Located in Normandy (Le Neubourg), the Champ-de-Bataille castle is undoubtedly one of the most important and beautiful private castle restorations in France.
It is the decorator Jacques Garcia who will, from 1992 (until today) restore its architecture, re-establish all the historical decorations and furnish it with exceptional pieces of collections (found all over the world and notably during revolutionary sales as far as the royal pieces are concerned) subtly arranged, creating a decor and an atmosphere of inhabited and sophisticated house, unique in its kind.
If the castle was built in the middle of the 17th century by Alexandre de Créquy (a rebel and friend of the Prince of Condé), it is the House of Harcourt that will (at first) leave its mark on this building.
Anne-François d’Harcourt, Marquis de Beuvron (who became Duke in 1784), bought the castle in 1754, at the age of 27.
He undertook numerous works but did not have the time or opportunity to finish them, due to the Revolution. He had to leave the castle for his safety.
The castle, uninhabited and sequestered, was looted in 1795, then remained unoccupied for more than 10 years.
A succession of owners followed, until 1903 when it was bought by Count Charles d’Harcourt, deputy and then senator of Calvados, a descendant of the Duke of Beuvron, who restored it again and lived in it, before selling it to the town of Neubourg, which transformed it into a hospice.
After the war, it was used as a prison camp and then as a prison for women.
In 1947, it was put up for sale by the city of Neubourg and purchased by the nephew of Count Charles d’Harcourt.
This 11th Duke of Harcourt had the facades, roofs and frameworks restored, and the park and the 15 hectares of French gardens replanted.
He also had the interior restored, refurnishing it with family heirlooms from the Château d’Harcourt, in Thury-Harcourt, burned down in 1944 by the German occupiers and of which he was the heir.
In 1966, the castle was the setting for the celebration of the millennium of the House of Harcourt (bringing together 120 representatives of the French and English branches of the family).
Gardens of the Château du Champ-de-Bataille (Normandy)
The castle was bought by Jacques Garcia in 1992, but the following year it was hit by the terrible storm of 1993, which ravaged the park.
The decorator found in the castle a plan of French gardens (attributed, without certainty, to Le Nôtre) and then decided to begin pharaonic works in this English-style park of nearly 45 hectares. He wanted to create contemporary French gardens, while respecting the ancient elements and the structure of the gardens as they must have been in the 17th century.
He dug a 550 meter long canal, dug more than a million cubic meters of earth, planted hundreds and hundreds of trees, plants, boxwoods and groves, adding antique elements (statues, sculptures, …) as well as fabriques (The “Treasure of Leda” for example – a small temple).
The decorator will go so far as to reconstitute an Indian palace piece by piece, by going to India to find original decorations from ruined buildings.
The Château du Champ-de-Bataille is the work of an audacious and modern aesthete, who does not forget history.
We can’t recommend you enough to go and discover it, if you haven’t already done so.
From the floor to the ceiling, from the front door to the back of the park, you will be amazed.
REGISTER NOW FOR THE EXCLUSIVE TOUR OF CHATEAU DU CHAMP-DE-BATAILLE, BY JACQUES GARCIA