The History of the Estate

One thousand years of epic adventures

 

The name Baronville dates back to the Roman Empire. It was at this time that the place was called "Baronis villa", meaning "house of the baron", itself a title held by men who were charged with the protection of the Roman Empire’s borders.

 

The stronghold of Baronville, Lordship and later Earldom, depended on the barony of Auneau, then later on the Duchy of Chartres.

 

In the Middle Ages, the château was a fortified manor house, of which there still remains a significant part of the foundations and cellars. Local legend has it that the Pucelle d’Orleans, Saint Joan of Arc, saved Baronville and the surrounding countryside from English occupation during the Hundred Years War.

Then, between 1620 and 1623, a chateau was built on the same site by Claude de Montescot and his son, Jacques.

 

It then went though marriage into the family de Lattaignant.

 

In 1783, the d’Aligre family acquired Baronville. Originally from Chartres, this family had already given two great chancellors of France and justice ministers: Etienne I, Marquis d’Aligre, Chancellor of France from 1624 to 1635, and Etienne II, Marquis d’Aligre, Chancellor from 1674 to 1677.

Etienne Francois, Marquis d’Aligre and Comte de Marans spent a considerable part of his fortune in restoring the château and its former gardens. The Marquis d’Aligre was the President of the Parliament of Paris, and thus held the heavy responsibility of passing judgement on the famous Affaire du Collier.

 

He was remembered as man of "integrity and enlightenment" in the debates that preceded the French Revolution. He died during emigration to London and then Brunswick.

 

His relationship with his farmers and tenants was harmonious, so much so that, although the revolutionary government had put the possessions of émigrés up for sale as "national property", the farmers collectively bought back the estate to give back to the new marquis, the younger Etienne V d'Aligre. After his return from exile, the latter thanked them by giving each part of his most fertile farmland.

Etienne V d'Aligre, Marquis d’Aligre, Peer of France, is remembered for the steps that he took to improve the population’s well-being, which had been considerably compromised by the revolutionary turbulence and the Napoleonic Wars.

 

He set up, at his own expense, the Asile d’Aligre near Chartres, which had 300 beds (today called the Aligre Foundation), and founded several schools and hospitals in many French towns.

 

His daughter married the Marquis de Pomereu, whose family belonged to the most prestigious of Normandy. The property of the d’Aligre family, as well as their name and titles, were transferred to the House of Pomereu by royal command on 21 December 1825.

Armand, Marquis de Pomereu d'Aligre, decided to demolish the second château in 1867 and commissioned the architect Léon de Sanges to design the present château, which was finished in 1868. 

 

The same talented workers worked on the roofs of Baronville, of the Mont-St-Michel and on the Statue of Liberty in New York (USA). Built for receptions, the first to use it were Bavarian soldiers in 1870.

 

During the World War I, the Viscountess de Pomereu d’Aligre, née Catherine de Clermont-Tonnerre, set up a military hospital, while her husband, the Viscount Gaston, aged 53, was volunteer at the front.

In July 1940, General Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst Paulus (future German field marshall who surrendered at the head of the 6st Army in Stalingrad, in 1943) set up his headquarters at Baronville. In 1941, the château was the base for the soldiers building the telephone line between Berlin and Brest, which Adolf Hitler had set up to get into direct contact with his Scharnhorst and Gneisenau battleships in Brest harbour.

In 1944, the Countess de Rougé, née Louise de Pomereu d’Aligre, sheltered orphans from the Saint-Cheron Orphanage, in Chartres, to protect them from Allied bombings.

 

On 6 June 1944, the Luftwaffe requisitioned the château to construct a take-off airfield for the 35 Messerschmidt 109, which fought in the Battle of Normandy. The château was henceforth used by pilots and officers of the German air force.

 

In August 1944, the US Army encamped at Baronville.

Thus the château had survived the difficult periods of war and the passage of time, but it was in a bad condition.

 

On his return from the Algerian War in 1961, where he served as a cavalry officer, the Count Bertrand de Rougé began to make a start on external renovations. Since 1975, his wife, born the Countess Marie de Maigret (daughter of the French Colonel Count Louis de Maigret, who was awarded the American Silver Star for his courage during WW2), has been designing and overseeing the interior renovations.

In 1980, Count and Countess de Rougé opened the salons of the Château de Baronville to host wedding receptions, seminars and private parties.

Today, the Baronville Estate is managed by the Count Aymeric de Rougé, son of the Count and Countess Bertrand de Rougé.

The Château is now regularly used by high-end luxury brands or celebrities to promote their products and their image with an estate that has now become a symbol of French authenticity and long-term excellence.

 

It is a special place, grand and majestic, while maintaining the atmosphere of what is still essentially a family home.

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