Château de Courcy

Château de Courcy

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The Château de Courcy is a ruined castle in Normandy typical of 12th-13th century military architecture. At the start of the 17th century, it was demolished by order of Richelieu and, losing all military function, slowly became an agricultural enterprise. In 1975, the remaining parts of the former were protected by being added to the supplementary inventory of historical monuments. In spite of this protection, the condition of the site has continued to deteriorate and very little survives today.

A Sunny Place For Shady People

A time when anyone who was anyone spent weeks at a time on the Riviera.

One of the funniest stories in this entertaining book is how the former Edward VIII, living at Château la Croë in the South of France following his abdication, appeared one hot August day as a Scottish laird about to go stalking. ‘Beautiful kilt, swords and all the aids. Then, out of the woods rushed what might have been the whole Campbell family, complete with pipes and haggis etc.’

According to ‘Fruity’ Metcalfe, Edward’s former best man and now unpaid aide-de-camp, this bizarre event was organised by the Duke of Windsor himself and ‘we all had to admire and applaud by order of the All highest’.

This book is stuffed with similarly bizarre anecdotes and gossip. Anne de Courcy makes a highly amusing guide to the shenanigans, foibles and affairs of the rich and famous at a time when it seemed anyone who was anyone spent weeks at a time on the Riviera, the magnificent stretch of coastline linking France and Italy.

Among those who visited frequently were Winston Churchill, who liked to stay with his friend Maxine Elliott at Château de l’Horizon, Lloyd George, who came with his mistress and then sent her home when it was time for his wife, Somerset Maugham, who entertained a variety of famous guests at Villa Mauresque, H.G. Wells who had a ‘love nest’ on the Riviera and the ailing Viscount Furness with his third wife, Enid. Writers and artists also thronged there including James Thurber, Bertold Brecht, Aldous Huxley, Cyril Connolly, Jean Cocteau and Vladimir Nabokov, who arrived in Cannes with his wife and son but was torn by his love for another woman, Irina Guadagnini, ‘a lively Russian blonde’, who came hoping to prise Nabokov away but failed. Picasso, a key Riviera figure impossible not to notice as he drove around in his yellow Hispano-Suiza with his latest mistress by his side, painted Night Fishing in Antibes in 1939, said by many to depict the end of an era.

And indeed the book changes gear once war is declared, as around 5,000 Jews arrived, including many well-known writers, actors and musicians from Germany, Austria and elsewhere in Nazi-occupied Europe, hoping, often erroneously, to be safer in France, the first country to offer emancipation to the Jews a century earlier. Metcalfe now wrote to his wife that Cannes station was ‘Hell on earth’ or, as one antisemitic newspaper described it, Kahn-sur-mer.

Suddenly, the playboy life of the rich came to an end. In Monte Carlo the sporting club and casino shut and all along the coast hotels dismissed staff. Railway companies drastically cut services and on 7 September Walter Monckton arrived to bring the Windsors back to England but, as both were terrified of flying, a destroyer had to be organised to get them home. Once the German occupation of France was underway the book darkens again as life on the Riviera became cruel with frequent German reprisals against civilian hostages.

De Courcy has dug deep into a rich seam of stories about the coastal region of France pulling together an invaluable, if somewhat exhausting, resource on France in the 1930s and 40s. A small quibble about the title: although the story of how Coco Chanel came to love La Pausa, her beautiful villa at Roquebrune and the one real home she ever had, opens the book, during the war she decamped to the Paris Ritz with her handsome German lover, Hans Gunther von Dincklage, or Spatz, and after the war slunk off to Switzerland. The stories of Wallis and Edward make the French Riviera just as much theirs.

Chanel’s Riviera: Life, Love and the Struggle for Survival on the Côte
D’Azur, 1930-44

Anne de Courcy
304pp £20

Anne Sebba’s most recent book is Les Parisiennes: How Women Lived, Loved and Died in Paris from 1939-49 (2016).

The castle of a power family. In 1214, Enguerrand III, Lord of Coucy, was one of the victors at the Battle of Bouvines, near Lille, the first major European battle which cemented the burgeoning sense of national pride in France. In the 14th century, Enguerrand VII of Coucy, a great diplomat, transformed it into a sumptuous palace.

