MY HOME IS A CASTLE--the tale of how and why I became a chatelain , four times .This is my present home. If you are visiting for the first time you may care to read the older posts first.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

GETTING USED TO THE SPACE

This a photo which I took on our first viewing visit to La Roche Hue , and it shows how the Chateau stands high in its grounds with the outbuildings placed unobtrusively. This is the rear of the building.

In those first few days we thoroughly toured the grounds with the dogs. I remember the weather being extremely pleasant, surprisingly, as it was still January. We later learned that it had been a particularly mild January in the Loire Valley that year. One day walking in the front park we noticed that in one area the trees seemed to have been planted in an open ended square shape. Most peculiar, we thought! So we investigated the area and began to scrape the leaves and earth away with our feet as the ground felt quite hard beneath. To my amazement I uncovered a white painted line; We got a shovel then and began to uncover a full sized hard based tennis court!! UNBELIEVABLE! Particularly as the agent hadn't a clue that it had been there. It was still in a reasonable condition but, obviously, had no net or fencing ; it went down on to our growing list of must do's!

We re-contacted our friend Archie who agreed to come over for a three month period to work alongside of us and , shortly, our daughter Victoria and her boyfriend would be moving in to work with us as well. So that would be 6 workers ( including Mum)!! Our first project would be to create a separate living area for Mum, who, at that point wanted to be independant. There was a great area on the sous sol , lower ground floor, which had previously been for staff. It consisted , a salon with doors opening onto the garden, a tiny kitchenette and a WC/shower room--ideal! That would be Archie's first job. Meanwhile Vicky and I ( & Mum) would tackle the huge entrance hall. We needed to strip off all that horrific paper and remove the old varnish off the original floor tiles.


These are not a good quality photos I'm afraid, but this is in the entrance hall--it shows the awful paper peeling off; That fireplace is enormous, but doesn't look it in the photo.


Above photo is the front door . Dwarfed by the camera, and more of that ghastly paper!

We were becoming used to the big space little by little and getting to like it. The problem most of the time was finding each other, because once one of us went ' walk-a-abouts ' it might be half an hour before they could be located.

I used to end up at the end of nearly every day in the lovely old stables, dreaming of having a horse, or two...............................

11 comments:

  1. I do believe my first comment went missing somewhere.. so I'll try again..

    The setting of the castle into the landscape is so picturesque.. No wonder you fell in love with it... How old is this beautiful place?.. do you know anything of who the original owners or builders or first people were who lived there.. It must have taken a long long time to build...

    I imagine Lords and Ladies out on those surprisingly discovered tennis court... Wow!!...

    Seeing the fireplace and the huge doors, I am beginning to get a feel of the scale of your castle... How tall are the ceilings?? I ask too many questions, but I am so interested in Architecture.. I wish I would have studied it...

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  2. Hello Gwen, in answer to your questions, the Chateau was built at the turn of the century in the style of Louis X111. We bought it from the Government of Algeria who were the owners at that time. The ceiling height on the ground floor is just under 5 metres! If you go back to the earlier posts I have talked a lttle about the original owners.

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  3. Delphine this is getting more fun by the minute as we now get to see some inside photos. That door is incredible and the fireplace, wow. So much work must have gone into all of this and thankfully you had a group of workers with you, and family to boot! And.. a tennis court...great.

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  4. Thanks Sandy, wished I had more photos, must do some extra searches through the boxes when I return from my break;

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  5. I really look forward to each new piece of your story. I must tell you if this was a book I'd buy it!

    I have my fingers crossed that there are horses in the future. (And maybe some chickens!)

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  6. Thanks Cori- yes there might well be horses in future instalments, ( smile) not too sure about the chickens though. I would love to write a book, but never yet plucked up the courage to make a start!

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  7. Hi Delphine,

    I just came across your blog and I am enjoying reading it. I have known La Roche Hue since 2001, and just weeks ago we bought the apartment between the two towers with the balcony. La Roche Hue is doing well. It has central heating, a new roof, and the park is now well maintained, which as you know is no mean feat given its size!

    I am very much interested in any old photo's and stories that you may have. Equally, I can tell you more recent stories and photo's

    Best regards

    Karel Maron (boffert@xs4all.nl)

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  8. Thankyou Karel and welcome. I was so interested to hear from you and about your purchase at Roche Hue. I will be in touch through your email and be grateful for any news and photos;

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  9. Imagine putting that paper up!! The door and fireplace loom and give such grandeur, but the wallpaper tries to homefy it, and it doesn't work. :} So much work, I can't imagine. But it's fascinating to watch you delve in.

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  10. Our daughter Victoria and her boyfriend would be moving in to occupation with us as well,

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