For anyone interested !!!!!!!!!(I have files of a couple of pictures of the below described castle if anyone would like them)
The castle that was a gift for Charles Pierre du Ranc (my ancestor along with many others with the surname of Rank, Ranck, Ranc, Runk, Ronk, etc. who can trace their lineage back to Hans Valentine Ranc).The castle was reward for Charles' accompanying Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the new world.
As of this sunmer, the castle has been sold by the Bonhomme family (the 3rd owners) to an English person whose friend is an artist and restorer presently working to restore the castle to it's original beauty.The castle sold for $11 million and will need another $40 milliion to restore.
They plan to return the 76 rooms to the original 48
The History of the castle- (the castle is located in the south of France,between Nîmes and Alès, at the bottom of the "cevennes", at Durfort.)
The castle is very old, dating at least from the 13-14th century since one finds it mentioned in the origins of the commune on which it is located (it was already habited in 1350). In 1428 the Du RANC family live in the castle. In 1548 Bernardin Du RANC, lord of the castle, married on the 19th August Isabeau BLANZAC.
In 1551 the church of St-Martin de Sossenac was destroyed. In 1562 when they want to say the mass again, they will celebrate it in the castle, in an old pigeon house transformed into a vault. This vault still exists with its furnace bridge and the stoup.
One found in the bulletin of the academy of Nimes a study of Mr. de CAZENOVE which writes about extracts of the synopses of the acts of baronnies (1252-1585). A register of the 16th century contains the summary mention of the acts passed by the Du RANC from and since their setting in possession of the ground of the castle.
A historian, Mr. RIVOIRE, in the statistics of Gard gives to this residence a Spanish origin whose principal authors would have accompanied Christophe COLOMB. The grounds of the castle would have been set up in baronnie into 1520. This one will exist until 1862 (November), date on which it returns to the commune.
The castle suffered from the wars of religion and the French revolution. In 1792 it was burnt. In 1823 the Du RANC sold to the comte d'ADHEMAR husband of Elisa, Céline MATHIEU, nephew of a former mayor of the commune.
The castle was resold in 1864 to the RIVET DE SABATIER. Mr. Albert RIVET DE SABATIER bequeathed it to his elder son, Philippe, husband of Miss Jeanne ROUSSIN. Mr. Philippe RIVET DE SABATIER died in 1931, leaving his widow for heiress. In 1941 she bequeathed it to her brother-in-law, Louis RIVET DE SABATIER, which kept it until its death in 1958.
Mr. Philippe RIVET DE SABATIER let the square tower be repaired, at the top of which one sees in clear weather the sea. He did many repairs, created even two residences, but left it all in the old style.
Armorial bearings of the castle
The armorial bearings carved on the chimneys of the green leaving-room and the dining room at the time of the restoration of the castle, as on the front gate where they replaced those of the baron Du RANC, were hammered at the time of the revolution of 1792.
< < Quartered to the 1 and 4 of money with five tapes of mouths which is RIVET DE SABATIER: to the 2 and 4 of azure with 2 lances in saltire, confined of 4 gold rings which are of Baguet > >
Interior in short
The principal part of the castle is made up of a score of rooms distributed on 3 levels (Ground + 2 floors).
At the Ground floor you have today 1 WC, 3 kitchens, a dining room and two living-rooms with chimneys. All these rooms have original "arched ceilings" (hauts plafonds voutés).
At the 1st floor, you have a bath-room with WC and 8 sleeping-rooms whith chimney.
At the 2nd floor you have 3 sleeping-rooms and the possibility to have 4 or 5 more.
I don't even speak about the boxrooms, wall cupboards, of the access to the tower and his terrace... A broad central stone staircase serves the stages.
The dependences are contiguous to the castle, they are part of it but totaly independent. You have 2 renovated apartments for guardians with kitchen, WC and bath-room. There is a small cattle shed, a garage, stables, a hen house, barns with hay and for the possible hunters you have dog "houses" etc.
On a 4 ha ground with many different sorts of trees, you are surrounding the countryside (scrubland, vines, woods ...). Terraces, fountain, arched rosery, vault in ruin (partialy), towers of monitoring... forms part of the property and give it its charm. A private road gives you access to the property.
The castle was always habitated, however it is today to renovate. Indeed, with such a seal (13th century), one can consider that the castle is from old design ;-).
For example, electricity is to be reactualized, the door frames are to be re-examined, of course there is no central heating, but a chimney in each part!, decoration is to be remade.
It then comes to each one to decide what they wants : to transform at the today-standards (double-windows isolation, central heating, ultramodern bathrooms ...) or to make the place a little more comfortable (renovation of the door frames, of the bath-room and electricity, decoration) while preserving this inimitable medieval seal.
The external walls are in a perfect state.