Argent-sur-Sauldre castle: Landes pine trees and little legend

The castleThe castle | © / CC-BY-NC-SA

Upper crust turned up

A castle was raised in the 13th century by family de Seuly. In 1401, the castle fell by marriage to the d’Albret, when Marie de Seuly married Charles d'Albret.

Argent fell to the 15th century to counts of Nevers, then in the next century to Jean de Vetus. This one was a member of the Fronde. So in 1650, he hosted duke d’Enghien, son of the Grand Condé, with princess de Condé, while they were going in Saint-Amand-Montrond.

In the 18th century, Vetus’ descendants, the Gauville, turned up. And the castle was sold in 1765 to Nicolas Dupré de Saint-Maur. Ah, let me introduce this man!

Nicolas de St-Maur

Rolled up sleeves

Son of an economist and academician, Nicolas became a member of Paris Parliament, then steward of Bourges.

What a shock when he discovered his estate of Argent for the first time, when he saw the damaged roofs, the damaged walls!

He had to do something…

Pines from Landes in Berry

He raised the outhouses and the barn, on the location of the former farmyard. He let two medieval towers from the primitive stronghold. A little souvenir?

He also landscaped the formal garden overlooking river Sauldre. Nicolas was the first man in the area to introduce the maritime pine from Landes in the park….

My word, nice baptism gift!

Icing on the cake, Nicolas ended with the fitting out of a nice iron gate.

Made by Parisian iron manufacturer Ramboy, we can see sitting lions and horns of plenty, crowned by a marquis crown. The right blazon belongs to Nicolas, the left one to his wife, Claude-Louise Le Noir.

And do you know what? This gate was given by the city of Bourges, who wanted to be Nicolas son’s godmother, born in 1709.

A little allusion, besides, because the happy dad named his boy… Bourges! This gate was a baptism’s gift.

The visit of Argent

The city of Argent owned the castle in 1957 and opened a museum in 1987: the musée des Métiers (″Trades museum″).

We discover here all the know-how of artisans in the 19th century (carpenter, blacksmith, clog-maker)...