La Celle-Guenand is the ancestral seat of the family Guenand...
Few regions of France have yielded as many prehistoric vestiges as the southern part of Touraine. People have lived on this site since the Neolithic period, but La Celle-Guenand was only named in about 1426. Nestled in a small valley on the river Remillon, the village brings together ancient half-timbered houses, a Castle, a Jewry, and the harmonious 12th century Romanesque church of Notre-Dame. Quietly situated, the ancient street names give clues to the activities of village life, rue de tanneries (Tannery Street); rue de ancienne abattoir (Old Abattoir Street); rue du juiverie (Jewry Street), and evoke the spirit of a bygone era.
La Celle-Guenand's lordly chateau, ancient seat of Antoine de Guenand, is remarkable for its complex architecture inspired by the fortress of Vincennes built by Charles V (c1364). The castle built in the 14th century, on the site of an old fortress, was notably enlarged in the following two centuries. There are underground passages which, in the Middle Ages, served as refuge and supply stores, and there is an underground fountain.
The main building (1422) is shouldered by several towers. It is linked by a gallery (1476), held up by arches to the "Chatelet" with its graceful cantilevered turrets. Other elements were added in the 17th and 19th centuries. A decree of June 11, 1943 registered the chateau on the Additional Inventory of Historic Buildings (ISMH).
The Touraine takes its name from a Celtic tribe called the Turones, who inhabited the region about two thousand years ago. In 1044, the control of Touraine was given to the Angevins, who (as the House of Plantagenet) became kings of England in 1154, the castle of Chinon being their greatest stronghold. In 1205, Philip II Augustus of France regained Touraine. At this time, Touraine was made into a royal duchy. At about the time of the construction of chateau de La Celle-Guenand, Henry V of England died, and his infant son Henry VI became King and succeeded to the French throne on the death of his grandfather Charles VI shortly afterwards. Henry inherited the long-running Hundred Years War (1337–1453). In 1429, Saint Joan of Arc had an historic meeting with the future King of France Charles VII at Chinon. Throughout the late 15th and 16th centuries, Touraine was a favorite residence of French kings, including nearby Loches. The dark and gloomy castles were converted to Renaissance châteaux and manicured gardens were introduced. These same châteaux became popular tourist attractions in modern times. The royal duchy became a province in 1584, and was divided into departments in 1790. The current department name is Indre-et-Loire.
Owners through the years...
The original family GUENAND seem to hail from Dour located in the Belgian province of Hainaut. Through marriage they are connected to Henry I of France; Hildegonde Princess of Lombardie; and Pharamond King of Westphalia; amongst others.
The first known Lord of La Celle-Guenand is Antoine de GUENAND, Lord of Saint-Cyran, du Jambot, de Vitray, de Tanchou, de Brossein, and La Celle-Geunand. He is cited on April, 1st 1422 for his marriage to Oralie de FONTENAY.
Antoine is from an illustrious family which included among its members an Archbishop of Rouen and a Banner-holder of France. His father, Guillaume Guenand des Bordes was a chamberlain to the King, Lieutenant General of Touraine (1369), Captain of the Castle of The Hague.
Antoine entered royal service as Captain-Governor of Loches in 1441, under Charles VII (who had famously been crowned in Reims in 1429 through the endeavors of Joan of Arc to free France from the English). Antoine was in residence when the Duke of Alencon, Antoine de Chabannes and Pierre d'Amboise pulled the Dauphine from the Castle of Loches to take him to Moulins.
Pierre, Lord GUENAND (Antoine's son) inherited the estate in 1487; at the time he was Governor of the Royal Castle at Amboise under Louis XI, and Grand Chaimberlain during the reign of Charles VIII. Antoine II de GUENAND, chevalier continued in his fathers noble footsteps. His son, Georges de GUENAND was childless, so at his death, the estate was left to his Aunt, Antoinette d'AZAY (nee Guenand). In 1553, the estate was owned by Jead du Plessis, Lord of Bergeonniere.
In 1559 Guillaume de COUTANCE (Seigneur de Baillou) owned the castle. He married Renee d'AZAY (grand-daughter of Antoinette). In 1563 the estate went back to the family Guenand; Antoine de Guenand, Perrine de Guenand, widow of sieur de la Roche, and Marie Briand, widow of Gilles de Commacre. By 1570, it was inherited by Renee de Coutance. From that date, the domains of La-Celle-Guenand and La-Celle-Draon were merged.
They were Lords of Baillon (knights of the order of the King); Hardouin de Coutance, knight in 1604, was an Ordinary Gentleman of the king's Bedchamber, and Lieutenant of the city and castle of Nantes. They witnessed 10 Kings of France crowned during their stewardship. The combined estate was held by the Lords of COUTANCE until about 1780.
Guenand Coat of Arms
pro virili parte
Jean Cantineau de COMMACRES owned chateau de La Celle Guenand from 1780 until 1785 the last years of the French monachy. Followed by Pierre GAULIER who lived there through the 1789 'revolution' until 1794. Indeed the estate was held by the GAULIER des BORDES through the First Empire, Second Republic, Second Empire, and the Third Republic until 1935, when it passed to Jacques-Marie Joseph DEVAULX de CHAMBORD.
In recent years the castle has remained a happy place and owners have been few: Pierre Conrad Hervé DE COSTA CHARRON (Ambassadeur Plénipotentiaire de l'Ordre de Malte), followed by Dr Henrik VAN BRUGGEN, and then the family des ACRES de l'AIGLE. Since 2008, the current custodian of this medieval castle is Mr Stephen PALLUEL.