Inspiring decoration. Sculptures of the Nine "Preuses" (or female Worthies) on the monumental fireplace, built around 1400 by Louis of Orleans at Coucy, are the first known representation of this iconographic theme. A drawing of them, published by Androuet du Cerceau in the 16th century, gave the 19th-century architect Viollet-le-Duc inspiration for the fireplace in the great hall at the Château de Pierrefonds.

Four centuries of destruction. The castle was dismantled in 1652 and used as a stone quarry until it was bought by King Louis-Philippe in 1829, then by the French state in 1848. Several architects in turn, including Viollet-le-Duc, strove to preserve the ruins. During the First World War, the four towers and the keep were destroyed by German forces.

To ensure the safety of our visitors, the monument is strictly applying the security measures decided by the french authorities.
The monument is fully opened.

Courcy castle has 6 bedrooms including two master suites with a sleeping capacity of 10 people, The estate includes the castle and an cottage with two bedrooms therefore the total capacity is up to 14 people maximum.

The first floor , on one side the landing opens to a formal drawing room finished with louis XIV wood panneling and furniture and a magnificent fire place, leading to another drawing rooms with Louis XIII panneling , furnishing and tapestry with views to the moat, gardens and pigeon tower. The other side of the landing opens to a vast Louis XIII wood panelled dining room. A secret door leads to the breakfeast room with hand-painted panel walls. This wing also includes the Regency Bedroom with shower , toilet and hand basin.

The second floor has 5 bedrooms :2 Master Bedroomswith ensuite bathroom and WC ,1 double bedroom with direct acces to a bathroom and 2 single rooms, one with shower and hand basin and the other with bidet and handbasin.

Th elevated basement contain two vast spaces : the main kitchen with stone fireplace and the carpeted "Club Room" with its own fireplace, for playing cards , gaves and watching movies or satellite TV .

The two storey cottage,100 meters from the main house , has 2 double bedrooms , a bathroom , its own complete kitchen with stone fireplace , dining area and living room.

Several gardens in cludes a traditional " jardin à la française" as well as an old vegetable garden or " potager" converted to a rose garden .The crowing glory is the XVII century pigeon tower, once home to more than 1000 pigeon .

The grounds include an open-air swimming pool ,heated from mid May to mid September, and a synthetic grass tennis court . Carp fishing in the moat is possible.

Next to the castle are the staff quarters and stables. In the stables, there are several bicycles , including 2 for children, ping pong table , and other equipment for badmington, croquet , pétanque to enjoy on the lawns. A vintage play structure with swings is located in the vegetable garden.

The Willis extended family enjoyed one of our all-time favourite holidays at Chateau de Courcy during the summer of 2016. It was pretty much like spending 14 blissful nights in an extraordinarily comfortable, divinely elegant, charming, characterful and fascinating museum. The property's long history is palpable, as if you can touch and breathe in the centuries. It&rsquos absolutely somewhere you immediately settle in and don&rsquot want to leave, made even more instantly relaxing by owner Jean, as gracious as he is entertaining. It&rsquos also beautifully well-equipped: we spent countless hours in and by the pool, playing tennis at sunset, rowing in the moat, feeding the swans, walking the grounds, engaged in the kitchen preparing delicious local produce, and as much time again unwinding in the enchanting brick-vaulted lounge with a log fire for atmosphere. Locally, it&rsquos fascinating: the Normandy beaches and dunes, alluring farmers&rsquo markets and agricultural shows, museums a plenty, historic towns and quiet countryside that is at all times tranquil, even in the height of the season. Everything is half the price of the Cote D&rsquoAzur, yet twice as pleasant, so altogether four times better value. Of course we shall return.

