The beautiful and somewhat forgotten Chateau de Bagnac in the Haute-Vienne departement , Once someone’s pride and joy, now it just sits in ruin.
The current chateau, it was built by the Marquis (Antony 1826-1892) and the Marchioness de Saint-Martin de Bagnac on the site of old medieval chateau of the XVth century which was destroyed during the wars of religion (late XVIth Century), also note that in this chateau was born Pierre de Bagnac in 1330, large cardinal of the Abbey of Montmajour, who was celebrated in Rome. (This is still unknown as other sources say he was born in Bagnac-sur-celle in the Midi-Pyrenees, this also confirms an original chateau of at least the early part of the XIVth Century.
Work on the current chateau began in 1858, stopped during the war of 1870, they began again in 1875. All the plans, drawings of wood works, ironwork, sculptures on stone were carried out by the Marquis and the Marchioness in person on levels inspired by Viollet-le-duc (who famously restored Carcassonne) but not drawn personally by the architect himself who died in 1879.
The only part of the chateau which dates from XIVth century is the big tower of the chateau, capped with a roof with a very steep slope during the rebuilding of the chateau (This the last remanding tower with a roof attached finally came down in 2017). it is also the largest of the towers of bagnac which holds the original cave and bedrooms. (its the tower to the far right)
This room within the XIVth century tower is believed to be the bedroom, its the last surviving room left within Bagnac.
The chateau is built in neo-gothic style. This building was built to reaffirm an identity, a presence…
In the chateau one can also see the vault (built on the model of the Ste Chapelle in Paris). This vault is dedicated to the Sacre-Coeur, Notre-Dame des sept Douleurs and of course to Saint Martin de Tours, which one can by chance still to observe patronage on a stained glass that has remained intact as by miracle.
Above this vault a room of the archives was arched like the vault. In addition to the vault one can observe the highest tower of the chateau known as “the guette”. It is told that from the top, one can see Bellac (An assumption not checked to date, the staircases having long since been destroyed). They say that this tower was built so high so that the day of the restoration to the king on the throne of France, the white flag can be hoisted highest possible in the sky.
The magnificent fireplaces, one in the “grand salon”, carved out of white stone is Saint Martin representing the offering of half of his coat to the unhappy . Above this living room, the Marquis and the Marchioness had envisaged a room intended for the Comte de Chambord. A balcony gave way to the room of the vault so they can attend the mass. But the Comte de Chambord never came to Bagnac as he died in 1883. it is also worth noting that the Comte de Chambord was later to become Henri V, king of France.
the other located in the room known as the billiards room shows the combat of Lussac-les-chateaux,
In 1369, where the knight or le chevalier de Saint-Martin, ancestor of Bagnac had killed with his hands the famous English general John Chandos.
(Sir John Chandos was appointed seneschal of Poitou in 1369 by the King of England, and settled in Poitiers. In the same year Sir John noticed, to his ‘annoyance’, that the French were regaining a foothold in the province. The Breton John Kerlouet and Louis de Saint Julien Trimouille, lord of Lusignan, had occupied La Roche-Posay and Saint-Savin, a few miles from Poitiers. Chandos decided to retake the abbey of Saint-Savin, with a surprise attack under cover of night.
The planned attack failed when, thinking they had been detected by the enemy, Chandos’ force retreated towards the bridge across the Vienne at Lussac, along the route to Poitiers through Chauvigny. The French, unaware of their presence, had decided to follow the same route to harass any British troops. The adversaries met at the bridge of Lussac. In the battle, Chandos’ long coat made him slip on the frost. James de Saint-Martin, a squire in the house of Sir Bagnac, struck Chandos with his sword. Chandos’ uncle Edward Twyford, standing over his wounded nephew, repulsed the attackers. One of his squires pierced both legs of James Saint-Martin with his sword; Saint-Martin died three days later at Poitiers. John Chandos was carried on a large shield to Morthemer, the nearest English fortress. He died on New Year’s Day 1370, after a day and night of agony, at the age of 55.)
