The Château de Lacypierre, a family home, an emotional visit!

Saint Crépin et Carlucet
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The Château de Lacypi ...

If the Dordogne is the land of 1001 castles , there are some that touch us more than others. The Château de Lacypierre in Saint-Crépin and Carlucet , is probably one of the smallest castles to visit in Périgord . It is a family home , the project of a lifetime and a very beautiful love story . It is told with passion and emotion by Isabelle and Florence , the two daughters of Annick and Serges Lebon-Hénault , who have renovated and rediscovered the history of these walls, after years of ardent work. Come with us for a discovery , which will make you want to go for a visit and learn more about the moving Château de Lacypierre .

A family project, a dream to accomplish

  In 1967, Serges and Annick lived in the Paris region. Madame teaches History and Monsieur is an architect , professor at the prestigious Boule school . If Parisian life feeds Annick and Serges' appetite for knowledge and thirst for transmission of knowledge , they lack a project that lives up to their dreams. It is in Dordogne , in the land of castles , heritage and history , that they start a new life. They survey the department but find nothing, until a real estate agent shows them a property " which is worth nothing ". They visit the Château de Lacypierre , in a sorry state : a little creepy, black and smoky according to Isabelle their daughter, who now shows me emotionally around her family home.

Isabelle Lebon
Isabelle Lebon, who shows the Château de Lacypierre alternately with her sister Florence
Lacypierre castle
Tours begin in a room where photos of the renovation are displayed, as well as a superb model of the Château

It is love at first sight , of the one who does without words and consultation. In 1968, they signed and became the new buyers of this château, which was just waiting to be reborn with skillful hands. But " when you fall in love, you don't see the flaws ", Annick said to her visitors from the height of her 80 years! Then begins the renovation , orchestrated by the talented Serges, it is above all to their pugnacity that the spouses owe the success of this business, which will not be easy!

Every vacation, every free weekend, the whole family jumps into the R16, driving at night to save time. They observe, imagine, make budget estimates , and most of all do most of the work themselves ! For the two little girls Florence and Isabelle, it is every time a delight to see the isolated castle appear in its valley. It has human proportions , there is only one living level (i.e. 4 adjoining rooms), attics , cellars and   a room hidden in the tower. It has a typical Périgordine look with its luminous golden stone , its imposing roof of lauze , its solid frame in very sloping chestnut (to support the lauze, these flat stones that we used entangled). All around is nature . Holm oaks , hazelnuts, fields, hillsides… A beautiful playground for girls, when they are not helping their parents. In the families of builders , everyone is helping out!

Lacypierre castle Lacypierre castle

The small castle in its valley, a green setting!

Lacypierre castle

An ambitious renovation that nothing will stop

It's a fact, the tower is tilting ! Some 23 centimeters of false balance… Similar to the Tower of Pisa, it is drawn to the ground and something must be done at all costs to prevent it from collapsing . The land in Périgord is clay-limestone and in this valley where a stream flows which feeds a pretty fountain , the earth swells and retracts, weakening the buildings. This precious water also infiltrates where it is not wanted! Penetrating through the back walls. Some would have given up ? Not Serges and Annick! They imagine buttresses (not very aesthetic ...) and facing this castle classified since 1946 , they opt instead for a concrete chain in order to surround the tower , from below, as if it were taken in benevolent arms. It is a titanic work carried out by Serges, the mason Clément Savaroche Hubert from Saint-Amand-de-Coly! Each step of the interior spiral staircase is braced and the cracks sealed to consolidate the staircase . Drains are dug to evacuate moisture and runoff.

In 1970, Annick decides that it is too much to go back and forth, it's decided, they will definitely live in Lacypierre !! The girls open their eyes one morning and know that they are not going to leave again. Comfort zones were then fitted out over the years in the château (bathroom, laundry room, kitchen, etc.), without harming the aesthetics: "A beautiful restoration, that is not visible!"

