10 February 2016

Le Château du Moulin (3)

Here are a few detail shots of the château from different angles. Just looking at them boosts my morale a little. I can console myself right now with the idea that it will be June again soon and I'll be able to go back to Le Moulin and other beautiful Loire Valley places before too long.

According to the official web site, the Château du Moulin is closed for the winter season until Easter. Even if it were open, I wouldn't have driven there over the past few days, what with the stormy weather we've been having.

Strong winds have blown limbs out of some of our trees. Heavy rains have created torrents of water on some streets, and big ponds of water in low spots. I had to go out in the car yesterday, so I can report from personal experience that it was a wild and woolly day in Saint-Aignan.

But back to Le Moulin: as I've said, I would never have made the hour-long drive from Vouvray, where we were staying, to see it in October 2000 if I hadn't noticed an almost stray photo in the Michelin green guide. I had never heard of it before. It is off the beaten track of the major Loire sights, over in the Sologne woods. As it was, we didn't get there until late in the day — there was a lot to see along the way.

The Cadogan guide says of Le Moulin: "The brick changes colour here and there, going from orange to purple. The typical Sologne lozange patterns in the brick give way at one point to an intriguing pattern of squares within squares." You can see that in my close-up photo above.


  1. Wild and wooly....we were lucky I think...
    Finistere seemed to divide the storm into two and protect Centre.
    I was watching it on the radar... the worst passed above and below us.

    That chateau is fascinating...
    as your pictures show, always a lot to look at....
    The squares within squares is intriguing...
    one of the Norfolk stately homes has something similar, but done in squared off flint...
    which I automatically thought this was until you quoted the Cadogan guide.

    I particularly like the last picture....
    with the old wall tower squared off and filled in at the back where the wall was...
    and the archway into the courtyard... now garden...
    with the limestone corner neat at the side of the arch...
    the long stones binding into the brick... and above it where they go the other way...
    the whole building style is fascinating.
    And I like the contrast between the staff accomodation in the second picture and the chateau itself, too.

  2. The lozenge, or diaper, pattern is typical of 16thC brickwork in Western Europe rather than the Sologne per se I would have said. Maybe the fashion began here earlier and persisted longer though. It was certainly widely revived in the 19thC.

    1. Le Moulin reminds me of the Château de Carrouges in lower Normandy, not to far from Alençon. It's a place worth seeing.

    2. Carrouges is not as romantic as le Moulin, and much more severe.

    3. I'm not sure I agree. My link above doesn't seem to work: Château de Carrouges.

    4. Carrouges is more rectilinear and squared off than Le Moulin, but less defensive, looking less like a château-fort. Do you remember my photos of the grand staircase at Carrouges?

    5. As a matter of fact, I didn't remember the Chatelet at Carrouges, snd on this I agree with you. What I meant is the chateau proper is much more severe, being a solid square block and no fioritures.

      The day we were there, we didn't go inside. But I remember seeing your photos of the grand staircase. Very impressive and beautiful.i

  3. Can you imagine laying every one of those little bricks? Man. That's some work, there.

  4. Looking at these boosts my morale too!

    Cadogan guides are some of our favorites, if we can get them. They aren't so common in the US. Sometimes we get travel ideas from Michelin, sometimes from the Ken and Walt guide.

  5. Your photos of le Moulin have convinced me to try and include it in our whirlwind one-day visit to the area in April, along with possibly Chemery, Montresor (where we're staying), and a winery or two.

  6. I thought of our wonderful visit to Carrouges when I saw this chateau yesterday. I don't think I fully appreciated the brickwork until today. I think these bricked castles are my favorites and they do lift our spirits, don't they? Life goes on and the past is still with us somehow.

  7. The patterns in the brick work are quite beautiful, as are the carved stopne mullions.


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