La Treyne vue du pont Photo 001 - copie 2

The building of the fortress of La Treyne, in 1342 according to the earliest written records, is probably due to Guillaume and Hughes de Roffilhac. On the 27th january of 1356, on the Avignon Bridge, Noble Guillaume de Rofflihac swore homage – naked head, on his knees and with clasped hands – to ” Glorious man, Lord Guillaume of Beaufort, knight, Viscount of Turenne for the castle or the fort or future fort in the locality of La Treyne, on the edge of the Dordogne “.

In the 12th may of 1462, the Viscount of Turenne gave the seigneury of La Treyne to the noble man Annet du Cluzel ,” with all justice haute, moyenne et basse “, certainly for the Roffilhac branch was died out. The knight Annet du Cluzel got to build the church of Meyraguet in which he was buried. His stone recumbent figure, picturing him with his armour of knight, is still visible in the seignorial chapel, on the left of the transept of the church of Meyraguet. In the 7th may of 1519, noble Jean de la Treyne, noble Annet du Cluzel’s son, married noble Jeanne de Coustin de Bourzolles.

In 1540, Jean de la Treyne swore homage to the King for “the castle, the woods, the allowances and full justice ” he had received from the Viscount of Turenne, François de la Tour III, Order of the King knight and captain of hundred men of gentle birth of his House.

In 1533, Louis de Cluzel is chosen as Lord of La Treyne. At the time of his death; he was murdered in 1592; the seigneury of La Treyne is granted to his son, Jacques Galiot du Cluzel, a squire who swore homage to the Viscount of Turenne, in the 2nd december of 1600.

In 1607, after the death of Jacques Galiot du Cluzel, without posterity, Jean de La Ramière, Pierre and Galienne de Cluzel’s son, took the title of Lord of La Treyne. The history retains the seigneury of La Treyne passed, in 1607, from the Cluzel to the La Ramière. Howewer, if we considered the women and the men devolution should have been equal, The Cluzel were still in possession of the seigneury of La Treyne. Just as in 1711, when Marie of La Ramière brought La Treyne to her husband Jean III of Cardaillac.

Pierre de La Ramière, husband of Galienne de Cluzel, Lord of La Treyne was such a leading light in his party and in his family that he earns our attention. Pierre, so-called “The Captain”, embraced the Protestant religion. He was credited with the victory of La Roche l’Abeille, in Haute-Vienne, on June 25, 1569. During this battle, Henry of Navarre, only 16 years old , took up arms for the first time under the watchful eye of his mother, Jeanne d’ Albret. The friendship between the will-be King of France and his comrade in arms Pierre de La Ramière dates from this period. (facsimile of the Henri IV letter to Pierre de la Ramière).

DSC_0476However, Henry of Navarre, rousing the cavalry with its famous words, “Let my white panache be your rallying point, you”ll always find it on the way of honour and victory”, had to abjure Protestantism to conquer the throne of France, allegedly with the remark, “Paris is well worth a Mass.”( 1594 ). Meanwhile, La Treyne, which was an Hugenots den, had been set on fire in 1586 by order of the Duke of the Mayenne, Lieutenant of King Henri III. In 1662 a decree of the Parliament of Toulouse ordered the destruction of La Treyne, already ruined by the fire, “considering the rebellion and excesses ” of Jean de la Ramière’s son, guilty of lese-majesty.

Jean de La Ramière died in 1616. His remains were buried, at night and by force, by his sons in the seignorial church of Meyraguet in spite of a royal decree which prescribed the bodies of the deceased having belong to the reformed Protestant religion couldn’t “be buried in the catholic cemeteries or in the churches on the pretext that the graves of their fathers are still there or they have some rights on the seigneury.” Once the wars of Religion were ended and a period of relative calm began, the La Ramière repaired their dwelling of La Treyne. So, in King Louis XIII ‘s time, they restored the castle, lowering the square tower of the XIVth – the former dungeon was less and less necessary to defend La Treyne – They joined side by side a main building flanked by a big round tower and the north of the square tower.

