About Château d’Archambault

After finding Château d’Archambault somewhat by accident in 2016 it took the current owners Marie-Dominique and Nick no time to fall in love with it. They hope you will share their feelings for the Château. They are enjoying beautifying the perfect canvas provided by the Château and its grounds with an eclectic and changing collection of art, design pieces and books. A stay at Château d’Archambault combines the best of a retreat and inspirational and enriching activities.

The story so far

Château d’Archambault is built on the site of a fortified farm. This is evident from the oversized garden walls with musket holes and the style of some to the stonework. The Priory across the road has a listed chapel dating from the 14th Century. The fortified farm was contemporary with the old château at Noyers (demolished by Henry IV in the 16th century). The dovecote which has an unusual revolving ladder predates the château and the tower once used to press wine was probably a fortification.

Origins and ownership

The current house began as a hunting lodge around 1800 belonging to the family of Marshall Davout who was born in nearby Annoux. Davout was one of Napoleon Bonaparte’s most successful commanders and Minister of War at the time of Waterloo. The house was bought by M. Masson who was the chief cook of Napoleon III. He built the tower, turret, kitchen/office extensions, an impressive water feature including a fish farm, fed by water pumped from the Serein. He also created hard landscaping using local ‘pierced stone’ and outbuildings including the wine store. At the time much of the current plot was a vineyard and it is likely that the title Château was in part to provide a domain name. The adjacent Archambault train station would have allowed for produce to be sent to Paris. The vines were lost with the others in Noyers through an epidemic in the late 19th century. The Massons married into the Linget family who retained ownership until 1995. But the Château’s reputation and fabric suffered. The house was occupied by German forces during the Second World War. Subsequently, the ownership was diluted and the building suffered neglect.

Restoration

From 1995, Château d’Archambault was restored by M. Claude Marie and run as a successful bed and breakfast until 2010. Apart from the thorough restoration, renewal of all services and adding bathrooms, the main change during his ownership was addition of a superb Jardin d’Hiver. Designed by M. Collette, a consultant architect for historic monuments in France who lived at the nearby château at Jouancy. Since 2010 the château declined as a hostelry and was left vacant for some time before being resold to the current owners in 2017. Despite the periods of neglect the château still has many original features including most of the woodwork (windows, shutters etc.) on the ground and first floors, as well as parquet and stone floors.

Recent work and plans

We are currently working on a Japanese garden on the West side of the park, with a pond, stream and pagoda. There are plans for an art installation in the dovecote; a tree house; and reinstating a bridge across the carriage way.