angoumois. It’s very probable that during his marriage in a rich Catholic family of King Louis XIII, and the persecution that fell on protestants in the region of Rochechouart, led by Vicomte Jean and his successors, that Raymond Perry returned to the Catholic faith of his ancestors. Under the Counter-Reformation, outcome of the Council of Trent, was organized under the direction of the Jesuits and the bishops, including that of Limoges. It was recommended, among other things, to adorn and decorate churches, to attract those who came to abjure Protestantism, willingly or by force, and divert them from the very austere temples, without decorations. The Church of Pressignac was endowed with, in 1676, with two magnificent altarpieces, the baroques de saint Martin and the Donation du Rosaire, which are still there and are classified “historical monuments”. The building also needed major work, because in August 1630, during his pastoral visit, Bishop of Lafayette, Bishop of Limoges, had found, among other things, that there no balusters in front of the altars, the windows were not glazed and the pad was not entirely done. Who could finance such work of repairs and such works of art? Certainly not the Prior Veynet, or the parishioners, but the good Seigneur de la Chauffie, in this case Raymond Perry, who thus showed his “magnificence” and hoped to gain forgiveness for past indiscretions of himself and his family in the reformed Religion. It is Raymond Perry who is on one of the paintings of the altarpiece of saint Martin, among the pilgrims in prayer before the tomb of the saint. Raymond and Souveraine had 5 children, including Isaac, a protestant name carried in the Abzac family.

Isaac Perry was born on April 6, 1655. It is titled: “Knight, Sir marquis de la Chauffie, Pressignac, Rossignol and Chassaignac. On 29 June 1681, he married Anne de Rochechouart, daughter of high and mighty Messire Jean de Rochechouart, Knight, Comte of Saint-Auvent, Marquis de Montmoreau, Marval and other places. Isaac was a soldier who served in the squadron commanded by M. de Loches (1697-1702) and then in the gentilshommes d’Angoumois in 1703. Isaac and Anne, at the beginning lived in the Chateau de La Chauffie . They had 11 children of whom 6 died in infancy. Most of them were born in La Chauffie, except two who were born in 1685 and 1688, in a small manoir house, in Chez Boige, in the parish of Lezignac-Durand, because the Chateau de la Chauffie was at the time in full restoration and undergoing expansion. But, in 1695, Anne inherited property from her father who had died, then the property of her elder brother, Jean, who died childless in 1709. On that date, therefore, Isaac Perry, thanks to his wife, became Earl of Saint-Auvent and baron of Montmoreau. With hs wife, Anne, they settled now permanently at the Chateau de Saint-Auvent, leaving the old Chateau de la Chauffie which they yet had to finish renovating. Isaac died in 1735, five years after Anne. These were the last Perry to be buried in the Church of Pressignac.Each time the Perrys had to make the proofs of their nobility they gave as reference the Marriage Act of Pierre Perry with Jeanne Tizon, daughter of Noble man Aymeri Tizon.

The Chateau de la Chauffie after 1709 was then to become no more than a secondary residence inhabited by families of farmers or sharecroppers and the chateau suffered a slow decline throughout the eighteenth century, due to lack of maintenance. In total, the estate consisted of around 350 hectares
lands in the area seem to have been well exploited by farmers, all within a single holding, with its high-forested wood, surrounded partly by walls, where rabbits proliferated.

The survey book of Pressignac, in 1756, confirms that the noble home of La Chauffie includes the Chateau, described as “a house with an attic consisting of five towers, its rooms, attic, two barns, stables, courtyard and garden”. It is a farmer at this time, Mr François Besse, who takes care of the property, as well as a sharecropper, Guillaume Pénichon. They maintain, among other things, ‘a garden where there are many trees, these include apple trees, pear trees, walnut trees and other fruit trees’. Their herd consists of 6 oxen, 6 cows, a Mare, 120 sheep, a pig, and four piglets.