This restauration of La Treyne was complete in 1643 when Gédéon The First, Lord of La Treyne swore homage to the Viscount of Turenne, Frédéric-Maurice de la Tour The First, Duke of Bouillon and Prince of Sedan “For the Castle and the Seigneury “

His son, Gédéon, embraced the catholic religion at the end of the XVIIIth century acccording to his will on April 5, 1701, terminating nearly two centuries of Protestant resistance. Pierre, son of Gédéon II, died in 1710 after having made his will for his sister Marie de La Ramière, who was to marry Jean III of Cardaillac, Lord of Végennes (Canton of Beaulieu on the Dordogne in Corrèze), artillery captain, knight of Saint-Louis, the following year. Jean III, deceased on March 20, 1752, was buried in the church of Meyraguet.

At the time of the death of his wife, Marie de La Ramière, lady of Cardaillac, the seigneury of La Treyne is devoluted to their son , François-Emmanuel de Cardaillac, who married young lady Jeanne of Montalembert on January 28, 1748.histoire

The House of La Ramière, classified among the early Houses of the Chivalry, would have preserved La Treyne if the devolution of the seigneury could have been done through the women. In the middle of the XVIIIth century, the Viscount of Turenne gambled away his viscounty which was the last one to be bound to the Kingdom of France.

By letters patent of the King of December 29, 1759, François-Emmanuel was granted the barony and the marquisate of Cardaillac in Quercy. So, François-Emmanuel, Marquis of Cardaillac, swore homage to the King for the grounds and the seigneury of La Treyne and Meyraguet from 1760 to 1778. He died in 1782.

His son Joseph, born in 1752, married Charlotte de Roquemaurel on March 27, 1783. Lieutenant of the King for the province of Guyenne, he died out in the castle of Treyne on September 28, 1822.

On september, 20 th,1910, Jean-Jacques-Joseph-Frédéric, Marquis of Cardaillac, grandson of Joseph de Cardaillac sold the castle and the domain of La Treyne to Mister Auguste-Gabriel Savard, a industrialist who invented the Fix jewel. He sold the castle where his family had lived in more than two centuries and even five centuries thanks to the women branches of Cluzel and La Ramière.

At that time, La Treyne had forgotten its former glory. By chance, all the XXth century long , the successive owners displayed lot of energy to restore its original Louis XIV appearance, with comfort of course !

Mister Savard made major transformations and asked Eouard André, one of the greatest lanscape gardener of this period, to draw the grounds and the french formal garden.

In 1922, Mister Fontana, spanish industrialist, bought the domain and carried out important fixtures in the castle, specially the woodworks of the Great Lounge and of the Music Lounge.

At the end of his life, a house painter hadn’t been able to forget the emotion he felt when he entered the Great Lounge where painters bustled about the decoration of the splendid coffered ceiling : “The fervour and the joy were so great that it was like entering a medieval cathedral. I had the feeling that everybody sang ….”

The children of Mr Fontana, who live in South America, never fail to come back to La Treyne when they stay in Europe; looking for their chilhood memory of happiness.

60.Vue sur la Dordogne

During the Second World War, André Chamson, a famous writer of the French Academy, took charge of the department of Egyptian Antiquities to the Louvre Museum and he looked after some priceless treasures of the museum, temporarily stored in La Treyne to be protected; among which the famous ” Squatting Scribe”.

His daughter, Dominique Hébrard , relates this episode in her book ” La chambre de Goethe “. André Chamson was grateful for this stay and admired the outstanding beauty of the site, so he went on protecting La Treyne by listing it as picturesque site of the Lot (Ministerial Decree november, 6th, 1946).

On April, 10 th, 1954, Mister Santiard and Mrs Bulteau joined their passion for the works of art by purchasing the castle. They made major renovation works both outside and inside. From that time, the Château de la Treyne served as a case to present their magnificent collection of Renaissance (XVI-th century) furniture and objects which one can admire nowadays in the Bourdeilles Castle (Dordogne).

Since 1982, the Gombert family, native from Aveyron (they hold themself just trustee of this beautiful house) work with passion to keep the castle alive with cultural events (exhibitions, concerts) and make it appreciate by its hosts.


This historical record has been written thanks to the archives collection of the Château de la Treyne, set by Jean de Cardaillac at the departmental archives of the Lot and to Jean Calmon’s article headed ” Le Château de La Treyne et ses seigneurs “and published by the Bulletin de la Société des Etudes du Lot (1st quater, 1957).