Legacy

Whilst the history of La Cressonniére can be traced back to 1360, the first castle on the site was probably erected at the end of the 14th Century by the Cresson family.  The site lent itself to the construction of such an edifice due to its proximity to the old routes linking north to south, and east to west, as well as the plentiful source of clean water.  Much of the Château’s current size, layout and architectural structure can be attributed to René I Bastard-de La Cressonniére.

The structure, which is representative of his personality, evokes feelings of both force and elegance, balance, severity, pure beauty and austerity.  “VERTU ESTAINCT LE VICE” (Virtue Quells Vice), beautifully engraved in the title block stone over the gateway arch, ensures that on one who crossed the Chateau’s threshold could ignore the owner’s deeply ethical views.

When one of the subsequent owners of the Château was convicted of murdering the royal prosecutor of Fontenay-le-Comte, a Poitiers court passed sentence that the perpetrator’s properties be demolished.  In accordance with the verdict, part of La Cressonniére was demolished in the late 16th Century.

There was further damage to the property, when in January 1794, it was torched by the colonnes infernales, the twelve columns of the Republican forces led by the infamous General Turreau.

The final aristocratic owner of La Cressonniére died of poverty in the Montreuil-Bellay prisons in the 19th Century, and thereafter the property was sold as a national estate.

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