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The History of Plessis


We can trace the Plessis back to 1209, when it was a fortress known under the name of plessiacus. A century and a half later, in 1359, the English occupied it as they were looting the region. The castle was retaken by the Lord of Montrésor, Pierre de Pulluau, in 1369 (or 1361, according to different sources). The defenses around the castle were torn down, and the castle was burnt.

On September 23rd 1609, René Duchesne, Lord of the Plessis and main Lord of the area, reversed Shakespeare’s famous quote out of Richard III “a horse, my kingdom for a horse!” by exchanging his magnificent horse for a piece of land. The notary in charge of certifying the exchange wrote: “The seller considered himself well paid by a young bay horse, having black ears and mane, saddled and bridled and handed over to him on this day by the buyer”

Sources :

  • La Gâtine de Montésor, Frédéric Gaultier et Marie-Louise Sergenet
  • Chemillé et la Chartreuse du Liget
  • La vallée de l'Indrois, Bernard Briais.

The present day building was built at the end of the 19th century next to the main farm building. The old castle mentioned earlier was probably to be found at the location that is nowadays hosting the breeding horses.

Photos found by Mr. Philippe Benoit du Rey show that the chapel and the wider staircase  must have been built around 1911, since they can not be seen on the pictures of 1908. AT the same time, the building hosting the stables was raised about 1,5 m above ground.

The map of the Plessis made by T. Voisin, a schoolteacher, provides us with precious information about the state of the property at that time, about the location of the gardens, orchards and ponds. The total surface of the Plessis was at that time 386ha73a19ca, about 100ha more than today.

Before the 2nd world war le Plessis was employing around 50 people. Since, it has had different owners.

In the early 50s three mobile sawmills were active in the woods with the result that the only trees older than 100 years are those around the castle (cedars, sequoias and oak trees).

In the 70’ the property was bought by a German farmer and worked by his brother and then by his daughter.