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.
"The land of Chanzé owed homage six fold to the Lords of Sourches, of Thouarcé, of Vezin, Mûrs, 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."
The first mention of the Lords of Chanzé occurs around 1080 when Guillaume and Arnaud de Chanzé, donate to the monks of Saint-Florent several pieces of land and an annuity of a hundred eels of the Ermenbert water mill, located near Chanzé. They followed the example of Isembert, Lord of Thouarcé who offered refuge to the monks and donated land to build the church of Saint Jean and other buildings.
In 1093 the new Church of Saint-Jean in Thouarcé is completed. On the day of the dedication Isembert the young, Lord of Thouarcé, the Lords of Chanzé, du Mesnil, de Sourdigné and others who have contributed to the build march at the front of the procession.
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.
In February 1225 a treaty was passed between André de Doué, Lord of Thouarcé, and Olivier de Daon, Lord of Pocé and Gillebourg, relative to their respective rights in the woods of Lattay. It was agreed that Olivier de Daon would take four of his vassals to prove his rights, and for his part the Lord of Thouarcé chose Geoffrey and Guillaume de Chanzé, knights, and Pierre and Foulques de Cocé, clerics. The servant of the Lord of Thouarcé was to receive the monies due for the right to graze the pigs, to give a tenth to the prior of Thouarcé, and half of what was left had to belong to the Lord of Gillebourg. When the Lord of Thouarcé sent people to look for wood in the forest, the Lord of Gillebourg had the right to demand, for a cartload, three bushels of rye and a penny or a small cake. Finally, all disputes that may arise in relation to these uses should be tried in Thouarcé.
Later the Amenards become Lords of Chanzé. They also owned the neighboring estates of Assay, Noyers, Montbenault, Luigné, Petit-Riou, etc. Following the extinction of the original line at Chanzé, Pean Amenard, Knight and husband of Isabel of Baussay, is the first successor mentioned at around 1300. Guy Amenard follows in 1315 and then Jean Amenard whose grandson, Briand and another Guy succumb in the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.
On July 12, 1428 Jean Amenard, knight and Lord of Chanzé writes to the Lord of Thouarcé an confession for the part of his land of Chanzé, with right of medium and low justice and gives his faith and simple tribute of a service horse.
The youngest Jean, who distinguishes himself in the Battle of Broissignière against the English, secures the line of the Amenards. Of his five children the daughter marries the famous Jean de Fontaine-Guérin, hero of the Battle of Bauge 1421 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 the Cross and there are indications that it was Jean who rebuilt Chanzé.
January 12, 1468 Jean Amenard, squire, Lord of Chanzé, dealing with the marriage of his sister Catherine with Jean de Villeneuve, squire, Lord of Villeneuve, offers the sum of one hundred livres tournois (old currency) annuity, part in money and part in food. In this contract, we see that the wheat setier, measure of Brissac (about two hectoliters), is valued at twenty sous, the rye setier, fifteen sous, a capon (a castrated domestic cock fattened for eating), twelve deniers or a penny, a hen eight deniers. The Lord of Chanzé also promised to donate the sum of two hundred crowns of gold in furniture.
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.
Around the year 1520 Jaques du Plantys, Lord of Marchais, had a chapel built on the north side of the church of Faye, adjoining an arcade with the nave; but Mathurin de Montalais, knight, Baron de Courcelles, husband of Renée de Goulaine, Lord and Lady of Chanzé, having established that as patrons and founders of the said church, they were entitled to have their coat of arms painted on a band, around the walls inside and outside, to be buried there, to have a bench and oratory, finally to prevent the Lord of Marchais from encroaching on these rights; there followed a trial, concluded with a transaction.
Robert de Montalais, son of Mathurin de Montalais and Renée de Goulaines, becomes Master of Chanzé in 1539.
On April 21, 1543 Mathurin de Montalais, knight, lord of Chambellay, and Robert de Montalais, his eldest son, as well as his other children, ceded to Jacques du Bellay, mighty Baron of Thouarcé, Seigneur of Anjou and "panetier ordinaire du roi" the land and lordship of Chanzé. "composed of castle, farmhouse, chapel, barns, wine press etc ..." and received in exchange the land of Louvaines.
In 1548 Jacques du Bellay, who then took the title of Baron de Thouarcé, had the Château de Chanzé rebuilt with some of the materials from that of Thouarcé. He built a small pyramid on the Saulaye fountain located near the Hucaudière, and by means of terracotta pipes, the water from this fountain arrived in the Château de Chanzé by passing under the Layon river.
On March 25th, 1576, Jacques du Bellay has the honour of hosting the King of Navarre (pictured), 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."
By deed passed on December 7, 1598, François Guynoiseau, Monsieur du Verger and farmer of the barony of Thouarcé, living at the Château de Chanzé, attorney of René du Bellay rents to Urbain Glétron, locksmith, the mound of the old Château de Thouarcé, located north of the church, within the moat, for the sum of forty sous annuity.
The du Bellay family remains owners of Chanzé until 1663.
