30 July 2010

Wildlife and geese at La Corroirie

Here are some more pictures of La Corroirie, the fortified medieval religious/farming complex located about 15 minutes' drive southwest of Saint-Aignan, near Montrésor and Loches. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, we were there on a sunny, warm afternoon, and we saw a lot of animals, both wild and domestic.

The man named Jeff de Mareüil who lives at La Corroirie — and now operates it as a B&B — told us that he had the land all around his property classified as a « zone humide » — a wetland — a few years ago. He now seems to have some regrets about having taking that step, because wetlands are subject to very strict controls when it comes to building and renovation projects. But it's too late to change the property's status now.

The main tower at La Corroirie is a fortification.

And that piece of land has always been a wetland, actually. As Susan described on Days on the Claise the other day, La Corroirie sits in a little valley that was once marshy and swampy. It still is, really, but the land has been drained and there's a small artificial lake across the road.

A frog in the streambed in front of that fortified tower

A stream runs right in front of the main building, which is a fortifed farmhouse. It served as a kind of moat, back in the days when moats were effective and necessary. It also is home to frogs, lizards, birds, and a lot of insects, including many dragonflies and butterflies.

A butterfly on a loosestrife plant at La Corroirie

Being a farm, La Corroirie also is home to barnyard animals, especially chickens and geese. There used to be a beautiful rooster. Jeff de Mareüil says the rooster is still there, but he is confined to a coop nowadays because he kept attacking visitors. Roosters will be roosters — they are aggressive. We didn't see le coq when we were there on Tuesday.

The main religious building at La Corroirie

We did, however, see the geese — les oies [lay-zwah]. They are highly agressive too. They're penned in, so there isn't any danger to tourists like us. Geese make a lot of noise, though. They honk loud enough to deafen any adversary, and they hiss like snakes, showing intruders the big fat pink tongue that they have inside their bills.

Corroirie geese, honking and hissing

Okay, enough reminiscing about a nice afternoon at La Corroirie. Today, CHM and I are off to see the châteaux and other monuments at Luynes, Champchevrier, Cinq-Mars-la-Pile, and Langeais — and probably others (Ussé and Azay-le-Rideau are close by). All these are on the west side of Tours, a good hour's drive from Saint-Aignan. We are also — I am also, I should say — planning a couple of stops chez des viticulteurs in Restigné and Bourgueil to buy some nice red wine.


  1. Such a beautiful place. Nothing to beat the old traditional burglar alarms and defences (geese, a cockerel, and no doubt a dog or two), is there?

  2. I thought it looked like Corroirie had a drawbridge in one previous photo. Wetlands explains it.

    Hoping we will get to see some pictures of the chateaux that you and CHM will visit. I haven't been to any you've listed...

  3. You have a very busy day planned! Looking forward to reading all about it.



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