Château du Masgelier
We’ve all enjoyed watching “Superwoman” Fiona on the new series 4 of Escape to the Chateau DIY. Fiona manages to swing a sledgehammer with the same ease and skill as she reupholsters an antique chair!
The Chateau du Masgelier is beautifully situated atop a hill with sweeping views of the countryside and is one of the oldest (circa 1174) and historic (dating back to the Knights Templar) medieval castles in the Limousin region. You may recall seeing the birthday party that Fiona recently hosted where she asked the local Maire to unveil the commemorative plaque.
Originally built as a hilltop defence, the original battlements remain to this day. Approach to the chateau is via a tree line avenue originally planted in commemoration of the coronation of King Louis XIV by the Marquis du Masgelier (Pierre Auguste De Bremond) the chivalrous French royal family who were of the highest nobility in this region.
During the French Revolution the chateau was attacked and the Marquis was captured and imprisoned along with his wife. Happily (and unlike many of the noble families of the period), they avoided the guillotine and were allowed to return home.
The centrepiece of the Château is the granite staircase below which are dungeons, escape tunnels, a large vaulted cellar and a kitchen. The large reception rooms boast ornate fireplaces, beamed ceilings and high doors to the veranda. The second floor houses 13 bedrooms and what used to be the servant quarters are on the 4th level. There is a second stone staircase (circa 1874) as well as a double staircase which leads to a chapel. On the property grounds is a fully renovated 17th century coach house “La Maison du Gardien” with 14 bedrooms, and various other outbuildings.
After having restored a large country house in East Sussex Fiona took 2 years carefully considering her next move but she had already decided that her next challenge was to be a Château. The Château du Masgelier had been on the market for 2 years and had been badly promoted. Fiona happened upon it and decided that a Medieval Castle was exactly what she wanted – in spite of her head telling her that it was far too much work! WIth major problems from electrics, burst pipes, water supply and roof damage, the Château was also missing the original features (fireplaces, doors, stone floors) as the Château has been modernized in the 1970s. It was, however, too late, she had fallen in love and so the research began to restore it to its former grandeur.
Mar 23, 2020 : ESCAPE TO THE CHATEAU DIY SERIES 4, EPISODE 1 Click to Watch Episode 1 on Channel 4
This is the home of Fiona Jones who is renovating and decorating a room in time for her daughter’s arrival. Fiona’s daughter has given Mum a brief for the decor which does not include the chandelier from her childhood. Winter weather slows progress as the wallpaper refuses to dry.
March 24, 2020 : ESCAPE TO THE CHATEAU DIY SERIES 4, EPISODE 2 Click to Watch Episode 2 on Channel 4
Fiona enlists the help of her 11 year old son to assist in wallpapering his sister’s new bedroom. Fiona plans a birthday party for herself in her renovated dining room, but not before reupholstering the chairs. Guests enjoy a sumptuous afternoon tea. Fiona’s daughter arrives and is [justifiably] delighted with her new room at the Château
Mar 25, 2020 : ESCAPE TO THE CHATEAU DIY SERIES 4, EPISODE 3 Click to Watch Episode 3 on Channel 4
Fiona plans a 845 year party for the Château and has ordered a commemorative plaque for the local mayor to unveil. To accommodate the wine and champagne for the invited guests she restores one of her medieval dungeons into a wine cellar.
Mar 26, 2020 : ESCAPE TO THE CHATEAU DIY SERIES 4, EPISODE 4 Click to Watch Episode 4 on Channel 4
“Superwoman” Fiona wielding a sledge hammer mounts her attack on what promises to be an amazing ensuite which will be named after Marquis Bremond (who has a fascinating history) Here’s a snippet and click here to read the full article: During the French Revolution the castle was attacked and stormed, Marquis Bremond was captured and taken from his home Chateau du Masgelier (Masgelier Castle), imprisoned and held captive in the fortress of Brouage with his wife Angelica Laloue. The Marquis and Marchioness Bremond were later freed and survived execution by the guillotine, they returned to the castle Chateau Masgelier where the Marquis later died in 1816.
Mar 27, 2020 : ESCAPE TO THE CHATEAU DIY SERIES 4, EPISODE 5 Click to Watch Episode 4 on Channel 4
After 4 months of hard graft Fiona puts the finishing touches to The King’sTower and wow it is ab fab! see photos. One of the final touches was to refinish a chair with fabric which perfectly complimented the tasteful decor for which Fiona is renowned.