Le Château

The Château de Purnon is a vast estate located near Verrue, a village of 400 residents, situated in South-East France on the edge of the Forest of Scévollees. A grand alley of 2km traverses the forest and provides a monumental view from the château grounds.

Constructed between 1772 and 1791 for Antoine-Charles Achard, Marquis de la Haye (1737-1816). The château is built in a classic French style flanked by two enormous outbuildings made in tufa stone and ocher plaster with remarkable charpente in the style of Philibert Delorme. In 1893, the castle was purchased for only the second time in its history by the Marquis de Rochequairie until it was sold to the current owners.

The château and the two main outbuildings, the moat and terraces as well as the northern entrance gates are all classified as Historical Monuments since May 10, 1995. The gate of the main courtyard to the north of the castle, the Moulin Bigeard, the vegetable garden, the wind turbine and its reservoir were listed as Historic Monuments on December 11, 1992.

Current State

After more than a century of neglect, the château’s slate roof is in peril, threatening the conservation of the inside roof of the château. The facades in tufa stone are significantly damaged. Most of the shutters have collapsed due to exposure to the elements and lack of maintenance over a long period of time.

Most of the buildings and outbuildings are overgrown, some of them ruined and dangerous. The roofs leak and the two main buildings have significant structural damage. In particular the western building which is seriously unstable and supported by a large support structure. The terraces and their cellars, in the northern part of this building, are in ruins and are at great danger of collapsing.

Emergency Works

Immediate emergency works to be completed in 2021 consist of:

1. Restoration of the château roof, bridge, slate roofing, charpente, shutters, facades, second floor and  basement.

2. Restoration of the roofs and non-ruined structures of the outbuildings. At minimum install covers or of tarpaulins to protect the buildings. Removal of dangerous or precarious elemetns and structures.