Not far from the Chateau, “a large lake called Etang de la Chauffie, belongs to Sieur of La Chauffie”. Since 1980 owned by the commune, renowned for its carp weighting up to 20kg! At the lower end of the lake, “a small mill, a rye millstone of the Sieur of La Chauffie”, operated by Jean Grenet, a Miller and farmer. On La Grene, below the Chateau, “the House of the mill of La Chauffie or la maison du moulin de la Chauffie”. The mill itself is in the parish of Chassenon, with its olive press and its two wheels to grind rye. The Miller is the same as that of the mill of the Lake, Jean Grenet (successor to Pierre Ladrat), who give him each year 40 bushels of rye as a farmer of the Lord of La Chauffie, measured in Chabanais, 100 livres of silver, 8 Cockerals, 8 chickens and 100 eggs. Lord also collects half of the tithe, jointly with the Prieur of Pressignac.

Sieur of La Chauffie also owes “Chez la Mineur” a house occupied by his sharecropper, Raymond Beslier. There are two oxen, a mare, a pig and its piglet, 56 sheep. Another farm in the village of Voueras, where the sharecropper, François Renou, has two oxen, four cows, a horse, a pig and 64 sheep. Yet another in the la Grange du Bost (today Le Grand Bois). The sharecropper, Jean de Brethenoux , has two oxen, four cows, a Mare, 50 sheep, a sow and two pigs. In 1756, Sieur of La Chauffie is François Perry (1694-1759), son of Isaac. Is Comte de Saint-Auvent, baron de Montmoreau, sieur de la Chauffie, Marval, Milhaguet, Saint-Martin de Jussac, du quartier Saint-Pierre de la ville de Saint-Junien, de Saint-Cyr in part and other places. In 1723, he married Marie Anne Gabrielle Frottier de la Coste. It is her widowed, who in 1767, made to realise the state of affairs of the Chateau de la Chauffie, leases the domaine to two Commissioners, Jean-Jacques Marensanne, trader of Limoges, Barthélémy Lamy and Saint-Junien (Sieur François Besse I de Pressignac, continuing to be the farmer).

In 1767, It is noted that the chateau is in very poor condition. which is so described: doors, windows, shutters, floors, are almost completely rotten. The floor of the large room is laid wth tile and bricks, but needs to be repaired. There is a large courtyard (with a well) and a smaller courtyard. Around them, a small area for dogs, a room where you put the poultry, a pantry, a Dovecote, a “fourniou” (bakery) with three maie (a chest used for the conservaton of flour) for bread, a large stable with five pillars, the troughs and nurseries as well as a box to put oats. The large attic is located above a room called “the prison”. We find in the attic, a mill to move wheat, a bushel rail , a cup and two razors (for shearing sheep). In the main building (Logis), are listed: the kitchen, (with its large table, two benches, a fire, two toothed racks and two large andirons (firedogs)), the living room, the great room (16 x 8 m, with its large fireplace), the wide stone (staircase), the bedroom of the Seigneur de la Chauffie.

François Perry and his wife, Marie Anne Gabrielle, had seven children. Upon the death of their mother in 1782, it would be shared between the five siblings who were still alive, after an valuation of the domaines of Saint-Auvent, Montmoreau, La Chauffie, etc. the Constitution of five lots of equal value of 50 000 livres would be paid to each member. This sharing that took place on 22 July 1782, at Saint-Auvent, in front of Me Chancel and Bourdeau, both lawyers, it include five tickets representing lots that were put into a hat and drawn randomly by an innocent hand. The 5th batch, consisting of the Domaine de la Chauffie fell to the youngest of the family: Marie Perry, born in 1741, single, living in Saint-Auvent then in Saint-Pardoux-la-Rivière, who will be now called “the Demoiselle de La Chauffie”. But it was only a part of the domain, under the law of “trimming” (the sharing of feudal estates system to avoid the fragmentation of the fief) fell to older brother, Olivier Isaac Perry, marquis of Saint-Auvent. Indeed, “the Angoumois custom of deferring the choice to take such chatel or mansion that he wants to use the eldest of nobles names, the Sieur de Saint-Auvent, marquis, chose the Chateau and preclotures of La Chauffie”. (the preclotures are the memberships and dependencies of a noble place).

