The park and the French gardens
Why visit the park and the gardens ?
Charm and romance awaits you during your walk in the park and the garden. The rich architecture of the Chateau of Balleroy is inseparable from the quality of its English park and French gardens. You can stroll in the park following the marked trails and admire remarkable trees.
The landscapers Bournot and Chatelain altered the surroundings of the castle in the 19th century by creating winding paths. The garden was altered at the start of the 20th century by Henri Duchêne.
An English park
François Mansart had created a park near the castle with landscaping along the east-west axis, with in particular boxwood beds and a water circle. In the middle of the 19th century, after the owners' return from exile due to the Revolution, a romantic park was created on the model of English parks, very fashionable at that time.
The French gardens
The French gardens were not restored to the original location but between the two former stables of the castle. They were created at the beginning of the 20th century by Henri Duchêne.
Henri Duchêne "set himself the goal, from the start of his private career, to bring the art of Parks and Gardens back to architecture, that is to say to the French style". For Henri Duchêne, a park is "a true document of the past".
The dovecote, a distant heir to the Roman columbarium, has been more often called dovecote since the eighteenth century, but the term dovecote can, in a narrower sense, designate a dovecote in the form of a tower, generally independent of other buildings.
Regarding that of the chateau ?
The chateau's dovecote is a circular dovecote, made up of more than 1,700 stone nests or "boulins" in which a couple of birds could nest.
The number of boulins was representative of the extent of the domain and therefore of the power of the lord. The dovecote therefore had an economic interest.
Why is it useful at the chateau ?
Doves were previously very useful. We ate them, we used them as messengers, and we used their droppings as fertilizer, for gardens. In the past, the colombine was very important and it was not rare to see it mentioned on marriage contracts as a dowry.
To come and visit ?
This visit will allow you to enter one of the rare dovecotes that have kept its original layout.