The castle of Lerse
Located in the heart of the Cognac vineyard
The chateau was built in 1410 by the Lord of Lerse, in a square like a small stronghold, and remained owned by the same family for centuries. The scallop shells, carved on both sides of the door, testify that the castle was on the road to Santiago de Compostela and welcomed pilgrims. The chateau is located in the middle of 120 hectares, including forests, and farmland, with a herd of Belted Galloway cattle.
The castle belonged to the Lafargue family from the 15th to the 21st century. Often transmitted by female descent, various names are linked to its history: the Dexmier de L’Herse in the 15th century, the Lubersac in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Des Gentils in the 18th and 19th centuries and the Lafargue in the 20th century.
In 1761, Pierre Bourderon draws up the plan of the Logis Noble de L’Herse including the farmhouse and garden. This plan, kept at the castle, shows us the three buildings that still exist, plus a fourth, which has disappeared, finishing off the courtyard.
The main building is flanked by two towers covered in pepper pots. There was once a third, and although that has long since disappeared, stone stairs which would have led to it, still exist. In its place there is now Mansard roof and on the rest by a two-slope cover. On the first floor, you can still see a bay with crosspiece and protruding molded support. The old courtyard entrance gate opens into a building to the east. The low-arched doorway is under a machicolation (a medieval opening) and was defended by mouths with culverins arranged laterally.
The escape, shown on the plan at the south-east end of the French garden, still exists on the edge of the alley leading to the castle.
To the south of the chateau is the Le Moulin de Lerse that was built in 1789 and which once produced food for the workers on the estate. Following WW11 this fell into disrepair and then entered separate ownership. It has now been reunited with the chateau under the new owners.