So it’s Olivier Isaac Perry, born in 1723, who became the real owner of the Chateau de la Chauffie and its dependencies, from 1782 until his death in 1798, a date on which Marie Perry recovered all of her ‘5th batch’, by the Act of 1782. The first part included the Chateau, the farm of La Porte, two mills, the lake, the warren, as well as tithes levied in half with the Prieur de Pressignac by the town and villages in
Chez Martin, les Gouttes, Puymis, la Nègrerie, la Guierce, la Guerlie, le Bonéthève, le Mas du Bost, Bord, le Petit Chalais et le Grand Chalais, located mostly in Angoumois, attributed to Olivier Isaac Perry as an elder of the heirs. The second part of the lot was composed of two farms located in Ouyras (today Voueras), one in Angoumois the other in Poitou, as the “border” between these two provinces it is the village is cut in half. There were added tithes collected they also share half with the Prieur of the villages of the Bournet, de Mandat, Pers, Valette, Fontcevéranne, la Judie, Vouéras, Chalais et Bord in part, located mostly in Poitou. All of this was attributed to Marie Perry, who had an obligation to collect 15 bushels of rye on tithes, to give to the Chaplain of the Chapel Sainte-Valérie in Saint-Junien. Finally she retained a right to the mills: the sharecroppers in Voueras had to grind their grain for the mills of La Chauffie. The farms at Chez le Mineur et du Grand Bois, reported in the act of 1756, returned to a sister of Marie Perry, named Marie Souveraine, wife of Jacques du Rousseau de Ferrières.

During the French Revolution (1789-1799) , It’s in February, 1791, Jean-Baptiste Vidaud, “farmer of the Demoiselle de Saint-Auvent” (Marie Perry), was elected Mayor of Pressignac. A symbol of future times, Thanks also to the Revolution, that the common farmer can follow his Lord at the head of the parish. In 1793, Vidaud reported a survey about the chateau, “we have only the Chateau de la Chauffie belonging to Perry-Saint-Auvent (Olivier Isaac). “It consists of three towers, four pavilions and a main body covered with flat tiles, all in very bad condition. Thus two round owers have collapsed and the chateau was still threatening on the brink of ruin. It was lucky as the chateau had not yet been victim to destructive nature of the Revolution happening around it, revolutionaries had been to the Chateau de Rochechouart, because only the coats of arms of the entrance doors had been hammered off. Marie Perry, the owner of a part of La Chauffie since the sharing of 1782, had four siblings, including Olivier Isaac the elder (1723-1798) and Jean Olivier (1729-1799). The latter, after a career in the Royal Army, withdrew, both single, to the Chateau de Saint-Auvent, taking advantage of revenues for their areas of La Chauffie, Saint-Auvent and Montmoreau. Everything went well for them in the first years of the Revolution.

On April 21, 1793, reported as “above privileged”, they received a certificate of citizenship on the part of the municipality of Saint-Auvent, indicating that they “were always behaved and subject with distinction to the laws and led most of the way, that their civic conduct was exemplary in everything and that these two reputable citizens could continue to live in their current residence”. But the wind turned quickly, because in August 1793, the two brothers were incarcerated in the prison of the Visitation de Limoges, and their goods taken into receivership, It is discovered that one of their nephews, Hubert Léonor Benjamin Perry, not only was related through his mother to the traitor known as General Dumouriez, who had just passed to the enemy on April 4, but this same Hubert Léonor had emigrated to England, and then to Germany and was fighting France in the army of the Princes.

The 9 Thermidor year II (July 17, 1794, Robespierre’s fall) did not bring the release of the two brothers who had to wait another six months in their prisons. It was only in December 1794 that they were released and reinstated with their property (apart from the Domane de Montmoreau, which was sold as National property). They peacefully ended their lives at Saint-Auvent, said to be glad to get away so cheap. On the death of Olivier Isaac (December 5, 1798), his sister Marie recovered what was the first part of the 5th batch, and thus became owner of the whole of the La Chauffie area.

12 floréal year VII (May 2, 1799), Marie Perry leases then La Chauffie to three directors, Jean Chambon, d’Oradour-sur-Vayres, Jean Lapeyronnie et Elizabeth Cartal, of Saint-Saud, for 15 years, at the rate of 2400 francs per year, over 600 francs de pot-de-vin (a sum of money, gift paid out of the legal framework of bargaining) . The Domaine of La Chauffie consisting of a Maison de Maître or Vieux Chateau, a yard, garden, other property and buildings making up the reserve, another farm called La Porte located in the courtyard of the chateau, two other farms in the village of Ouyras (Voueras), such reserves and farms, furnished with cheptaux (oxen, calves, cows, pigs, carts, yokes, 247 sheep) and tools worth 1500 francs. Also a lake with a small mill and another mill called the mill of La Chauffie. The three Directors will also provide each year 25 pounds of fish from the lake to Marie Perry. But it complains that its farmer, Jean-Baptiste Vidaud, now Mayor of Pressignac, failed to bait the pond