This white stone subject, raised by columns, cross-pieces, framing of admirably carved granite gives to this chimney an imposing and monumental aspect.
Lastly, one could observe a splendid staircase (located behind the largest tower which is also the primitive keep of the old chateau) of which the vault’s ceiling has slowly come apart little by little under the effect of time before finally collapsing in 2010.
Above 2009 – Below 2012
We should also note that the landscape designer of the gardens of the Chateau de Bagnac was the Comte de Choulot who also carried out work in the area to the gardens of M. Leplay of the Chateau du Vigen. The garden of Bagnac disappeared with him too. However registered with the additional inventory of historic buildings since May 16, 1975, this chateau given up since 1949 after being completely stripped of its furniture, continues little by little to be degraded. This single chateau unique to both France and the Haute-Vienne.
also worth seeking out the Pigeonnier of the chateau de Bagnac situated a short way away in a field listed as built in 1747, which makes it over 250 years old. sadly today sat in the state of abandonment just like the Chateau.
So has it changed, it would seem so as one of the roofs on the main flanking towers has finally collapsed and the stunning limestone staircase has now also falling in, I feel very privileged that in the past i got to walk those steps, which are now lost forever.
From information received, I can now confirm that Chateau de Bagnac is Private Property and owned by the same family who own the original farm at the front of the chateau, which was also built at the time of the reworking of the chateau. Le baron Guy de Salvaing de Boissieu, born 1871, in 1902, he inherits the Marquise Elise de Preaulx du chateau de Bagnac of Saint-Bonnet de Bellac in the Haute-Vienne. and from that date it has remained in this family although he dies in 1954, the son of Arthur de Salvaing de Boissieu (1833-1876, Journalist) and of Isabelle Caroline Marie d’Aboville, It now belongs to his grand-daughter.
The chapel of Saint-Martin de Bagnac in the cemetery of Saint-Bonnet-de-Bellac. is one of the largest belonging to a family in the Haute-Vienne. In addition, the entrance to the Chapel is oriented towards the Chateau de Bagnac.
So what was the Chateau de Bagnac like before, we know little of its medieval history as a chateau but with some careful research I have managed to find out more of its history during the last 100 years.
Afew images i have managed to buy locally of Bagnac including rare photos of the chapel and interior of the chateau.
a sad look via Google Earth
Before it became what it is today.
Medieval Floor Plan
These maps also show the plots in this form before its transformation in the XIVth century although Bagnac is listed as Bugnac, whether this is an error is to be confirmed.
Current day Floor Plan.
Current day Floor Plan and the old on top of another…
If you study the floorpan in bit more scale, its almost possible to align the 2 buildings into one another maybe proving it was more than jusqt the tower dating to the XVth century…
In its day..
from what i have seen these photo dates to around 1935 or before as the roof to the main house is still there
From what i have seen these photo dates to around 1945 as the roof on the left part of the property had been replaced with a more primitive corrugated style roof but the roof window openings are still in place.
From what i have seen this photo dates to around 1950 or after, the roof on the right part of the property had been replaced with a more primitive corrugated style roof but now the roof window openings are gone.
From what i have seen this photo dates to around 1975 at this time the building would have already been abandoned for over 25 years.
Earlier Ruin Photo from after 1975 still show the Vestible (main entrance) which has now long gone.
Blek le Rat – http://bleklerat.free.fr – 80’s Parisian Stencil Artist, has close association with the area with family based close-by, one of his old haunts still bear trace to his passing in 1991.
Note the floor still in the chateau and the darkness of the photo also show it still has ceilings, long since disappeared under the weight of broken roofs, floors and walls.
I am sure that this picture was taken the same time as the one above.?
Beautiful painting by an artist called Lionel Le Falher named L’Agonie de Bagnac
Postcards belong to their respective authors.