La Baronnière is a family property in a green setting in the heart of the Mauges. The castle of the XIXth century, built near the ruins of the castle of the Vendean general Bonchamps, is surrounded by a magnificent romantic park, a vegetable garden which gives priority to biodiversity, a courtyard of 17th century and a chapel where the Arnous-Rivière and their descendants still celebrate family events. La Baronnière is a privileged place for celebrations, calm and serenity. You will find here a deep and soothed sleep.
Anne and Olivier du Boucheron welcome you with passion.
The owners (17th – 21st C)
Bonchamps family (1626-1801)
The oldest sources concerning La Baronnière date from the 15th century. The estate was the property of the Froger family and included several large farmsteads on more than 1000 hectares.
Through marriage and inheritance, La Baronnière came to the Bonchamps family in 1626. The final and most famous owner was the Marquis Charles-Melchior-Arthus de Bonchamps (1760-1793), a General in the Vendée Wars. Bonchamps was a career officer who refused to swear an oath of allegiance to the Nation during the French Revolution and resigned his commission in 1791. On March 14th 1793, at the request of the soldiers of the Saint Florent district, he took over command of the Northern army. He would never return to La Baronnière.
On October 17th 1793, he was shot in the stomach during the battle of Cholet. While being transported to Saint-Florent, he ordered to pardon 5000 Republican prisoners (commemorated in the Abbey Church of Saint Florent-le-Vieil, thanks to the work of the sculptor David d’Angers, son of one of the prisoners). In recognition of the deed, his widow was pardoned.
Arnous-Rivière family (1801 to the present day)
Jean-Joseph Arnous-Rivière, a shipbuilder from Nantes, acquired the estate from the Marquise de Bonchamps at auction in 1801. He restorated the square court (la cour carrée) and the farmsteads, repurposed the land and began growing grapes. Jules-Armand Arnous-Rivière and Marie-Ernestine Guillet de La Brosse – his son and wife – created the chapel, renovated the park and constructed the current chateau. La Baronnière is still the property of their descendant, Anne Bramaud du Boucheron.
Notable sights to see at château de La Baronnière
The Castle | 19th century
A feudal castle already stood in the 15th century. The Renaissance chateau was burned by Republican troops on April 16th 1793 shortly after Bonchamps’ departure. There are no known surviving drawings, plans or paintings. Built from 1852 to 1856, a short distance from the old, the current castle was designed by René Hodé, a neogothic architect specialised in the Troubadour style inspired by 15th century imitation (Viollet-le-Duc was one of his students).
La Baronnière was the first of his castles to be listed as a heritage site in 1995. The roof, eavesdrops and dormers have undergone substantial restoration work since 2009. A grand staircase gives access to the upper floors. The ground floor includes a reception salon and dining room on either side of the hall, the interior is oak linenfold panelled and the hearths have large glass panels above them. See pictures
The Square Court (la Cour carrée) | 17th century
This fine homogenous courtyard includes features from the 17th century and modifications from the 19th century. The southern side was likely the seat of the chapel, burned in 1793. The upper level housed the servants and on the lower the outbuildings (stables, bakery, press, etc…). According to oral tradition, there are bodies of Republicans at the bottom of the « puits aux bleus « (« blues’ well »). The stables were turned into boxes in 2004.
The square court became a listed structure in 1993 (Historic Monument List) and restoration work began in 2010. See pictures
The chapel | 19th century
The neogothic chapel was built in 1842 from the remains of the tower of the castle destroyed by fire in 1793. The chapel was listed in 1993 on the French Supplementary Historic Monument List. It is still used today by the family for religious ceremonies. See pictures
The vegetable garden | 21st century
With 150 plant species including 500 varieties, the vegetable garden is a 3000 sq.m. semi-circle. It was designed in 2011 by the owners and replaces the old garden. Overall the garden is grey and white and has four sections: the orchard; six colourful flowerbeds with annual flowers ; aromatic plants; and curios with specific aromas.
An old greenhouse adorns the vegetable garden and shelters sowings and juveniles, the insect hotel, a handsome arch of redcurrants, jostaberries, blackcurrants, raspberries and rhubarbs, an old well and a pond. Ancient chasselas and muscat vines, kiwis, and old plum, apple, cherry and quince trees line the outer edges. Some of the beds are experimental, using phacelia green manure, other green manures, or quinoa. Sweet peas with delicate and subtle fragrances supplement the vivid colours of dahlias, zinnias, cosmos and alstroemerias. See pictures
The Park | 19th century
In 1838, Jules-Armand and Ernestine entrusted André Leroy, the foremost French landscape designer who pioneered Anjou parks, with a design which closely resembles the final outcome. He designed a new landscape over an area of 20 hectares from scratch. The design added a site for the new chateau, making remarkable use of the slopes surrounded by the river Evre that delivers stretched-out views of the landscape. Some striking trees are still alive today: planes, oaks, Laricio pines, Austrian black pines, redwoods, etc. The park was listed as a “Picturesque Park” in 1993 and is being restored (pruning etc.) See pictures
The Courossé Circus (le Cirque de Courossé)
Free access by road. This remarkable natural site, known as the ‘”Jewel of Switzerland Angevine”, is located at the south-western end of the park on the banks of the river Evre. A monumental calvary was erected 1889 in memory of the fighting during the Vendean insurrection. The great Christ dominates the whole landscape. 70 meters below, the river Evre describes two pronounced loops before passing La Baronnière.
