Chateau d’Escanecrabe

A chateau has sat in the village of St-Sanin-d’Escanecrabe as it was known before the French Revolution,  since the XIth century, it is now known as simply known as Escanecrabe (Latin name of Monte Chevre, habitants app. 240),  In the following century, part of the land belonged to the Benque family, related to the Comte de Comminges.

The Motte Castrale/Motte and Bailey Castle, has been ravaged by time, sacked by looters and destroyed by wars, and is now been reduced to a simple but still visible mound.  Calvaires have been built on the site as a reminder of the chateau that once stood here. A Customs Charter is granted on October 03, 1278. the site of the original motte is situated by the side of the church.

Sometime after, a newer chateau is built in the location we know as lieu dit Le Chateau, built further up the hill set further way from the church, but still sat on a dominate position, It is in the seventeenth century, the descendants of the House of Ornesan ‘of the branch of the Family Gontaut-Biron‘, sold a part of the territory and then their successors, sold the other part of the territory to Antoine de Saint-Pastou de Salerm. Catherine de Saint-Pastou de Salerm married Mr. Dupuy de Sacere, Baron d’Ore, whose descendants possessed Escanecrabe during the revolution.


Aerial View dated 09/09/1982, Source Geoportail

Sometime as the chateau came into the late XXth century, the fate of the chateau changes, from what we can see the smaller details, a small pram with the light from a 1960’s Simca 1300, tell us abit about the life being lived here and the cars they drove around in, metal pipes and beautiful cast radiators, some hanging above your head and a central heating boiler, the somewhat iffy by today’s standard bathroom fittings and tiling, tell us that it was at a time, quiet modern living.


Aerial View dated 19/06/1983, Source Geoportail

Other details can just be still made out as they disappear forever into the undergrowth, original doors, framing, some traces of wallpaper, cast iron ridge tiles dating from around 1840-1860, that would have originally been sat proud on this once big roof covered with slate tiles and would have had a dressing on the top of spikes and flowers as featured across many chateaux across France, but now everything is lost, sometime between September 1982 and July 1983, the chateau suffered a catastrophic fire, which took out all three floors as still visible from the timbers in the interior of the building, an article written by Toulousain historian and avocat Pierre de Gorsse in 1984, indicates that maybe this was a fire of criminal intent and since then, the chateau has sat empty waiting.