The mind-blowing skills of the château artisans

The mind-blowing skills of our roofing artisans are on display as they follow a centuries old tradition. The roof starts to be returned to its original 18th century shape and we start cleaning up the château grounds after a long winter.

An incredible discovery unlocks a 250 year old mystery

A discovery in the château attic leads us solve the identity of the architect who created the château and to our surprise we learn he had a secret of his own …

Our biggest discovery yet!

Shortly after arriving at Château de Purnon, we made the most intriguing discovery. Two busts – one in pieces in the attic and the other buried amongst some stones in a collapsed outside cellar. With no idea who they were or where they had originally come from we were determined to solve this mystery.

The incredible château chai transformation

This week Château de Purnon … triumph caps a months work to save the domain’s incredible chai, the first floor en-suite inches closer and our stonemasons install a massive corniche on the château façades.

Disaster strikes the fragile château domain

This week at Château de Purnon the finishing touches are put on the chai roof, Flick weaves her magic to repair some wood boiserie, the château’s shutters return home after being restored and disaster strikes the fragile domain.

Showers .... inside and out!

This week, as the heavens open up on us, the restoration of the chai roof unveils an unpleasant surprise, the falling facade of the chai is dismantled and the chateau’s first shower gets one step closer!

Maintaining a noble facade

This week our incredible stonemasons restore the stonework around the château’s epic coats of arms, we get one step closer to hanging wallpaper in.a first floor en-suite and more of the chai roof comes off!

Our next room restoration revealed!

This week immense progress is made on our chai roof restoration, we start work on a new project inside the chateau & we catch up with the artisans restoring the chateau roof’s enormous oak frame.

Everything has changed!

This week we have a change of heart, our next huge restoration project starts and the restoration of the beautiful stonework on the château facades turns a corner.

Raising the château roof!

This week we share a once in a century chance to witness the removal of the château roof.

Our next huge restoration challenge revealed

It’s a race against time to save one of the château domain’s most charming buildings.

Château ensuite transformation!

Restoring the first floor: Part 2

It’s taken 12 months to get the château’s second ensuite to this point!

2 years, 10 chimneys, 46 chimney pots!

It’s taken two years to get to this point and we couldn’t be more excited … finally the last of 46 chimney pots is put into place on the château roof PLUS our artisans make an interesting discovery whilst working on one of the château chimneys.

Lead Paint Removal!

INCREDIBLE transformation of the château entrance!

Château de Purnon’s Louis XVI interiors are heritage listed for their craftsmanship and neoclassical design. Over the centuries many of her grand spaces have been covered in toxic lead paint to reflect changing fashions. In this episode we receive a visit from a representative from Smart Strip, a lead paint removal product, to assist us in starting the huge task of safely removing hundreds of square meters of toxic lead paint.

Château Reawakening - The Book

Château Reawakening is about daring to dream on the grandest scale. Our book captures the highs and lows of our journey to save the 18th century Château de Purnon. When we discovered a crumbling French château just south of the Loire Valley, we could not have imagined the crazy adventure that would follow. Recklessly committing our life savings and mastering new skills along the way, we uncover Château de Purnon’s intriguing past while working to safeguard her future.

Restoration Breakthrough!

We have hit the two year mark since the urgent works to save Château de Purnon started and the restoration has made a significant breakthrough!

Traditional grape harvest

In this episode we have the honour of joining the annual wine harvest with highly regarded bio-dynamic Loire Valley winemaker Fiona Beeston. Her traditional wine making method means her grapes are hand picked, hand de-stemed, aged in oak. Her traditional methods extend to tiling the soil with a plough horse. The result is sensational and makes her wines some of France’s the most highly sought after wines. Don’t miss the view from her incredible walled domain establised by monks in 1604!

Purnon, The President ... and some scaffolding comes down!

What a week! We prepare to open Purnon to visitors as part of the Journées européennes du patrimoine, receive an invitation from the french President and after two years of restoration work the first levels of scaffolding come down to reveal the restored eastern pavilion!

The heat is on ... nearly!

Building a sustainable future: Part three

The protection and preservation of Purnon’s rare and precious interiors has been at the forefront of our minds since arriving. How can we protect what remains of her original 18th century wallpapers, her original hand crafted wooden paneling and her custom 18th century paintings?

Our Story: Restoring a crumbling French château ... by the book!

Our wild and wonderful adventure to save Château de Purnon has been captured in a stunning coffee table book!

Secret tunnels & hidden water supplies!

Building a sustainable future: Part two

With water restrictions in place due to the drought we start to unlock Purnon’s enormous underground water supplies and discover the domain’s mysterious vast tunnel network.

Fighting to save the château

People always tell us that we arrived at Purnon just in time … its moments like this however that we wish we arrived earlier and we feel acutely the responsibility to fight to protect her.

Rescue from the château walls

Building a sustainable future: Part one

In order to build a sustainable future for the château we need to look back at her past. In this episode the château walls uncover a hidden secret and an innovative Australian invention is introduced to the château.

You say you want a Revolution !

What hints does Château de Purnon give us to the causes of the French Revolution and what happened to the lives of those living here during this time?

Then & Now!

3 YEAR TIMELAPSE

3 years ago we undertook the pharaonic task of saving Château de Purnon. We could have never imagined the scale of work required to save the château from certain ruin. Join us as we look back at how far we have come in the last 3 years.

Restoring the first floor ... Part One

Are we finally going to be able to have a shower? Never in its history has Purnon had a bathroom with a shower …. but that’s all about to change! After 3 years of planning the internal layouts and overcoming the challenges of the supply and evacuation of water, we are able to start work on creating the very first château bathroom.

Hidden portraits discovered

The remarkable discovery of two incredible 18th century portraits found hidden and abandoned on Château de Purnon’s deuxieme étage has us eager to find their identities.

