Chateau de Lezignac

It is not often that I visit a chateau then be sceptical of releasing its location but after turning up at this one to find it alight was something else, questions race through my mind as I race back to the car hoping there maybe something to put it out, I found 6 bottles of the finest SuperU limonade and ran back, who could be this stupid, abandoned for the last 20 years it’s survived well up until now, throwing my camera on the floor I quickly put out the fire, it couldn’t have been lit much before we had arrived as it was only smouldering, I took some photos and disappeared, I noticed when I got back to the holiday house that my photos had dirt on the images, so I decided to return to get some more and make sure I did actually put out the fire.

Images from both days are uploaded all was now good, hopefully saved for another day, I hope whoever started it receives their karma in due course, the chateau has been here many years the land is given to an Abbey by a Viscount in 1159. and residences built for the Abbots, this chateau dates to the XVIth century and remained property of the abbey until the revolution, there is also a moulin attached to the land (although I missed this), In 1851, important works are undertaken: restructuring of the annexes, deletion of the chapel, new roof slates, adding of the brick tower, the chateau does away with the elements of the cistercian barn for the benefit of the single residence. The residential building is rectangular in shape 40 m long, 10m wide and 15m high. The Renaissance decorations around the door are dated 1561, mullion windows, or the grand staircase. Beautiful ceilings and chimneys and a wall decoration all complement this chateau. Although there is plenty of photos (even medieval events in the 1990’s) and articles with its location at present I’m saying nothing..

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The Chateau, Moulin and dependances around 1900

2017, Sadly i get now to reveal its identity to you all, the chateau as we know it, is no more, it would seem 4, 13 year old local teenagers on the 7th of August of this year playing with paper, inadvertently set fire to the whole buildings causing extensive damage throughout the property. most of its floors and all of its roofs are now gone. i feel sad in the fact we tried so hard to make sure it survived last time around, but unfortunately for this chateau, others had very different ideas.

Source – Société Culturelle du Pays Graulhétois

2016

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The night of the fire, Source – Service Départemental d’Incendie et de Secours du Tarn

2018 Revisit, So i was in passing so thought i would stop by to see the damage caused by last years fire, the site is very open but now heavily overgrown, i have a heavy heart as i pass through the corridors which were only a few years ago still inside a very saveable chateau, its roofs have now completely gone exposing the building to all weathers, the once beautiful stone staircase now collapsed, the chimneys still survive in what appears to be good condition but for how long as the remaining floors above (now covered in burnt out timbers/slates and other rubble from the fire no doubt) threaten to fall at any moment, i have a sobering moment when i notice a cooker mostly buried under rubble in a kitchen i once stood in, a revisit always goes us fresh eyes to spot things we did not spot before , massive holes have appeared in the floor on the ground floor meaning you could easily fall into the cellars if not paying attention.

One thing i did miss last time i was here was the moulin of the chateau itself, i made a note to be sure to see this before leaving this time, i had seen it on postcards so knew where it was, getting to it was simply another matter, heavily dense woodland and brambles tear at my new jeans as i beat my way through, suddenly there it is, well what is left, it also appears to have been burnt down as fire damage is evident on timbers inside the building, the main house next to the moulin has mostly collapsed as has the huge barn next to it, but little bits of the moulin are still there, the passages were the river passed under the building are still visible as well as one of the millers wheels, the buildings façade and its little towers still cling on, i did notice the absence of the river, which now dried up seems to have been diverted away from the mill, now stuffed with old tyres and other rubbish. I pass back past the chateau as i leave the site, looking through the gaps at the now burnt out shell, I only hope that for this chateau that one day someone will come along and love it again.