A listed Renaissance-style castle, surrounded by a water-filled moat,
formal French garden and 6 hectares of grounds, 2 hours from Paris
Auxerre, YONNE burgundy 89000 FR


The castle stands on the banks of a stream on the edge of a village around 15 km south-west of Auxerre, in the heart of the Yonne department in the north-western part of the Burgundy-Franche Comté region. In former times, this was a wine-growing village. A 13th-century church, also listed as a historic monument, stands guard over the village and is the pride of its residents, who take an active interest in preserving the local heritage. They have created an association dedicated to raising funds when necessary to finance restoration work.
The property lies on the ancient Roman road that linked Auxerre to the Loire river. Day-to-day shops can be found within a stone's throw from the manor house. Finally, services from Auxerre SNCF railway station connect to Paris-Bercy in 2 hours.


Built at the end of a narrow valley, the castle has been protected as a historic monument since 1988, notably the facade and roofs of the main dwelling, the entire dovecote, the entrance gate, the balustrades and all the perimeter walls.
Initially a medieval manor house marked by history, having withstood a siege during the French Wars of Religion, the castle is an unfailing witness to the history of Calvinism and the Catholic League in the Yonne thanks to Marafin de Guerchy, lord of the manor between 1560 and 1572. Subsequently, it belonged to the family of Marie d'Avigneau for more than two centuries. In the 17th century, after the civil wars, some of the buildings were restored.
Further underlining the nobility of the place, illustrious historical figures such as François I, Admiral de Coligny and Louis XIV stayed here. Two entrances flanked by stone pillars provide access to the property, one from the village and the other from the hamlet. Both open onto a path bordered by a river which forms part of the estate. A bridge crosses the moat, which is home to different types of fish, including Chinese carp. The bridge features a more recent arch, built when the drawbridge was removed. A new wrought-iron gate has recently replaced the original one, which the current inhabitants have kept. It is crowned by an arched pediment and flanked by two stone pillars topped by flame-vase finials adorned with two pine cones. The date 1733 is engraved on the pediment, but the building retains traces of 15th, 16th and 17th century structures, which can be found, for instance, on the facades of the main dwelling.
Once inside the gates, the castle emerges, rising to two storeys under an attic topped by a hip roof clad with Burgundy tiles and featuring hip roof dormers. The symmetrical main facade is of rendered stone with small-paned windows, enhanced by dressed stone surrounds and corner quoins.
A gravel area provides space for parking vehicles. At the rear of the castle, there is a lodge facing the formal French garden with its central fountain, several original statues, stone basins and benches. Two heraldic lions - unique sculptures - appear to stand guard in front of another building that currently houses a garage and a workshop. Close by, there remains a stone well - similar to the one in the Musée de Cluny in Paris - adorned with a stone gargoyle.
An entryway defined by two pilasters leads to a walled orchard, where a double wooden door opens onto the footpath. There are two small bridges over a river feeding the moat. A tennis court and an old dovecote can be glimpsed from the formal French garden.

The castle

The main building is rectangular in plan. The two entrance doors on the ground floor feature triangular pediments supported by pilasters. Mullioned windows dating from the Renaissance period enliven the facade. Three of the five openings on the first floor are gemel windows, the one on the left differing from the others in that it has a wider bevelled sill. The one on the right is thought to be the window of the bedroom where Louis XIV is believed to have stayed, which is now divided in two.
The north facade is not quite as homogenous, as this side has been extended by a central avant-corps and a dressed stone turret, part of the old fortified structure dating from the Middle Ages, which was incorporated into the castle built at a later stage and houses a spiral staircase. The facades are punctuated by stone stringcourses on all four sides, highlighting the different levels and acting as drip stones to prevent rainwater from running down the walls. Last but not least, the facade features several sundials dating from the late 16th century.