Marie Perry does not keep La Chauffie for long, Indeed, On the 19 Thermidor VIII (8 August 1800), she sold the estate to her nephew Hubert Léonor Benjamin Perry, who had returned from emigration in 1798, and who was going to marry on August 17, Marie Philippine de Rocquard, daughter of Jérôme de Rocquard, Sieur des Dauges, Commune de Chassenon, and of Marie Élizabeth de la Bastide du Pêcher. This sale was completed at the cost of 66 000 francs, paid with 2,500 pieces of gold at the value of 24 francs and 1,000 pieces valued 6 francs. The Act, finalized in Saint-Pardoux-la-Rivière, home of Marie Perry, in front of Me Ribadeau, public notary, describes the area of one House, other buildings that it depended on, a yard, garden, a reserve operated by Jean Ducontet, current sharecropper. A domaine located in the large yard operated by Michel Grenet, current sharecropper. Two domaine areas located in the village of Voueras, the first operated by François Rivet, the second by Jean Coldeboeuf. The domaines and reserve composed of houses for sharecroppers, barns and other buildings, kitchens, charrières (farm yards), hemp gardens, cabbage gardens, chenevières (hemp land), land, meadows, chestnut wood and others, all areas trimmed, their cheptaux (herds), carts, tools. also a mill called La Chauffie, composed of two rotating wheels, with an olive press, composed of a house for the current miller, mill buildings it was depending on, hemp garden, cabbage garden, enclosed meadow and other objects. A Warren of wood forest, joining the mills, which has already exploited and cut for the benefit of Mr Perry, as part as part of this sale. Also a lake with a small mill set below the roadway, consisting of a single rotating wheel (parts of this still exist today). Then come the enumeration and value of animals constituting the existence of each farm. Reserve: 4 cows without suite (without calf), 2 with 2 young calves, a scarf (Breton dairy cow), a pig with 5 small piglets, 55 sheep, all 1 020 francs. For the domain in the Court: 6 cows without suite, 3 with a calf, 3 calves, a sow with 8 piglets, 67 sheep, all 1 880 francs. For the first Voueras area: 2 oxen, 2 cows away, a cow with a heifer, 3 cows with 3 calves, a great calf, 66 sheep, all 1420 francs. For the second field of Voueras: 3 cows each with a heifer, 2 cows with a calf, immediately 2 cows, a heifer, a large calf, a pig, 54 sheep, all 1 180 francs.

Marie Perry acknowledges “that all the buildings in the area as a whole of La Chauffie and Voueras are in very bad condition, and are likely to need major repairs and essentially, notably the Chateau de la Chauffie, whose roof no longer serves protection, as well as the wheels of the mill of La Chauffie and the floor of the lock which is demolished and needs to be redone, the barn called poteaux des granges is in very poor condition, including the wheat barn in the field in the domaine which can no longer be used. As a result of this, Marie Perry agrees for Perry to do work when he seems to do a preliminary assessment.

Was the work done too quickly or just never done, 16 Ventôse XIII (March 7, 1805), the lease is passed in front of Me Rougier Jeune, Notaire of Chabanais, who lives with Pierre Léger-Lafond, de Rochechouart, future farmer-Director of the Domaine, costing 3600 francs annual rent. The Fund fr livestock including 240 sheep, and all the fish in the pond, was estimated at 5500 francs. (the farmer must always provide 25 pounds of fish each year to the home of Monsieur de Saint-Auvent). On this date in 1805, it is written: “Maison de Maître or Vieux Château, whose roof is in very bad condition and also the floors, also needs other repairs, as well as the yard and gardens whose walls were demolished in different places. There is a lake with a small mill set below the roadway, including a wheel which needs to be redone, as well as the wall where is placed the so-called wheel”. Marie Perry died unmarried in Saint-Pardoux-la-Rivière in 1821. Her nephew, Hubert Léonor, became the Colonel of Cavalry attached to the staff of the city of Paris in 1814, left the army in 1815 and retired to the Chateau de Saint-Auvent where he died in 1859. He was the last of the name of Perry associated with La Chauffie. His eldest daughter, Marie Héronyme Sidonie, born in 1806, married the Baron de Vassal and succeeded his father as owner of La Chauffie. She is known as Madame de Vassal, Propriétaire (owner) de la Chauffie” and is noted in the municipal records of Pressignac, in 1898, for having financed, half the costs with the commune of Chassenon, for the construction of a bridge on the Grene, near the old mill of La Chauffie. Unfortunately, of this bridge there are just pillars and the joists of the old mill and some metal, a section of wall.

