Of The Château des Aulnays

It seems that the Château des Aulnays would have been built during the XIth century by Alberic de Montmorency, first french supreme commander. There is nothing left of this first building. The present building dates from the end of the XVIth century but a wing disapeared before the XIXth century.

A description of the XVIIth century says:

« A large main building, composed of a large lodge covered with slates, near to it a large stone house where it seems that there was a building, at the edge of this house there is a room used as a bakery, and a room next door, the whole building covered with shingles. The courtyard and the garden, the whole place surrounded by moats and pits filled with water. Right to own a dovecote. » (act of 1679)

Previously, the castle would have been owned by: (in green, the kings of France at the time)

  • Jean Taschel, Knight, Lord of les Aulnays (1279) : Philippe III, son of Louis IX « Saint Louis »
  • Pierre de Vendome (1333-1355), Lord of Fleuré and Torcé : Philippe VI
  • Sir Vincent Le Vayer of le Ridray and les Aulnays (1480): Louis XI « the Prudent »
  • Sir Jean Levayer of les Aulnays and of la Timmonière (1487): Charles VIII « the Affable »
  • Jehanne Pyerriau, widow of late Guillaume de Rochefort, lady of les Aulnois (1502): Louis XII
  • Jacques de Boisnay (1552) François Ier
  • René de Thieslin, rider, Lord of Plessis en Saint Célerin (1639): Louis XIII

When he died, on September, 26th 1677, René de Thieslin leaves many debts. To soak it up, his heirs sold his goods, including the Château des Aulnays, to the Sisters of the Visitation, in Le Mans (on August, 18th 1679, according to the archives).

After the Revolution, the castle was sold during a sale of the national assets by the administration of the district on March,30th 1791 to the farmer Charles Bigot for 31 000 ??

It is hard to know, with this history, who is the real builder of the present castle. There are several leads to explore, one of them is a fireback which could be linked to this construction. On this fireback, two coats of arms are side by side. The left one  represents the Beaumanoir-Lavardin  family. The second one seems to be the De Villaines Family.

beaumanoir blason1

A suivre …………………………………