The ground floor
The first entrance sets the tone, with a ceiling height of over 3 metres, exposed joists and a marble floor laid in a white and dark red chequered pattern. Several openings illuminate the reception rooms, including a small-paned French window at the end of the hall, which opens onto the first room: a vaulted 16th century room with a period quarry tile floor and a Louis XV brick and carved stone fireplace. The windows reveal a view of the formal French garden. A bookcase has been installed in a sealed doorway in the centre of one of the walls.
The main entrance also leads to a first reception room with cupboards on one side, which has retained its terracotta tile floor with geometric patterns. Large Renaissance-style windows with espagnolette locks overlook the moat. Exposed beams and joists enhance the quarry floor tiles, here and in almost every room on this level. The room features a stone and brick fireplace with an overmantel mirror.
Next follows a second full-width reception room, which is even more impressive given its richer decor. A large fireplace with a stone mantel sits in the centre of one of the walls, topped by a tall overmantel with a mirror and a painting of a pastoral scene. The beamed ceilings of the two large reception rooms feature trimmer joints reflecting the size of the original monumental fireplaces.
Finally, a concealed double door leads to a second entrance, where the staircase to the first floor is located. A hallway with a double cupboard leads to the kitchen: a warm, full-width room, heated by a stone and brick fireplace with a wooden lintel and featuring a north-facing external door. Next to the hearth, there is a comfortable wooden corner bench and low cupboards, also of wood, are set against part of the wall.
The upstairs
The first landing serves two bedrooms: one small and one very large, which could be used as a dormitory. One overlooks the moat, while the other, where Louis XIV is said to have slept, is full-width and has a stone and brick fireplace. The exposed beams and joists are original, as is the terracotta flooring. The landing then leads to a fairly long corridor, lit by large windows with mullioned fanlights, serving several other bedrooms. In some areas, the floor is laid with terracotta tiles. The doors to the bedrooms are surrounded by dressed stone.
To the south, there are three bedrooms, each painted in a different colour. The first, illuminated by a window topped by a small-paned fanlight, has a carved wooden fireplace and adjoins a bathroom and a timber-framed laundry room with nogging. This is followed by a long, timber-framed room that could be used as a dormitory, where an opening provides a glimpse of the adjoining room and a large window with an arched lintel lets in plenty of light. The last bedroom features green-painted half or full-height panelling, a carpet covering the original quarry floor tiles and an open fireplace topped by a stone overmantel with decorative mouldings and a fine gold-plated mirror.
To the north, a bedroom overlooks the garden and the Louis XV lodge. It is distinctive for its large-paned windows with elaborate ornamental railings. It is adjoined by a bathroom with a black and white chequered floor. Wooden shutters with decorative mouldings allow almost all the rooms to be obscured.
At the end of the corridor, a door opens onto a spiral stone staircase leading to the attic, where it serves one last bedroom with a beautiful view into the distance. Dating from the Middle Ages, it is illuminated by two ogee-arched windows, one of which is obscured, and leads down to the ground floor and to a door opening out onto the garden. Both the wide, dressed stone staircase, flanked by two sober iron railings, and the tower that houses it were built with particular care, as evidenced by their refinement and solidity.

The lodge

This brick and stone building stands at the end of the earth platform, in the north-west corner, directly overlooking the gardens. Dating from the 18th century, this Louis XV period building nonetheless reflects the Louis XIII style. On the ground floor, on either side of the main entrance door, two low arcades shelter vaulted brick sheds. Their stone masonry contrasts with that of the upper storey, which is of brick enhanced by stone corner quoins. The tiled gambrel roof features shed dormers and chimney stacks.

The ground floor
The front door opens onto a small hall with a floor tiled in a black and white chequerboard pattern. From here, a straight staircase leads to the upper floors, with a wrought-iron banister and a first step carved from stone in the form of a scroll, all the others being carved from oak.
The first floor
A passageway floored with old quarry tiles leads to a fitted kitchen with cupboards, whose black and white chequered floor is similar to that on the ground floor, followed by a scullery. The nearby dining room is extended by a balcony overlooking the gardens, protected by an elaborate balustrade. A fireplace with a brick hearth and a carved white stone mantle, topped by a straight hood, heats the room. Next, there is a study lit by a large double window with original shutters opening onto a balcony similar to that of the previous room. It features extensive wood panelling. At the back of the first floor, there is a large dual-exposure sitting room with a stone fireplace, decorative mouldings and panelling on all four walls. It has a bookcase with a storage cupboard in the lower section. All the rooms feature straight strip parquet flooring.
The second floor
A landing with original quarry tiles leads to two sleeping areas, each connecting to a small children's bedroom. The flooring is of terracotta tiles and the windows are protected by shutters. The first bedroom is heated by a fireplace topped by an overmantel mirror. Numerous panels with large frames and glazing beads adorn the walls; the high panelling is highlighted by a dado rail running along the wall. The original floral wallpaper still covers an entire section. The second bedroom differs from the first in that it boasts an abundance of old wood panelling, glazing beads and storage cabinets framing the fireplace.

