» » The history of Serrant

The Renaissance

 

 

Serrant was first of all a medieval fortress until the day that, Péan de Brie, who participated to the Italy wars, decided to build his castle in a Renaissance way.

But serious financial problems stop the works: just a part of the wing, the North tower and half of the main building have risen.

 

The Classicism

The estate meets several owners and in 1636, Guillaume de Bautru, councillor of the state, purchase Serrant. This figure made a mark in the court Louis XIII and Louis XIV because of his libertine behaviour, his repartee and his comical jokes. In Serrant he looks closer the goal of Péan de Brie and decide to pursue the works according to the  original plans : the main building is achieved, the South tower, the two wings and the two lodges are created… A century separate the structure but who can see the trick that the architectural programm from the 16th century is respected so much!

 

The chapel was designed by Jules-Hardouin Mansart. It contains the mausoleum of the Marquess de Vaubrun by Coysevox. The Marchioness of Vaubrun, born Madeleine de Bautru, commanded this monument to celebrate the glorious memory of her husband, killed during the War of Spanish  Succession.

 
 

The Exiles

 

1749: the last descendant of Guillaume de Bautru, widow and without any child, sold Serrant’s estate.

The Walsh, a ship-owner family from Nantes, bought it. This old Irish family exiled in France to prove their loyalty towards the Stuarts and permits for the castle to avoid destructions due to the French Revolution. The hosted a lot of famous people : Archiduchess Maria Christina of Austria, Marie-Antoinette's sister, Napoleon and hiis wife Josephine, and Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, the future Napoleon III.

 

 

The Walsh created an English landscaped garden around the castle. The massive entrance gate hold their coat of arms and emblem : a swan wounded by an arrow, symbolising their exile from Ireland to France.

 

Splendors of La Trémoïlle

In 1830, Valentine Walsh de Serrant marry the Duke of la Trémoïlle: one of the oldest French family, which genealogy dates back to the 11th century, joins its destiny with the castle.

 

The Duke entrusts Lucien Magne to restore Serrant: addition of a  balustrade decorated with « pots à feu »,  pediments above the second floor’s windows and the coat of arms of La Trémoïlle family placed above the main entrance.

The inside was all re-decorated keeping furniture and memories of the families who ived there before. 

The duke finally modernised the castle by adding central heating system, electricity, running water and bathrooms for each bedrooms.

 

 

  

A princely estate

 

Nowadays, the castle is still a private house, welcoming for all the visitors. The current owners, the Prince and Princess de Merode, are descendant of the La Trémoïlle. They have already done a lot to embellish and modernize it. Since 2004, the castle offers beautiful and restored kitchens.

In 2016, the servant's dining room and the laundry room open to the public in order to 

show what's hidden from view. 

Today, Serrant is always more welcoming: the old garage hosts now the ticket office and the shop. 

During winter 2016, the last restoration affects the « Orangerie » from the 18th century to make a special room for seminars and weddings.