The history of the Château d’Audrieu is closely linked to the history of Normandy and its most famous representative, William the Conqueror.
William the Conqueror
He became William II of Normandy in 1035 after the death of his father. He turned Normandy into a powerful duchy, which was independent of the Kingdom of France. Following his victory at the Battle of Hastings, William became King of England in 1066. His epic is illustrated by the Bayeux Tapestry, a precious embroidery from the 11th century, which is listed on the Memory of the World register by the UNESCO and preserved in the William the Conqueror Centre in the town of Bayeux.
The château, listed as a Historical Monument, remains unchanged. However, inside, the architect Philippe de Lanouvelle, in charge of the renovation of the château and in agreement with the new management, made the decision to “rejuvenate” the whole interior whilst both enhancing the spirit of the time when the Château was built (1715) and improving comfort.
“Firstly, we took our inspiration from period colours and drawings that can be found in some re-editions of Frey or Canovas fabrics. Therefore, in the rooms, instead of having the same paint on all four walls, we have chosen to place Jouy wall covering fabrics on the wall where the headboard is and on one other wall, which gives a tapestry effect. The rest is extremely simple in order to avoid changing the original style of the château” explains Philippe de Lanouvelle.
The Château d’Audrieu is furnished with classical background furniture inspired by the 17th and 18th centuries, with reference to its history and tradition. This furniture is completed with traditional seats from the Jean-Pierre Besse manufacture in the Vosges region, thus perpetuating the know-how of French cabinet-making.
A magnificent park, the charm of the “white garden”, the aromas of the vegetable garden and a calm swimming pool on the edge of a forest. The Château d’Audrieu rejoices in a 50 acres park and 12 acres of gardens landscaped in 1985 by the landscaper Louis Benech. They include a jardin à la française (French formal garden), an English garden, the “white garden”, the “rose garden” and a vegetable garden.
Alain Scelles, the gardener, started working at the Château as a trainee 27 years ago! This part of the domain has been completely preserved. After a few steps into the Cour d’Honneur, the park appears as a harmonious jewel, with its two prominent pavilions, with French style flowerbeds in a refined, charming, unobtrusively luxurious setting and the endearing conviviality of property of character. The English style park comprises tricentennial trees including numerous species: beeches, oaks, ashes, chestnuts and cedars. This magnificent park offers over three kilometres of alleys where you can have a stroll and relax, while listening to the birds sing.