The dovecote

Dating back to the 16th century, it was installed in a tower that existed in the Middle Ages, one of only two remaining today of the originally four corner towers. This circular tower has a pepperpot roof of flat Burgundy tiles. Fitted with a revolving ladder, it has 800 nesting holes, a visible sign of wealth at the time. There are still some sawtooth loopholes adapted to light artillery weapons, a very rare feature that can also be found in the nearby Ribourdin castle. This is an important defensive element that reduces the likelihood of a projectile hitting the opening by ricochet.

The tower and the small cloister

Opposite the main dwelling and also dating from the Middle Ages, the tower, like the dovecote, is topped with a pepperpot roof clad with flat Burgundy tiles and features sawtooth loopholes. The facades feature a stone stringcourse between the two storeys preventing rainwater from running down the walls. There is also an adjacent small cloister with Gothic arches on columns, which was added at a later date on the initiative of a former inhabitant, Mr Roux, a collector of old stones who wanted to recreate the former private chapel of the castle. The remains of the vaulted arches can still be seen. Only reclaimed elements were used for the reconstruction: the portal of the Orgy chapel and arches from a cloister in Haute-Garonne, identical to those from Bonnefont Abbey now displayed in The Cloisters Museum in New York. The cloister has a floor area of approx. 25m².
Finally, behind the old gate, there is a 15 m² utility room.

The ground floor
A circular room serves as a wine cellar. A spiral flight of first older and then more recent steps leads to the single room on the upper floor.
The upstairs
This level contains a monk's room lit by a window and featuring stone remains from the former chapel.

The outbuilding

Near the lodge, there is an outbuilding with a 45 m² workshop, followed by a two-car garage of the same size. Next to it is an old pit.

The grounds

The grounds are mainly made up of a formal French garden facing the lodge. Stone basins and statues created by the great sculptor of the Château de Versailles, Jean-Jacques Caffieri, can be admired along well-designed paths lined with pruned box and other topiaries. He is the artist behind the three statues that adorn the garden in different spots, including that of Corneille de Lyon. Another eminent sculptor, Antoine Coysevox, who also contributed to the decoration of the Château de Versailles, is thought to be behind the fountain in the central part of the pool.
Flowers of various colours, including numerous peonies and old rosebushes, adorn some of the basins, while a vine producing white grapes covers one wall of the castle.
Not far from the garden, there is an orchard planted with a variety of fruit trees, including apples, pears, cherries and mirabelle plums, all of which are highly productive. It is enclosed by stone walls and bordered by a crystal clear river stocked with trout.

Our opinion

This is a very well preserved property that has traversed great historic periods, and whose architecture is quite unique, bearing the imprint of past centuries. The interior of the castle is just as outstanding as its exterior, with the proportions of its various rooms, its numerous fireplaces and its many ornaments contributing to the nobility of the place. The residence exudes an awe-inspiring atmosphere and has retained its original character, transporting visitors centuries back in time. Exceptional reminders of bygone eras, such as representations of Renaissance figures wearing ruffs, culottes and swords at their sides form part of what is a precious living testimony to history, and more than just a castle in France, a castle of France.

Exclusive sale

1 300 000 € Negotiation fees included
1 226 415 € Fees excluded
6% TTC at the expense of the purchaser

See the fee rates

Reference 129364

Land registry surface area 6 ha 25 a
Main building surface area 600 m2
Number of bedrooms 10
Outbuilding surface area 400 m2


Isabelle Ponelle +33 1 42 84 80 85



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NB: The above information is not only the result of our visit to the property; it is also based on information provided by the current owner. It is by no means comprehensive or strictly accurate especially where surface areas and construction dates are concerned. We cannot, therefore, be held liable for any misrepresentation.

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