On the left, the Way of the Cross leads to a small Marian grotto, inaugurated at the instigation of Baron Arnous-Rivière in 1889. The magnificent mosaic Stations of the Cross made in 1950 by Victor Palussière, a La Chapelle-Saint-Florent resident. You will also discover the ruins of an old village of the water mill, abandoned in 1920. Courossé is maintained and promoted by the Friends of the Courossé Society (Les Amis du site de Courossé). See pictures
Because each guest’s stay is unique, the possibility of providing a standard pricing package is difficult. We invite you to contact us and we will be happy to provide personal quoting based on the kind of stay (weekly rental, wedding weekend, corporate event, film/photo shoot) your level of staff support, expectations, activities and the length of your stay.
Stays & visits
Castle. We privatize for you the entire property and the rate is the same whatever the size of your group of friends up to 40. Weekly rental : 4.000€ + 10€/occupied bed. The cleaning (rooms and common areas) and cooking service is 20€/hour. Week-end rental (included French breakfast) : from 1.600€ + 10€/occupied bed.
Guest house. Your can rent our guest house located at the entrance of La Baronnière (up to 4 persons). Weekly rental : 500€. Week-end rental : 300€. Optional breakfast.
La Baronnière is closed to individual visits, except during the public events.
Group visits | 15 to 100 people. We offer guided tours of about 2 hours, from 7 € (History or garden) to 10 €/person (History and garden). Free visit : 5 €/person. Possibility of a meal (price according to the options for the menu and the wine). Free entrance for children under 12 and people with disabilities. Possibility of a snack or a seated meal (price according to the options for the menu and the wine).
Sport group. La Baronnière is open to groups of hikers, runners, bikers etc. who wish to cross the property (under the responsibility of the organizers). Sport groups should be scheduled at least two months in advance. Price : 0,50 €/person.
Weddings & other events
We only provide water and electricity. We don’t provide wedding catering, tables, chairs, tent, food and beverage, the music and DJ, flowers, toilets etc. but we can help and give you a list of Wedding providers. Again, the possibility of providing a standard pricing package is difficult. We invite you to contact us and we will be happy to provide personal quoting based on the date of the wedding, the kind of services, number of guests etc.
Traditional wedding package : the use of the outside buildings based on 4 days and 3 nights (from Friday 8 am to Monday 12 am). Price : from 2.500€.
Exceptional wedding package : the use of the entire property cocktail in the Cour carrée, diner in the castle). Price on demand.
Accommodation only : If your wedding is note organized at La Baronnière, but you are looking for accommodation for your guests, we can open the castle to welcome them (this formula excludes any reception on site). Price on demand.
You can rent the ground floor of the castle for your guests. If you wish, we can also be happy to receive you in person.
Lunch or dinner in the dining room (up to 40 ; ideal for 24). Full service package prices, on demand, vary according to the options you choose (floral decoration, beverages, table service, furniture) and meal (prepared by us from a season theme, by you or by a caterer). From 50€/person, then it depends on the options (contact us).
Reception/Cocktail only (up to 150). Price : 300€ for 3 hours, then 100€/hour + 10€/person (prices varies according to the options, on demand).
Please contact us for full terms and conditions. During the seminar/conference, we can help you in order to organize activities for your collaborators/participants (picnics, games, visiting the Loire Valley châteaux, hot air balloon flights etc.).
Share our passions
Anne makes you discover her cook’s secrets and especially the art of preparing organic, delicious and healthy meals, thanks to her vegetable garden!
Floral art workshop
La Baronnière is a beautiful garden outside and explosive bouquets inside. Anne was an event decorator, she is creative and passionate about flowers. From June to September only.
Follow and participate in the restoration of a classic car or motorcycle with Olivier. If you stay at La Baronnière or visit the property, Olivier offers to take you for strolls in pre-war racing cars (one passenger only), 50 €/half-hour. La Baronnière also hosts weekends of old car enthusiasts.
30 € per person per half-day. Group of 4 to 6 people.
