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Le chateau de Martinvast
Domaine de Beaurepaire

Tel : 02 33 87 20 80
     The first Château was ruined in the 100 year war and rebuilt between 1579 and 1581 by Bertholde du Moncel, with a wing framed by two large, square protucing fortified lodges. Of the medieval construction which remained, he only retained the keep. It was at that time surrrounded by moats and marshland. From 1820 to 1867, one of his descendants, Count Alexandre du Moncel, a brigadier and french peer, restored it to make it habitable and flanked it with four towers. Furthermore, he did away with the moats and dried out the marshland.

     In 1867, it was sold to Baron Arthur de Schickler, banker to the king of Prussia in Berlin and transformed into a neogothic Château by the addition of a medieval gallery to the north and the erection of a wing in the same style which connected the keep and the 16th century construction. The architect entrusted with this transformation was the Englishman William Henry White,who had worked on numerous buildings in Paris and had also rebuilt the Château of Bizy at Vernon on behalf of Baron Fernand de Schickler, Arthur's brother.

      In 1944, the 16th century construction was completely burnt to the ground by a British incendiary bomb, at the same time as an American bomb blast destroyed half of the neogothic wing built in the 19th century.

     Immediately after the war, Countess Hubert de Pourtalès, daughter of Baron Arthur de Schickler, separated out from the ruins the part of the neogothic wing which was still intact but it was not until the Château came to her grand-son, Count Christian de Pourtalès-Schickler, in 1962, that the restoration of the east wing of the 16th century Château was undertaken in 1967.Then in 1995 a gallery was built, intended to reconnect this wing with the intact part of the 19th century.

    In this way, little by little, the Château at Martinvast regains its former splendour, whilst its surroundings are also the object of constant care, a jewel nestling in wonderful green countryside.

     Opposite the former 16th century Château, the view extends to the Obelisk, probably raised by Count Alexandre du Moncel as a "gloriette". Intended to be seen from a distance, it is exceptionnally tall. Its four triangular faces are set with similar peerholes to those of the agricultural college, and it
can be climbed by a staircase inside.

     Further to the east, between the trees in the park, the ruins of the former windmill are visible. Sadly, it no longer has its roof and sails.

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