Château Mondenard and its chequered history

Château de Mondenard and its chequered history

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Nestled in the 'Pays de Serres' of the Tarn and Garrone in South-West France with almost 360 degree views over unspoilt farmland and forests, Château de Mondenard has sat on a spur overlooking the Barguelonne valley for over a thousand years.

The château has had a chequered history. In 1214 it was completely razed by the forces of Simon de Montfort, who led the crusade against the Cathars of south-west France. The château was rebuilt in 1234 and the base of the surviving tower dates from this period. It suffered further depredations and modifications throughout the 100 Years War, and the religious wars of the 16th century.

During the 18th century the site was purchased by the Comte de Sainte-Sarde. To the remnants of the medieval tower he added 2 neoclassical pavilions, with unusually large openings. This brought in light and created intimacy around a large court yard. Unfortunately for its owners, the project was left unfinished as they were forced to flee during the revolution. It remained in reduced circumstances throughout the 19th century.

An English adventurer, purchased the property and spent 10 years digging for the treasure

Legend has it that a calf skin of gold coins is buried within a cock's flight of the top of the tower. In the early 20th century an English adventurer, purchased the property and spent 10 years digging for the treasure, presumably without success.

The property was left abandoned for many years, and eventually purchased in a delapidated state by a local family who planted fruit trees on the site of the old vineyards, maintained the roofs, but left the château empty and effectively uninhabitable.

Château de Mondenard's unique combination of elegance and rustic simplicity

We purchased in 2009. We were drawn to the beautiful stone walls, unusual for the area, and its large window openings, also uncharacteristic of buildings of that era. We have carefully renovated it, trying to keep Château Mondenard's unique combination of elegance and rustic simplicity, letting its beautiful bones shine. Our aim is to create a comfortable and calm environment with large fireplaces, underfloor heating for the cooler months. The thick stone walls and shutters protect the rooms from the heat of summer.

Beautiful sunset views from a Juliet balcony

The kitchen is in the vaulted base of the tower and remains cool through the summer with beautiful sunset views from a Juliet balcony and the salon has light pouring in from both sides. The house is furnished with a combination of old and new, with large comfortable couches and our much loved art collection. We have installed a private, South-West facing pool and pool house on the lower terrace, down a flight of steps from the château, and this winter we added an en-suite to one of the bedrooms upstairs.

We have recently added a large terrace with barbecue, which gives sweeping views to the South and West and occasional glimpses of the Pyrenees.

Our charming staff (cleaner Christiane and guardian Michael) live close by and are typical of the kind and gracious people of this area.

The region has great produce and nearby village markets almost 7 days a week.

Mondenard is a 5 minute drive to the beautiful hill town of Lauzerte, and close to the vibrant village of Moncuq. It is 25 minutes from the heritage listed cloisters and church of Moissac, which has great market days on Saturday's and Sunday's.

During the Summer, Spring and Autumn there is live music to be found all around.

Château de Mondenard is set in 3 hectares of land that is surrounded by orchards and fields in the valley and small oak forests along the ridges and plateau above, all very lovely for walks.The area is slightly off the beaten track, avoiding the summer crowds the south of France can attract

This is a comment made by tenants who are returning for their 4th year visit.

Thank you to Michael, the most charming caretaker we have met and thank you to the owners for this fabulous château. We hope to return!

Private pool

Private pool

Living room in château

Living room in château

Living rom in château

Living rom in château

Bedroom in château

Bedroom in château

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This article featured the following holiday home...

Château de Mondenard

Holiday château in Cazes-Mondenard

This beautiful, private country estate comprises a large 13th century château in 3 hectares of private grounds with extensive south-facing views and private vineyard and lawned central courtyard.

A labour-of-love restoration for the current owners; the château combines original and contemporary features and furnishings to offer quality a hugely spacious accommodation throughout.

The château lies in the lovely Tarn and Garonne region of South-West France, easily accessible from international airports at Toulouse (just over an hour away) and Bergerac (90 minutes).

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This article may contain or reflect personal opinions and cannot be considered contractual.
Full property details and booking terms and conditions are available on the relevant property page(s).
Entry fees, opening hours and other information correct at the time of publishing, March 2019.

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