Le Château d’Allogny – History
Love at first sight in Berry
It was during a trip to France that Nicholas and Mirella Otten discovered in the Boischaut Nord area next to Chatillon-sur-Indre, a sleeping ruin dating back to the 13th – 16thcentury. In spite of its degradation, the Ottens fell in love with the charming soul of the Chateau and decided on the spur of the moment that its purchase was necessary in order to save this wonderful piece of French heritage.
Inventory before work
When the Ottens acquired the Chateau at the beginning of 2002, the roofs and internal walls were partially collapsed, the windows and doors degraded, and the original parquet floors littered the ground. The terre cuite floor tiles were laid on bare earth with no mortar joints as they would have originally been laid many centuries ago. There were no sanitary facilities and the limited electrical service dated back to the previous century. Its state of disprepair was such that a three metre tree dominated the middle of the drawing room, watered by the rains that poured through the ceiling open to the skies. Bats, rats and spiders were the only occupants of the area.
As the property only had 1.5 h of land remaining in its ownership at the time of purchase (The Chateau had a domain of 185 hectares in mid 1800) Nicholas set about negotiating with the local farmers to reconstitute a domain worthy of the Chateau and in spite of difficulties managed through horse trading to put together 32 hectares, consisting of fields, woods and a lake. A second lake was created from scratch by Nicholas which now forms part of the stunning view from the principal bedrooms.
12 years of work
In 2003, the long project commenced to restore the buildings with the greatest possible respect for the history of the Chateau. Whilst attention was paid to the use of authentic materials and methods, the latest technology was also added in the most discrete way possible (air conditioning, under floor heating, wifi, music system, cctv, security and gate entry systems). Supported by archived plans and documentation, numerous local artisans and specialists succeeded each other for over 12 years in restoring life and panache to this wonderful residence. The extent of these works revealed certain hidden parts of the property, such as the Coat of Arms of the Chateau and of the Conte de la Motte ( a member of the Paris Court and also Chamberlain to the Prince de Monaco). A 16thcentury mural covered by plaster was exposed in the drawing room, and is now restored to its original form. Previously hidden openings going back to its original construction were uncovered, raised level doors and small spy windows for example. A large vaulted cellar was also discovered running the whole length of the Chateau. This filled with water in the winter months, a problem now removed through new underground drainage.
The surrounding grounds have been brought back from years of neglect and farm use, when overrun by nature, and now provide a park and gardens that offer an exceptional natural setting.
Add to this a Provence style heated Infinity swimming pool and pool house set in the middle of open countryside and you have a little paradise.
Holidays, celebrations, weddings and seminars in the Berry
After using the property exclusively themselves for a few years, but not as regularly as they would have liked due to commitments in England, the Otten family decided to offer the property for rent. It is available as a whole or partially, but always in total exclusivity, for family gatherings, leisure, holidays, work meetings and seminars as well as other events such as weddings and anniversaries. This can be for a day, a weekend, a week or a month according to the wishes of the customer and the availability of the amenities. A wide range of services can be provided on demand (cook, housekeeper, etc…)or you can just have it all to yourselves in seclusion.