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 cellar. 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 the Germans during the Second World War. Subsequently, the ownership was diluted and the building suffered neglect.