Chateau des Briottières

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In the beginning

The story of Briottières began in the early days of the 15th century when the land was owned by the Mergot family. Prior to 1485 it came into the possession of Jean de la Saussaie through his marriage to Jeanne de Mergot and it was then purchased in 1519 by Réne de Baif, husband of Catherine de Champchevrier, who in 1528 built the chapel de Sainte-Bonaventure.

The land at this time consisted of five farms and two estates and included the fiefdom of La Chapelle. The nobles succeeded one after the other – Réne de Baif until 1546, Maurice Chevallerie in 1560 and finally in 1574, Guillaume Lesrat who was Lieutenant-General du Sénéchal d'Anjou and whose family held the land until the revolution. René de Lesrat died 6 Feb 1701 at the age of 80 years and was succeded by his son, Clémént-Francois de Lesrat who died on 21 Nov 1740.

From the XVIII's century to the present day

On the 29 December 1722 his daughter married Alexis de Rougé, Seigneur des Rues and on the 29 November 1786 the Curé blessed the rebuilt chapel.

The château was now constructed in two parts with a central link and has remained as such ever since. In 1855 it was still the property of the family d'Armaillé who had a superb collection of pictures including a portrait of Roi René d'Anjou dated 1460.

In the middle of the 19th century the château was acquired by Alfred de Mieulle. Born in 1804 he married Marie-Louise Hochet and died in 1900. He was the great-great grandfather of Madame Jaques de Valbray, mother of Francois de Valbray the current owner.

Life was comfortable and the château life developed in tranquillity.

Several outbuildings surround the château with its 'English' park of 50 hectares of shady trees and bright avenues designed by Chatelain and finished by the Buhler brothers.

The grandfather of Francois de Valbray, Jean de Mieulle took over Les Briottières in 1921. He was just 20 years old and had only one servant. The Second World War arrived bringing the Germans into the chateau and the owners had to cohabit with them as best they could.

Meanwhile the new social laws of 1936 combined with the war reduced the number of servants, by now numbering twenty-one, to eleven - three gardeners, a gamekeeper, a coachman, kitchen staff and three women to clean the rooms. There were also the farm staff and woodcutters.

In 1967 Jean de Mieulle passed the property to his wife Geneviève de Mieulle (born Paulze d'Ivoy de La Poype) who in turn in May 1969 passed the property on to her daughter Monique de Valbray ( born de Mieulle)

Thus Les Briottières has been in the same family for six generations.

Francois de Valbray came to Briottieres on 1 January 1979 aged just 23 years. He married Hedwige de Craecker on 16 November 1984. The two of them, with their family of six children, bought the chateau back to life welcoming visitors from all over the world.
And thus was reborn this magnificent chateau in Anjou, full of charm and authenticity, combining tradition with modern living and decoration.