Chanzé is first mentioned in documents between 1055 and 1070 under the name of Canziacus or Canzi, then between 1070 and 1118 under Chanzeium, Chanzé or Sanzay.
"The land owed homage six fold to the Lords of Sourches, of Thouarcé, of Vezin, Murs, Vauchretien and Martingé-Briant by tribute of 6/7 of the harvest on St. Catherine`s Day. On the eve and on the Saints Day a Mass was sung for all souls present in the Chapel."
In the books of the Abbey of Saint-Florent in Saumur an endowment is documented which Arnaud of Chanzé made for his eternal soul and for the benefit of the Church of Saint-Jean in Thouarcé.
Two centuries later the Aménards become Lords of Chanzé. They also owned the neighbouring estates of Assay, Noyers, Montbénault, Luigne, Petit-Riou, etc. Following the extinction of the original line at Chanzé, Pean Aménard, Knight and husband of Isabel of Baussay, is the first successor mentioned at around 1300. Guy Aménard follows in 1315 and then Jean Aménard whose grandson, Briand and another Guy succumb in the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. The youngest Jean, who distinguishes himself in the Battle of Broissignière against the English, secures the line of the Aménards. Of his five children the daughter marries the famous Jean de Fontaine-Guérin, hero of the Battle of Bauge against the English. His statue can be seen in front of the Church in Fontaine-Guérin. King René makes him Knight of the Order of Croissant and there are indications that it was Jean who rebuilt Chanzé. He dies in the Battle of Crénon in 1472. Renée, his youngest daughter, marries Christophe de Goulaines in 1505 and dies in 1508. In 1534 her children become wards of their uncle, Mathurin de Montalais.
Robert de Montalais, son of Mathurin de Montalais and Renée de Goulaines, becomes Master of Chanzé in 1539.
In 1543 Jaques du Bellay, mighty Baron of Thouarcé, Seigneur of Anjou and "panetier ordinaire du roi" becomes owner of Chanzé seemingly by way of a swap with Robert de Montalais. On March 25th, 1576, he has the honour of hosting the King of Navarre, later to become Henri IV or "le bon roi Henri", under the roof of Chanzé. The priest of St. Lambert-du-Lattay, through whose parish the King passes on that day, makes the following entry in his diary:
"In the morning of March 26th come the King of Navarra and the Count of Mon(talais), the Governour and more high lords with their entourage to Saint-Lambert. And it was the Huguenots who pillaged and devastated..." and a poor man by the name of Jaques Parent "murdered by the King's armed men" was buried on that day."
The progeny of this same Bellay remain owners of Chanzé until 1663.
In 1663 Chanzé is sold to the Cossé Brissac who resides often in the old, well-kept Chateau de Chanzé with its gardens by the Layon until the revolution. It is during the War of the Vendée that it is burnt down and totally destroyed.
Hunault-Billard and Robert
On November 11th, 1810, the property, in it’s by then dilapidated state, is sold for 20 000 Francs by Count Auguste-Timoleon de Cosse Brissac to Mme. Marie Hunault, widow of Mathurin Billard of Chavagnes. The same day she leases the farm to a Durand Jean. The farm then changes hands various times in the 19th century. In 1818 Etienne-Louis Robert buys the chateau and restores it completely. Before the fire, the edifice had had two more storeys than it presently has. Robert had the ruin pulled down and erected a dwelling for the tenant. The chateau received a new slate roof.
Excerpts from the diary of Louis Raimbault (apparently a builder):
"March 23rd 1875: The well to the east of Chanzé on the foot of the hill is now part of the new path. The lateral and back walls now house a Chapel. The roof is covered with slate (ardoise) tiles. The clay water pipes have been connected to a cistern which is located 12 m to the east of the building. This conduit is 36 m long as the well lies 48 m away from the house.
October 26th, 1875: Mme. Bourcier told me that glazed tile fragments were found in the adjacent buildings which date back to around 1550 when they were part of a water conduit from the source in Saulaire or Hucaudiere. These conduits, however, were destroyed in 1612.
October 19th, 1877: Mme. Bourcier comes from time to time to inspect the work in the interior of the chateau. She intends to reside here.
August 19th, 1884: Mme. Bourcier showed me her rooms on the first floor of the chateau: Salon, dining room, bedroom and bathroom.
In 1888 Mme. Bourcier had a stone cross erected in the north of the chateau,
west of the path that leads to the farm at the intersection with Rt. 20. The round stone cross sits on a square plinth. There is no inscription. (2017 This cross still stands at the entrance).
October 9th, 1893: Mme. Bourcier died on October 6th, 1893. Mr. Baudriller, plumber from Thouarcé made a lead coffin for her which was enshrined in an oak coffin."
On August 11th, 1932, the Huault-Dupuy family sells to the Alexis Gallard-Souchet family.
On June 11th, 1965, Mme. Metaireau-Gallard inherits the chateau and sells it on December 1st, 1971.
Once upon a time there was a large wine cellar with disused fireplace on the ground floor, an entrance and adjacent ante-room with fireplace and two small storage rooms. On the next floor there were three rooms, storage room and WC. On the top floor there was a passage with four rooms. On the second floor a large room with fireplace and two smaller rooms.
Roger Louis Maugin buys the entire chateau and contracts the workshop of Perrault in St. Laurent de la Pleine for restoration work in the style of the Renaissance.
On April 28th, 1989, Simon Jeremy Fry of London buys the chateau from Roger Louis Maugin and on March 19th, 1992, the adjoining farm with ca. 6 hectares land from Jean-Paul René Métaireau.
On July 15th, 1993, Dr Heinrich and Maria Albertina Stoesser-Gliott from Switzerland buy the estate, complete with all furniture.
The Chapel (no longer in existence)
The old chapel on the estate is devoted to Our Lady and St. Catherine and St. Anne. In 1609 a certain Jehan April officiates and in 1613 Guillaume Papin, resident of Thouarcé. There is also Abbé Alexandre de Cosse-Brissac, whose family owned the chateau from 1663. Before him from 1653 to 1663 the Abbé of Béjard in the Diocese of Tréguier is encharged. During that period he was Lord of Fontaines in Thouarcé and Chaplain of Chanzé. There is the following story told about him:
"The Chaplain of Chanzé, who sired seven children with his maid, received at the chateau the Bishop for a spiritual visit. Said maid presented her children to the Bishop who in turn gave them the following: One received the Chateau Fontaine and another Chateau Marais in Faveraye."
There is complete restoration of the chapel and on October 20th, 1703, in the presence of the Chaplain of Quincé, the Chaplain of Chavaignes, the Prior and Chaplain of Faye with his Vicar Belloeil as well as the Lord of Chanzé, Messire Charles-Albert de Cosse, Marquis of Thouarcé and Count Brissac, the new chapel is consecrated.
Some commentary and excerpts from old documents about the structure of the chateau:
The four existing walls, recovered with a new roof, serve the owners as shelter during the wine harvest. On the east side there is a semi-round tower from where the river crossing can be defended, towards the south there is a hexagonal tower with circular stairwell. In the north the entrance is via a drawbridge across the moat. Vestiges thereof can only be found on the southern part of the west wing. There are parts of the walls and portals that date back to the 15th century. The fireplace is from 17th century. There are traces of a watch tower. Originally there were high walls and service dwellings on the opposite side of the main edifice.