Château de Touffou

The Château de Touffou is a castle, converted into a mansion, in the commune of Bonnes in the Vienne département, near Poitiers, France.

History

The château was constructed over several centuries. The Medieval Wing includes Romanesque and gothic elements (keep). The east half dates back to the 12th century while the west half was constructed in the early 15th century. The Renaissance Wing was added during the 16th century by the Chasteigner family. The main difference between these two epochs in castle construction is that in the Middle Ages, a castle was built for defense. In the Renaissance however, a castle was a home for nobles. Rather than defense and protection, the castle-dwellers in the Renaissance strived for classy, fashionable residences.

Today, the Medieval Wing is used to accommodate large business meetings and seminars, and the Renaissance Wing is the private residence of the castle proprietor.

The castle has been privately owned throughout its existence. It passed from the Oger family (1127-1280) to the Montléon family (1280-1519) and eventually to the Chasteigner family (1519-1821). Jean Chasteigner III, a Chamberlain to Francis I, oversaw most of the castle’s renovation in the early Renaissance.

Once the Chasteigners sold the castle, Touffou changed hands several times, finally being purchased in 1966 by David Ogilvy from the "de Vergie family". The Ogilvys still own the castle.

In 1923 the castle was recognized as a monument historique, and in 2004 its gardens were classified as among the Notable Gardens of France by the French Ministry of Culture.

Hunting Museum

The Chambre François 1er (Francis I Bedroom) is named after the occasion when King Francis I supposedly visited Touffou. The castle also has a Hunting Museum documenting the castle’s hunting history and its impressive collection of over 1,500 hunting buttons – among the largest collections in France.