The Willis Family, Bath, England July 2016

&ldquoWe stayed at Courcy in summer 2016. We were 2 families from Spain, totalling 11. The Chateau is magnificent, with nice furniture and ample spaces. The garden is as good as it seems on the photos, and vary particularly the old pigeonnier island in the garden. Overall an excellent place to relax and enjoy in a wonderful environment. Many things to do around in Normandy including nature, WWII museums, towns to visit, etc. I would also recommend the char a voile activity in the beach 10 mins away. But surely the best activity is staying at the Chateau, with its amenities (tennis, heated pool, bikes, etc) and surroundings. Overall highly recommended.&rdquo

Jose TdS , Spain Summer 2016

We had the pleasure of staying at the Chateau de Courcy last year for a family re-union. There were 8 adults and 7 children, of which 6 were under 10 years old. Our stay was absolutely wonderful. The house is beautiful, standing amid expansive and very well maintained gardens, with plenty of spaces for the kids to play as well as a clean and accessible swimming pool. We had full use of the house and grounds and enjoyed learning about the history of Jean's family, the house and all its beautiful furniture from the owner Jean, who met us and ensured that everything was perfect for our stay. There is a caretaker/gardener and family living adjacent to the house, which was very helpful on the few occasions when we lost our keys or needed access to some of the amenities. The kids thoroughly enjoyed roaming the grounds, playing tennis and spent much time in the pool.

The owner, Jean also arranged for us to have the support of a wonderful cook to prepare family friendly and adult pleasing delicious meals every evening, including after dinner clean up and morning cleaning every day.

We spent our days enjoying the property and nearby villages as well as exploring the history and sites of the D-Day landings. Jean was extremely helpful and attentive in ensuring everything was perfect.

A handful of close friends and I spent the most enjoyable and relaxing week at Chateau de Courcy, a thoroughly charming and idyllic 17th century chateau located in the gorgeous Normandy countryside. Prepare to be transported to another time entirely it did not take us long to appreciate the chateau's unique qualities and also its idiosyncrasies. However, the opportunity to experience an historic, centuries owned, "grand family home" is special indeed. All of the rooms are elegant and ooze character and the pool, gardens, tennis court and moat (complete with 2 swans!) are like icing on the cake. The owner, Jean, could not have been more gracious, accessible and warm. He drove from Paris to meet us on arrival, gave us a thorough tour of the home and property and made sure we felt welcomed and comfortable. Jean checked in with us regularly (his english is excellent!) and was very pleased to answer any questions and make recommendations for local restaurants, markets and sightseeing excursions, all of which made the trip feel authentically French. A lovely housekeeper/cook is available to provide as much support as you desire --- she is an excellent cook and extremely pleasant. After long days of walking the coastline, exploring nearby towns, making the trip to Mount St. Michel and the D-Day Beaches, it was wonderful to return to delicious home cooked meals. We were sad when our week came to its end and we all have such fond memories of our time at Chateau de Courcy!

Phoebe L California USA September 2014

This chateau is just a dream come true. The photos look nice but it is even more impressive in reality.
We were lucky to find an available week and the booking process was very easy. Jean is just wonderful. He came from Paris to greet us on our arrival and explained everything and even introduced us to the local fishmonger.
The property is very well kept- the house and the gardens are always perfect. There are some gardener looking after the wonderful gardens and the Madame, who is looking after the Chateau is also a great cook. We, a group of friends with children, spent lovely hours at the pool and in the gardens and we all felt like little prince and princess. In the evening we enjoyed the delicious dinners, which were prepared for us and the evening ended with a digestive in one of the living rooms.
All rooms are furnished with precious antiques and all bathrooms are equipped with high class facilities. Also the kitchen was a dream: Very atmospheric but with first class equipment.
The beach is near by and there are a lot of things to explore in the area.
We will definitely come back! We all felt so lucky to be able to stay in such a wonderful place and also felt very welcome and taken care of.
I must admit, that absolutely all expectations were exceeded a lot. Chateau de Courcy is definitely the greatest place I have stayed at.

Daniela W, Dusseldorf , Germany August 2013

We have stayed two years in a row at this idyllic house.
It takes 300 years to get a well balanced house and garden.
The in house chef made wonderful suppers of Normandy fare. The poll and tennis court allowed good exercise.
We'll placed to visit numerous historical sites and attractions.
Would go every year.

Project Members and their Interests

Working in this area? Let us know! Please include your name and a link to your Geni profile below, and tell us which areas you are most involved with.

