The Château in January 2006

The Château was in a very sorry state when we moved in

The Château was requisitioned and occupied by Crown Prince Wilhelm during the First World War as his headquarters and once again requisitioned by the German army during the Second World War.

 

Under the floorboards in one of the attics, we have found prayer books and a book of poems issued by the German army in 1916. (Were these the personal books of the Crown Prince?)

 

As a reminder of the Château’s turbulent past, on the riverbank and about 20 yards from our kitchen door, we have a ‘pill box’ (machine gun fortification) which was built to defend the Château when it was occupied by German Officers in the Second World War.

 

After WWII, up until the 1980s, weddings and Christenings were held at the Château, with the last wedding being held in 1982.

 

The place had been empty for 26 years and was so overgrown that we could hardly get to the doors.  Many of the windows had been broken no one had thought to turn off the water.  It was 5 years before anyone went back into the building, and in that time the radiator pipes on the top floor had burst and water had been cascading down through the main house, probably for years, taking down ceilings and walls.

 

About 100 panes of glass needed replacing, all of the chateau’s 775 panes of glass needed re-puttying and all of the 68 windows needed renovating. Painting windows is a never ending chore, as soon the last one’s done, it’s time to start the first one all over again!

 

Apart from replacing panes of glass, the first thing we had to do was get some running water into the chateau. Heating it wasn’t even on the cards, there was an ancient coal stove which gave off a whiff of warm air and that was about it.

 

We decided to tackle the oldest part of the chateau which we turned into a gite, a herculean task, replacing walls, floors, ceilings, plumbing and a hundred other things.

 

Gradually, we have moved on to the main chateau, once again, taking down walls, ceilings, rewiring, plumbing, the list, like the work, is endless.

 

The laundry ceiling

Acroprops holding up one of the ceilings

The ceiling came down in the old bathroom and took the bathroom floor with it down into the laundry below. You could stand in the laundry and look right up to the tower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Replacing the bathroom floor

Martin replacing the bathroom floor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amber helping Martin

Amber helping Martin work on the kitchen ceiling

Throughout the renovations, Amber has been a very willing helper, climbing up ladders, running along the edge of the roof, (helping to clear the gutters), and trying to catch the squirrel who lived in the attics.