History of the Château de Salvert and the family, Loire Valley, France
The most sculptured château in the area, Saumur, Loire Valley chateaux
The history of the Château
Salvert, its land and its woods, have been in the same family for more than 700 years. The succession was by the female line, firstly with the Lejumeau de Kergaradec, then the Leroux de Mazé then de Salvert, and finally the Le Pelletier de Glatigny who have been there since 1862.
In the 16th century it was a seigneurial dwelling, then in the 18th century the east-west wing was added (the right wing) and it became a château with elegant reception rooms and comfortable bedrooms.
"Pierre Petit, Charles de Savonnières, and René Lejumeau (Seigneur of Blou) succeeded one another. Salvert then passed, through marriage, from the Lejumeau to the Leroux de Mazé family. In 1846 Amélie Leroux married the Baron Louis Eugène Le Pelletier. They undertook a vast construction project which created the château as we know it today. Between 1856 and 1861 forty three planning applications, determining the reconstruction and land management, were submitted to the only Solicitor in Allonnes! In 1862 the Baron and the Baronne Le Pelletier de Glatigny employed the architect Couët (1)" of Saumur to oversee the work. According to family legend, the celebrated architect Joly Leterme, also of Saumur, brought his considerable experience to act as an advisor.
"A project of expansion joined the former 16th century dwelling with the18th century wing, completing them with bold additions. The two buildings, at right angles to one another, are married together by the same decoration of the façades in Gothic style, in order not only to modernise the former structures but also for the additions necessary to an old building. The sculptors were charged with the task of making this château the most Gothic and the one with the most sculptures in the region. Despite the many sculptures created and despite the addition of many other features, the co-existence of the 18th century architecture with the neo-gothic works well and gives the château a surprising appearance, marrying together the sculptures, the chimneys and the towers which pierce the roofline." (2)
The family LE PELLETIER
The « Le PELLETIER » is an old family of artillerymen, a skill passed down from father to son, at a time when the artillery was separate from the Army. In 1662 Michel Le Pelletier became the General of the French Artillery, answerable only to the Grand Master. His portrait is in the museum at Versailles (3). During 54 years of service he took part in 75 sieges, 11 battles and several wars. His two sons became Lieutenant Generals of the King’s Army, including Laurent-Michel, who had 45 years of service and took part in 29 sieges, 5 large battles and several wars. Two more Lieutenant Generals succeeded them. They were ennobled in 1703 by Louis XIV and confirmed in 1738 by Louis XV (4). Their Coat of Arms is « d’azur à la face d’argent chargée d’un croissant de gueules accompagnée de trois étoiles d’or, deux en chef et une en pointe » and their motto is « Fidelis et audax » (faithful and bold).
The Green Room
For dinner and breakfast
In the 18th century the Green Room (40m²) served as a smoking room and billiard room. Decorated in the Louis XVI style, the wood panels are covered in 19th century printed cotton, with motifs of foliage and birds. You can also admire the portrait of the present owner’s grandmother, Marie-Thérèse LE PELLETIER de GLATIGNY née Van den CORPUT.
The white Room
In the 18th century there was a central corridor which connected all the drawing rooms. In the 19th century the owner wished to create a large reception room and did so by knocking down a wall and joining two of the rooms together. This magnificent 19th century room measuring 50m² espouses a Louis XV décor with wood panelled walls and white plastered ceiling.
"The ceiling decorations are magnificent. The decorations of the architraves and the friezes will one day be made more stunning by replacing the white with gold and the empty parts of the scrolls by the family Coat of Arms. The tapestries in the wood panels represent wild flowers. You will also find 19th century reproduction Louis XV furniture with the same motifs as the tapestries.
This room has been deliberately conceived to prevent the sun from entering, in order to protect the tapestries. However, four mirrors, with wood surrounds sculpted with foliage and lilies, have been strategically placed to capture the western light. In addition the present owner has opened the upper part of the main door in order to let in more light." (2)
A fireplace of Italian marble in Louis XV style is found opposite the doorway which leads into the Green Room.
The White Room is often used for piano concerts.
(1) Célestin Port, Dictionnaire . T III p.466
(2) Extrait de Guy MASSIN LE GOFF, le néogothique civil en Anjou, Paris, 1999, 1550 p, thèse de doctorat, Conservateur, Conseil Général Maine et Loire
(3) Versailles, salle 165, n°4318.
(4) Archive Nationale, P2592, fol 31