Madame de Vassal died in 1904, without having ever resided in La Chauffie, leaving buildings and land in the hands of managers, farmers, or sharecroppers. We know the names of some of them, through the registers of Pressignac, Jean-Baptiste Guillaume Guerguigne-Vouve, of a bourgeois family of Chabanais is reported as residing in the Chateau de la Chauffie in 1827. His son, Cyprien Guerguigne-Vouve, lives there in 1838. He will be Mayor of Chassenon from 1848 to 1852.

The Darsconnat family arrived on the domaine as early as 1690. From father to son, they will be sharecroppers until the 1970s, (the latest being Julien Darsconnat) for nearly three centuries, a beautiful fidelity to the successive owners and the old domaine of La Chauffie. After the Vassal, these are the family’s of Braquilanges, then de la Hautière and de Boutiny, who are owners but do not reside. They entrust the exploitation of the domaine (of which several lands and farms are gradually sold) to managers as M.M. Berthet and Leproux, and tenants like the Granet, the Soury and the already mentioned Darsconnat. Land and Woods, as well as the Voueras farms are sold. The lake is sold to JH Moreau, An archaeologist from Rochechouart leading the excavations at the roman site at Chassenon, baths of ancient Cassinomagus. He sold it in 1980 to the commune of Pressignac (Mayor André Soury) who makes it a very busy fishing place. As for the Chateau, after having served as housing for families of sharecroppers, their departure just left it abandoned.

The Estates of Saint-Auvent, La Chauffie, Montmoreau would still be shared until 1979, the castle was no longer inhabited by its successive owners and the whole estate will pass through the hands of several families, by marriages, inheritances and sales. In 1979, Pierre and Annick Debien, of Angoulême, buy only the chateau which is in very poor condition, to make it their second residence. They undertake alot of urgent work, they founded the association the “Friends of (Amis de) La Chauffie” and a magazine called” les cahiers de la Chauffie” a magazine of art and popular traditions, archaeology and history”, three editions will be published in 1985-86 (of which i currently have 1), but in the face of the magnitude of the task, they leave the Domaine of La Chauffie in 1996, and purchased the nearby Château de Saint-Auvent, in better condition, of which is now a famous centre of contemporary art. Just like the Perrys before them, they will own both La Chauffie and the Saint-Auvent, It looks like history repeats itself.

And now as at the time of the Perrys, hundreds of years beforehand, the poor Chateau de la Chauffie degrades very quickly and now finds itself again in a State of total ruin. Its Square entry Tower shows still details of its machicolations, but its roof also exhausted threatens to collapse at any moment. The overgrown courtyard is surrounded by buildings in very bad condition, including the main logis building walls, doorways and windows of dilapidated buildings and other barns and walls that have partly collapsed. Once a mighty fort now surrounded and overgrown with trees and vegetation. The Interior is similarly now very degraded, a victim of water infiltration through the roof. Sculptures and fireplaces, woodwork, murals have now all disappeared. Floors and pavements are barely passable or have, collapsed. Still, a farmer-herdsman,, Robert Chabaudie, who resides with his wife, in the village of La Chauffie, with the chateau. In addition to his own land, he rents a few parcels of the old domain from the current, descendant of the Perry owner, Ms. de Boutiny, who resides in the Midi Region.

Certain Tales of legends have passed down to us thanks to the memory of our elders: the Chateau and its Dungeon, a guillotine with traces of blood (parts of this, maybe are true), of tunnels which pass under the Grene river to reach Chassenon…and finally, the Messieur de la Chauffie, returning empty-handed from hunting, he shot dead with a bullet, the roofer who was working on the roof of the chateau, he was a dog ! The little girl made responsible for this death had to hide during the funeral.

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Article Revised and Updated, 2018