A brief history of the Manoir de la Voûte
- In the beginning: the Gaulle and the Romans
The village of Pouillé, like other surrounding areas (Thesée in particular), preserves archaeological remains dating back to the Gallic and Gallo-Roman period. Ruins of a temple dedicated to a Gallic deity, adjoining pottery kilns, have been found to the north of the village, on the banks of the Cher river. They belonged to the former Tasciaca, an agglomeration that extended over the municipalities of Thésée, Monthou-sur-Cher and Pouillé.
Agricultural estates and residential areas have developed around the Gallo-Roman conurbation. It is quite possible that the Château de la Voûte was built on one of these old properties.
The actual history of the castle really begins at the end of the Middle Ages.
- The Le Jard family and the architectural description of the castle.
The seigneury of La Voûte was part of the Archbishopric of Tours until April 20, 1595, when it was acquired by René le Jard. The Jard family had already owned the seigneuries of Boislaîné and La Brosse, also located in Puglia, since the 14th century.
René le Jard is said to have had his first castle built at La Voûte. Hubert le Jard, a descendant of René le Jard, is said to have built the present castle at the end of the 17th century. His daughter and sole heiress, Marie-Anne Le Jard de la Voûte married François de Simonneau de Saclas on the 21st January 1699. From then on, the castle and the seigneury of La Voûte passed into the Simonneau family.
- A hotel “between courtyard and garden” in the countryside.
Looking closely at the immediate surroundings of the castle, it seems to be inspired by another model of construction also born at the beginning of the 17th century in Paris, particularly in the Marais district. Aristocrats and rich bourgeois acquire large parcels of land to build hotels between the courtyard and the garden.
The principle of symmetry in the organization of openings is characteristic of 17th century architecture found in Cheverny or Maison Laffite.
In the previous century, French architects sought to integrate architectural principles from Italy with French medieval architecture (Blois, Chambord, then Azay-le-Rideau and Chenonceau).
- The park: an imported tradition
It is an English-style park entirely planted with trees on lawns, some of which are remarkable. It is not known when the park was developed in this way. Only the trees could give an idea of dating. The English style of parks was introduced in France at the end of the 18th century and really took off in the following century. The Napoleonic cadastre was made in 1834. The park may have been built between 1834 and the beginning of the 20th century.
- The theatre of a news item
In the middle of the 18th century, the Château de la Voûte was the scene of a crime. The owner of the castle was then Louis de Simonneau de la Voûte, son of François de Simonneau de Saclas and Marie-Anne le Jard (he is therefore the grandson of the builder of the castle). He is the victim.
On February 23, 1748, around 7am, Louis de Simonneau de la Voûte left his castle to see his workers digging a ditch around his vineyard. He then returned home and as he walked along the castle wall and was a stone’s throw from the gate, a shotgun exploded and Louis de Simonneau de la Voûte fell, shouting “Ha, you gave me the death blow!
The murderer is quickly identified: Louis Jérôme de Simonneau, lord of the Brush, commonly known as Galluy. It was Louis de Simonneau’s cousin from the Voûte.
The bailiff of Saint-Aignan found himself conducting the investigation jointly with Jacques Godeau, chaplain to the king and canon of the collegiate church of Saint-Aignan, who was responsible for the depositions of the faithful. The collaboration has been successful.
According to depositions, Galluy had been seen prowling around the Vault daily with his rifle during the week before the crime. He had also made death threats on several occasions against his cousin, and in front of witnesses. To know the reasons for such hatred, we have to go back a generation.
The reasons for the dispute:
– The root cause: 4000 pounds not reimbursed and a seigneury dispute.
– A family jealousy born of a decline of the Brush branch against the Voûte branch.
– A quarrel of precedence at the church of Pouillé.
The trigger for the murder was a precedence dispute at the church. This document has already caused tensions in the days of the Jard. The dispute continued with Simonneau’s family.
Galluy most certainly went to Spain and was never found. He was sentenced in absentia to have his arms, legs, thighs and kidneys broken alive on a scaffold, and then to be exposed on a wheel, face up towards the sky.
Marie-Elisabeth Gittard and her children have kept the property of La Voûte but have definitively settled in Saint-Aignan. In 1767 Louise married Philippe de Vallois du Vivier, a young aristocrat living on the Romorantin side and having a good fortune. In 1769, Marie-Suzanne married Nicolas Paillard de Clermont. The two sisters received half of each of the seigneury of La Voûte and other goods, in order to settle the inheritance of their father and their paternal aunts.
In 1776, Philippe Vallois du Viviers sold his wife’s share of the Vault. The Paillard de Clermont family owned the Voûte until the 1870s, when they separated from it, in favour of Louis Narcisse Simon. Builder of the property’s current fence wall, he sold it in 1891 to a certain Brange de Bourcia-Bayle, who was an infantry commander in Clermont-Ferrand.
Subsequently, several owners followed one another without any family or historical relationship with the founding pillars of the estate and this, until now, to this day!
We are smugglers and we are committed to preserving this typically French heritage. By coming to stay there, you are contributing – and we thank you for that – to its conservation and recent restoration. It is only backed up with personal funds.
The name of Château de la Voûte has been replaced by that of Manoir de la Voûte for a question of domain name registration on the Internet. There is, in fact, another château de la Voûte in the department of Loir et Cher, which also operates as a guest house and its owners had already registered the name “château de la Voûte” on the web.
Even if on the Internet, the Château de la Voûte has had to change its original name, it is still locally the “château” in which we are happy and proud to welcome you!