Nothings says you’re serious about living in a castle like wearing a crown. Just yesterday, the chateau was fitted with its original cast iron headdress, long lost under a tangle of weeds. When we first arrived on the estate, decades of neglect had left the entrance canopy in a sad state; its glass broken and metal pieces dangling dangerously over our heads. The chance discovery of the large crown turned our cleanup of the grounds into a veritable treasure hunt. We cut our way through bramble and ivy, scavenging for more missing pieces, a puzzle to be put together by a local restoration team.
After being lovingly oiled by our friend Wendy, sunlight also shines again on the hand carved wooden vignette just beneath the crown. It bears the initials M and R, for Monsieur M. Renouvier, who bought the castle in 1922 and seems to have had aristocratic ambitions and quite the taste for personalisation. We’ve found his monogram interlaced all over the estate, most notably in the chapel. We can only imagine what his linens and cutlery must have looked like.
After our gentle struggle with the craftsmen to save the canopy from over-restoration, I’m pleased to report that the aged beauty holds itself with perfectly imperfect poise: stained and slightly disheveled. I hope that all those who enter the castle beneath it will be lovingly reminded of the beauty of their own imperfections, leaving restraint and fear at the door.