Lacypierre castle Lacypierre castle Lacypierre castle

The famous leaning tower (on the left) and (on the right) old photos of the repair of the roof

Lacypierre castle Lacypierre castle
The coat of arms of the entrance to the tower.

The inside of the castle

The visit is also made inside the Château de Lacypierre. There is only one floor to climb and a second to access the attic, on a practicable but somewhat narrow staircase. Going slowly, it's comfortable! You will first visit the attic , where the guide will tell you about the superb chestnut frame (a wood reputed to be rot-proof, widely used in Périgord, sometimes bleached by long years immersed in our rivers and it is said to keep away the spiders!). Admire the slate which is intertwined with skill, between the battens . A little glimpse of the hidden room … The Treasure Room in its stone tower, where the burrow books were preciously kept…

The attic Château de lacypierre
The attic. It was the girls' room, the "temporary that lasts".

Lauze roof Lacypierre castle
Zoom in on the frame and the roof, from below! Yes, it is completely waterproof!

We continue through the kitchen , with its superb adobe floor (pieces of stone planted in a mixture of lime and clay), completely redone with the same patterns ! Admire the beams , the beautiful blue paint and the designs on the beams and on the small closet at the entrance. You will be amazed by the modern and functional kitchen , cleverly hidden in a closed bed . There is also an old sink , where the family food was once cooked. In a display case, a magnificent collection of 18th century earthenware .

Lacypierre castle
The pretty kitchen, dining room with its bluish patina walls and painted ornaments

Lacypierre castle Lacypierre castle
Yes, a kitchen is hidden in this wooden element (a lis-clos)

Rammed earth Lacypierre castle
The rammed earth was removed, to stabilize the ground, then redone by hand identically, stone after stone ...

Lacypierre castle Lacypierre castle
Details on the alcove the vegetable garden to the right of the large fireplace, ancestor of stoves.

In the living room , the living room, it's a real museum . Each object has a history and a soul, every piece of furniture, decorative element was mottled with love and care, installed customized or adjusted. Florence and Isabelle will tell you the details of these adventures, these testimonies of the past ... We continue in a first pink bedroom with a four-poster bed , then a row where there is a small bathroom, then we arrive in the small 18th century living room with an astonishing and superb Versailles floor . This was recovered by Serges, in one of his sites in the Marais (in Paris), then put back in this room, tailor-made ...

Lacypierre castle

The large living room and the moving evocation of the Bénié family of Lacypierre through some objects that belonged to them


The pink room
The first bedroom and its four-poster bed

Lacypierre castle Lacypierre castle
The small 18th century living room and its Versailles parquet floor

We then arrive outside , on the other side of the castle, in a part tastefully furnished by the family, to enjoy the cool outside, on the hillside. You have here a magnificent point of view on the roof of lauze and its houteaux (dormers), which goes down right before your eyes, admire it once again. The end of the visit is on the heights of the castle, near the 17th century fountain , you have here a very nice overview.

On the other side of Château de Lacypierre

Château de Lacypierre, hillside

Florence and Isabelle
Florence and Isabelle, child at the castle

But who is Guillaume Benié de Lacypierre?

The Château de Lacypierre, as I told you, is a love story… that of the Lebon-Hénault family for the Périgordine building, but also for its eponymous former owner, Guillaume Benié de Lacypierre . Annick Lebon-Hénault, history teachers, never ceased to seek, seek, seek links, information, objects belonging to this illustrious and mysterious bodyguard of Louis XV and Louis XVI . She has compiled in a remarkable work, her meticulous and insatiable work , her discoveries and conclusions . It would be indelicate to tell you more, I leave it to Isabelle and Florence to tell you the moving story of this passion, this quest of a lifetime ...

Lacypierre delivers

To visit the Château de Lacypierre is to open your heart , your ears and your eyes to a beautiful history , the adventure (not always easy) of a family, the love for the heritage and for the past, while remaining in the present. How lucky to have such a testimony to hear and visit! Do not hesitate any longer, meet at Château de Lacypierre!

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