Who let the dogs out!

Truffle hunting at the Château?

Mademoiselle Truffe returns to the truffle fields where she was born and learns to search for truffles in France’s Loire Valley. Will she now be able to find truffles at the Château?

All in all it's just another collapsed stone wall!

In this episode we tackle the restoration of the collapsed enormous basse-cour wall.

Dig if you will the moat!

In this episode we uncover unexpected discoveries in the Château’s ancient moat and explain the reason why there is no water in the moat.

Only 102 rooms to go

It’s not the size of the room that matters!

In this episode we finish the smallest room in the Château.
Plus our architect uncovers an exciting discovery in the Château archives!

The War of the Château Walls

We discover the extent of the work required to maintain the vast network of stone walls encasing the Château and uncover an ingenious landscaping design feature.

All your tricky questions answered!

How did we find Purnon?
How much is this all going to cost? Do we live here?
Do we have children? What does success look like?

.. and all your very tricky questions answered!

The incredible sectrets behind these doors

Join us as we share with you the incredible secrets behind the doors of the Communs Ouest

The rebirth of the Château roof

It’s been 250 years since the Château was first constructed and over time her roof has become terribly degraded. The work to restore the Château roof is now incredibly urgent and very complex.

Join us as we share with you the rebirth of the roof of Château de Purnon through a series of interviews with our artisans.

The most important day of the year

is here!

It’s a year in the making to prepare Château de Purnon each year to open for the public for the Journées du Patrimoine. This year we share with you for the first time the ups and downs of preparing for the most important weekend of the year for the Château.

La restauration du château de Purnon

chef d’œuvre du XVIIIe siècle

À l’occasion des Journées européennes du patrimoine 2022, la Direction régionale des affaires culturelles de Nouvelle-Aquitaine vous propose une découverte patrimoniale méconnue. Au Nord de la région, dans le département de la Vienne, Tim et Felicity se sont lancés dans une aventure hors normes pour restaurer et sauver le château de Purnon. Le reportage vous emmène dans les coulisses de cette histoire passionnante qui illustre la difficulté de conservation et de restauration du patrimoine français. Une restauration qui est financée à hauteur de 60% par le ministère de la Culture/DRAC Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

We have a Huge announcement!

We have a HUGE announcement concerning the future of Château de Purnon!

Reality Hits!

It’s been 250 years since the Château was constructed and the gradual deterioration in the condition of the roof has had a ruinous impact on the second floor. Visit the inside of the Château for the very first time as Felicity gives an impromptu tour of the ruined second floor.

From Revolution to Restoration

Château de Purnon’s 250 year history and secrets revealed for the first time.

Château de Purnon's rare Éolienne Bollée

Join us for a view from the top of Château de Purnon’s rare Éolienne Bollée.

Only 103 more rooms to go!

Bedroom & Bathroom reveal.

 

With heartfelt thanks to our wonderful partners for sharing our passion and supporting the restoration:

~ BEDROOM ~

Wallpaper – Farrow & Ball
St Antoine

Paint colours – Farrow & Ball
Hardwick White – Dead Flat
Drop Cloth – Dead Flat
Pointing – Dead Flat
Off Black – Dead Flat

Bed Linen – Yves Delorme
Triomphe Bedding Set – Triomphe
Quilted Coverlet Pierre – Triomphe
Coverlet Noisette – Mohair
Decorative Pillow Noisette – Mohair

~ WORKWEAR ~

Hard Yakka
SheWear

 

~ BATHROOM ~

Wallpaper – Farrow & Ball
Uppark

Paint colours – Farrow & Ball
Hardwick white – Estate Eggshell
Drop Cloth: Estate Eggshell
Pointing – Dead Flat
Off Black – Estate Eggshell

Toilet – Hudson Reed
White Traditional Round Floor Standing Toilet Pan with High Level Cistern and Wooden Seat

Bathtaps – Hudson Reed
Traditional Freestanding Crosshead Bath Shower Mixer Tap with Hand Shower

Radiator – Hudson Reed
Traditional Towel Warmer with Drying Rail

Towels – Yves Delorme
Etoile – Pierre

Candles & Fragrances – Yves Delorme
Fig tree room fragrance

A delicate operation!

For the first time in her 250 year history Purnon is getting enormous new corniche stones. Join us as the nearly 800kg stone blocks hang precariously high above the château as they are carefully and precisely maneuvered into place.

What were we thinking?

How did it come to be that we made a life changing decision to buy a crumbling 18th century French château?

Shaping the history of the Château

We continue to shape the history of the Château as we visit our stonemason’s atelier to witness the new facade stones being cut and shaped.

130 million years in the making!

It’s taken nature 130 million years to make the stones which will be used to restore the facades of the Château. Join us as we visit the quarry with our stonemasons to choose the exact stone to be used in the restoration of the Château facades.

A monumental week in the history of the Château

It’s been a monumental week here in the history of the Château with the commencement of the removal of the 47,000 slate tiles which cover the roof!

Saving the chapel statues

A nerve-racking day removing the chapel statues, which have been in place for nearly 250 years, to ensure they are protected during the chapel restoration works.

Saving the Chai

It was a nervous morning here at Purnon! In order to save the Chateau chai (barrel room) we needed to allow a large barn wall to fall down safely. The barn was falling and pulling the chai down with it.

Our first year!

It’s been one year since we arrived at the Château and what a year it’s been!

We hope you enjoy some of our favourite memories.

France 2 interview

Voici the recent France 2 report with English subtitles.

An emotional reunion

Eliane Autin was born and raised in a small apartment the eastern outbuilding of the château. Here she revisits her former home for the first time in over 60 years and shares with us her childhood memories of growing up at Purnon.