    (Project Manager, Curator): Primary families I'm curating are d'Aubigny families of Arundel and Belvoir de Bayeux (Earls of Chester, de Meschines) Malet de Bohun (and on to Boone) de Braose de Tosny/Toeni/Toni Bigod Lucy Thoroldsdottir and all of her family connections. I occasionally work on Percy, Mortimer, Grey, de Warenne, and others. If you have any information or corrections to add to Master Profiles that I am curating, even if they are locked, please do not feel excluded--I invite you to contact me and let's work together on building terrific profiles for these historical figures and ancestors.Sometimes it's necessary to lock problem profiles to keep them in order. (Curator). Norse and Norman families (Curator). Working from William the Conqueror through to the Plantagenets but predominantly concentrating on Henry I and attached branches at the moment. This means I will have left a fingerprints on a lot of the names mentioned so far. (Curator). Primary families I'm curating: d'Anjou, de Gatinois (progenitors of Fulk line) from 800-1100 AD. Also known as the Angevin line. Interested in: de Pecche/Peche and Peverel , Clopton/Cloptone/de Cloptone (on down to Tandy, Henderson and Snelling) and all their in-laws. This is my husband's mother's ancient family. I will create master profiles and will lock only to prevent repeated bad merges. I welcome additional information and sources, just send me a message. (Curator). I'm interested in all of these families. I do occasional work in this area. (Curator). I'm working on the de Montfort family who I am descended from. I am descended from multiple Anglo-Norman families, including de Bohun, de Tosni, de Beauchamp, and de Warene. My 5th great grandmother Freelove Baldwin who married Stephen Stow of Milford, CT was descended from these Anglo-Normans. (Curator). I'm working on Norman families of Normandy (France), England and Ireland, connected to the Welsh and Walsh surnames, including Breathnach. Also researching the Anglo-Norman families, including de Beauchamp family. Pamela Bigelow Johnson. I'm working on the several ancestral families, which keeps expanding as they intermarried:) de Hauteville's, de Grandmesnil, de Rethel. I am especially interested as they make their way into Italy and the Levant.

Other Interested Researchers

Il ne reste que des vestiges des deux enceintes de ce château féodal.

Le premier château de Courcy fut probablement bâti de terre et de bois [ 6 ] .

La structure de la fortification était conçue avec une succession de trois enceintes (une enceinte entourant le village, une autre la basse-cour et la dernière constituant le cœur de la forteresse) dont il ne subsiste que la dernière.

Entourée de fossés, la dernière enceinte était haute d'environ 10 mètres et défendue par douze tours, dont il ne subsiste que neuf tours rondes et une tour carrée ayant vraisemblablement servi de donjon.

En outre dans l'enceinte se situent les vestiges d'une chapelle Sainte-Catherine datable du XI e siècle [ 7 ] . mais ayant été profondément remaniée aux XV e – XVI e siècles [ 6 ] .

You've only scratched the surface of De Courcy family history.

Between 1986 and 2001, in the United States, De Courcy life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1986, and highest in 2001. The average life expectancy for De Courcy in 1986 was 70, and 74 in 2001.

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your De Courcy ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Château de Courcy - History

Another name for Charles was Lord Courci.

General Notes:

No authoritative record exists of this son of Charles III, yet much circumstance supports this and his existence as grandfather to Baldric the Teuton. Some sources argue that this Charles descended from Louis IV and Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine, but generations do not appear to align.

Some sources put birthplace as Courcy, Ardennes, France, but these may just be lands he inherited. His father was in prison at Peronne at his birth - so the question is where was Eadgifu. Laon is a possible location as it was seat of royalty at the time. Courcy, near Reims, is also a possible location of birth which could account for origin of the name.

Birth date by many sources is 925, however his mother Eadgifu is generally believed to have fled to England in 923 with young Louis (eventually Louis IV). This was prompted by imprisonment of Charles III in 922. Could she have returned to France? We do know that Louis was left in the care of her father Edward the Elder, king of the English, and subsequently his uncle, Aethelstan.

The Cambridge Medieval History Vol Iii Germany And The Western Empire
(This source strongly suggested Laon as birthplace)

Research Notes:

Noted events in his life were:

Charles married Heiress Archarda of Bar-sur-Aube., daughter of Archard de la Ferte Sur Aube and Unknown, ? . . (Heiress Archarda of Bar-sur-Aube. was born in 925 in La Ferte sur Aube.)

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