Castles, mansions and chartreuses

The agency Immobilier Anthouard offers exceptional properties in the Dordogne, in the Bergerac country. We will offer you today some explanations around the terms castles and mansions that we regularly offer for sale.

Anthouard Immobilier tells you : castles & mansions…

Semantic origins

The word “castle” comes from the Latin castellum, which means “fortified post of a camp”, and by extension “fortress”. The word therefore belongs to the military vocabulary.
By extension of meaning, the word castle means a seigneurial or royal dwelling with its outbuildings. By a 2nd extension of meaning, the word castle means a large property, a beautiful cottage in the countryside.

The word “manor” comes from the Latin maner, which means a residence, a place where one lives. By extension of meaning, the word means a small castle, a small old house of countryside character surrounded by land. By a second extension of meaning, this implies an aristocrat, thus a person who runs a fief, owner of a house with a particular lifestyle.

Castles and mansions: different origins

Although castles have existed since Roman times, it was in the Middle Ages that they took the definition we all know, that of beautiful fortified houses, testifying to the high social status of the owner. The manor house appeared shortly after the Hundred Years’ War in the 15th century.
A castle is the home of a king or lord, usually built inside or very close to the city.

A manor house was the dwelling of a nobleman. Moreover, they were characterized as “gentilhommière”, the dwelling of a “gentile”, therefore of a nobleman. The mansions were often built in the countryside, so they were connected to land intended for agriculture and for which the owner was responsible.

These properties could have other purposes such as cheese making, animal breeding, viticulture…

But beyond the origins, the architectural and practical aspects differ:

A castle usually has walls, fortifications, moats, a dungeon and is able to defend itself (and defend a population thanks to its courtyard) during an enemy attack. It is a military construction that gradually becomes a place of residence.

The manor is smaller than the castle, it is located in a village and represents the most important residence. The owners of the manors are landowners who have been able, thanks to their income, to afford the construction of this building in beautiful stones.

Castle for sale at Anthouard Immobilier Manor house for sale at 20mn from the airport Bergerac Dordogne Périgord

The most striking difference between mansions and castles is the size of the buildings. Often used to defend cities, castles have large fortifications, large towers, and a fairly developed architecture. The manor houses are much smaller, they occupied an intermediate level between the castle and the farm.

The common points of castles and mansions

These are both residential buildings, made with high-quality stones, often worked (mouldings, sculptures, fireplaces, etc.) that contribute to the exceptional beauty of the French real estate heritage. Indeed, many of these castles or mansions are classified as historical monuments.

Castles and mansions on french territory

There are about 6,500 listed castles or mansions in France, 85% of which are owned by private individuals (the others being owned by the French State).
It is in Dordogne that we find the most castles such as the Château de Castelnaud-La-Chapelle, the Château des Milandes, the Château de Montaigne, the Château de Biron, the Château de Hautefort, the Château de Puyguilhem, the Château de Bourdeilles… You will surely fall under their spell!

Anthouard Immobilier tells you : the Chartreuse

In the Dordogne: A charterhouse and a rural dwelling house, of a beautiful architectural nobility from the XVII to the XIX centuries. Often embellished with beautiful elements: fireplaces, adobe, woodwork, high ceilings…

A charming bourgeois residence, open to its landscape to enjoy its gardens and its land.The main house, on one level, can be decorated with pavilions, common forming a closed courtyard, pavilions at the ends and beautiful porches of entrances. The whole shows a beautiful art of living.

Charterhouse for sale from the XVIII th century, on a park of 7,8ha