Weekends for Classic cars
Olivier du Boucheron welcomes groups of passionate classic cars enthusiast for stays of 2 to 3 days, with rides in the surroundings (Vallée de La Loire). Garages and tools are at your disposal. Accommodation, breakfasts and dinners in the castle, lunches in local restaurants. Price : from 250€ per person. Full service package prices vary according to the options you choose (on demand).
It is a tradition : each summer, La Baronnière welcomes Scout camps from all over Europe. They have free access to water and the clearing. In exchange, they will give a day of services (weeding, painting, etc.).
Video and photo shooting
Terms & Conditions
The owner has the right to remove furniture and may ask for a descriptive and photographic inventory of the furniture. The production must take out a specific fire and damage insurance. The production will have to pay an indemnity to cover the costs of supervision and restoration of the place. The production will have to do his best to mention in the credits that some scenes have been shot at Le château de La Baronnière, Maine-et-Loire.
25% of the rate must be paid at the signing of the contract. The above rates are valid for shooting from 8 am to 6 pm. Any additional requested hours would be invoiced as extra at the rate. The above rates do not consider any stay overnight in the château.
Video shooting : 2.000 € per day for shooting in buildings such as the castle, the Cour carrée or the chapel ; 1.000 € per day for shooting in the park and the garden ; 4.600 € for security deposit. No half day rental for video shooting.
Photos sessions : 1.000 € per day or 500 € half-day
Hundreds of visitors come each year to discover La Baronnière and its garden on the occasion of the Journées européennes du patrimoine/Heritage days (see the official website in French) on September and the Rendez-vous aux jardins/Meeting in gardens (see the official website in English) on June under the aegis of the French Culture minister. Entrance fee : from 2 to 5 € per adult (it depend of the year), free for children under 12 & people with disabilities. Guided tour included. Free parking.
We also organize one-off events with local partners, such as Jardins en Val de Loire/Gardens in Val de Loire on June 2017 (see the official website in French). Entrance fee : from 2 to 5 € per adult (it depend of the year), free for children under 12 & people with disabilities. Guided tour included. Free parking. If you whish to organize a public event with us, please contact us.
For the curious …
- Windmill « Moulin de L’Epinay » | La Chapelle-Saint-Florent, 4 km
- Champtoceaux citadel | Champtoceaux, 21 km
- Palace « Palais Briau » | Varades, 12 km
- Museum Joachim du Bellay | Liré, 13 km
- Museum of local history and War in the Vendée (in French) | Saint-Florent-Le-Vieil, 9 km
- Julien Gracq House | Saint-Florent-le-Vieil, 9 km
- The Potter House (in French) | Le Fuilet, 13,5 km
- Saint-Florent-Le-Vieil, « Petite cité de caractère » (in French) | Saint-Florent-Le-Vieil, 9 km
For nature lovers …
- Courossé Circus | La Chapelle-Saint-Florent, 2 km
- Hiking trails
- La Loire à vélo (cycle tourism route)
- Fishing zone
- Boat ride in « toue » (traditional flat-bottomed boats) with Vent d’soulair (in French) | Saint-Florent-Le-Vieil, 9 km & cruise on the La Luce | Champtoceaux, 21 km
- Kayaking (in French) | Champtoceaux, 22 km
- Canoeing (in French) | Montjean-sur-Loire, 21,5 km
- Electric small boat/bark rental on Èvre river (in French) | Marillais, 7 km
- Swimming spot : beach in Ingrandes-sur-Loire (Ingrandes-sur-Loire, 18 km) & body of water in La Barbotine (Montrevault-sur-Èvre, 13 km)
For families …
For wine amateurs …
- La Baronnière is in the heart of Wine tourist route of Anjou Loire Valley : 170 km between La Varenne and Saumur, with more than 28 designations.
A bit further …
- Le Puy du Fou | Les Epesses, 65 km
- Oudon medieval castle | Oudon, 24 km
- Château d’Angers | Angers, 50 km
- Castle & museum of ducs de Bretagne | Nantes, 50 km
- Châteaux of the Loire valley : Serrant (Saint-Georges-sur-Loire, 40 km), Brissac (Brissac-Quincé, 62 km), Le Plessis-Bourré (Écuillé, 64 km), Saumur (Saumur, 116 km)
- Boat ride L’Erre sauvage | La Chapelle Basse mer, 30 km
- Golf of l’île d’or | La Varenne, 28 km
Anne et Olivier du Boucheron
Château de La Baronnière
GSM : 0033 617 322 285 – 0033 665 888 151
Château de La Baronnière is located a few kilometers from the village La Chapelle-Saint-Florent. We advise you to come by car in order to be able to drive freely in the surroundings. You can also rent a car in Nantes or Angers.
3 hours and a half from Paris by the highway A11 (exit 19).
The nearest railway station is Varades, then Ancenis and Angers,