On July 19, 1663 Henri-Albert de Cossé acquired the marquisate of Thouarcé including the Château de Chanzé, sold by the heirs of Charles du Bellay, died burdened with debts around the beginning of 1662. An act from this period recalls that Charles de Savonnières, one of the heirs, had carried from the Château de Chanzé two falcons, or species of small cannons which were used for the defense of this place, a large chalice of gilded silver which was in the chapel, the standard (probably in bronze) of the bushel, measure of Thouarcé, and other precious objects.
Charles-Albert Cossé, younger brother of Artus-Timoléon-Louis Cossé, abbot of Brissac, Marquis of Thouarcé from 1700 - 1712 lived at the Château de Chanzé and died on April 13, 1712.
In 1703 Charles-Albert de Cossé, Marquis of Thouarcé, had the chapel of Château de Chanzé restored, and the solemn blessing was made on October 20, by François-Gaultier de Chanzé, prior of Faye, in the presence of the said de Cossé, abbot de Brissac, François Herpin, prior of Chavagnes, Marin Labbé, parish priest of Quincé, and R. Belliard, vicar of Faye.
The Cossé Brissac reside often in the old, well-kept Château de Chanzé with its gardens by the Layon until the revolution. It is during the War of the Vendée 1793-94 that it is burnt out.
On November 11th, 1810, the property, in it’s by then dilapidated state, is sold for 20 000 Francs by Count Auguste-Timoleon de Cossé Brissac to Mme. Marie Hunault, widow of Mathurin Billard of Chavagnes. The same day she leases the farm to Jean Durand. The farm then changes hands various times in the 19th century.
Robert and Huault-Dupuy
In 1817 Etienne-Louis Robert from Champloin commune of St. Georges-des-Mines bought Château de Chanzé with the farm for 37,500 francs. He restores the château completely. Before the fire, the edifice had had two more storeys than it presently has. The chateau received a new slate roof. The focus is now on wine making for income. The château has several vineyards on the hill behind the castle and plots on the southern side of the river Layon.
Etienne-Louis Robert (ⴕ 1821) was married to Marie Anne Pelé (ⴕ 1827). They had a son Etienne Robert (ⴕ 1842) who was married to Jeanne Marie Dugré (ⴕ 1830). Together they had one child Aimée Marie Robert (1824-1893) who married doctor Adolphe Dominique Bouvier (1818-1882).
It was that Aimée Marie Bouvier who renovated the west wing of Château de Chanzé and whose cross is at the entrance to the property.
Bouviers had one daughter Marie Aimée Bouvier who on April 18, 1871 marries Valentin Huault-Dupuy, artist, lawyer, former battalion chief in the 2nd territorial regiment, mayor of Louroux-Béconnais and borough councilor.
The Land of Chanzé consists of the castle, the enclosure of the same name, two meadows, a garden, the farm house of Chanzé, those of the big and the small Misolive and the farmhouse in lower Tremblaye.
Valentin Huault-Dupuy carries on with the winemaking at Chanzé in various vineyards totaling 9 hectares. He dies in 1912 and his son Robert takes over the winery. Both keep a journal of their vineyard and winery (separate document).
Extract from the document "family memories" by Robert HUAULT-DUPUY
“My grandmother had inherited the property of Chanzé from her aunt Pelé and whose husband Etienne-Louis Robert bought it in 1817. As far as Chanzé is concerned, only giving me the woes of selling wine, the vines which had cost my father 90,000 francs to replant and being ready to die, the castle being uncomfortable and my son refusing to live in it, I decided to sell it and use it, I bought at La Baule a villa where I put some of the furniture from Chanzé, the living room that I had bought at my wedding, and in memory of the old castle, I called it Chanzé at sea.”
In 1878 Aimée Marie Bouvier (1824-1893) moved into the West wing of the castle and had renovations undertaken. The South facing wing was at that time used as a barrel room to make and store wine.
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. Bouvier 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 Saulaye or Hucaudière. These conduits, however, were destroyed in 1612.
October 19th, 1877: Mme. Bouvier comes from time to time to inspect the work in the interior of the chateau. She intends to reside here.
August 19th, 1884: Mme. Bouvier showed me her rooms on the first floor of the chateau: Salon, dining room, bedroom and bathroom.
In 1888 Mme. Bouvier 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. (This cross still stands to this day).
October 9th, 1893: Mme. Bouvier died on October 6th, 1893. Mr. Baudriller, plumber from Thouarcé made a lead coffin for her which was enshrined in an oak coffin."
In 1889 The Coteaux du Layon wine from Clos de Chanzé won a medal at the Universal Exhibition in Paris. The wine was most likely from a vintage before the phylloxera struck the vineyard.
Press extract concerning the castle fire
May 8, 1906, Castle burnt down by lightning
.ANGERS - Last night, lightning fell on the castle of Chanzé, near Faye, and started a violent fire there. The damage is very great.
The CHANZE castle dates back to the eleventh century. It belonged to Jacques du Bellay and his descendants kept it until 1663. Became since then the property of the Cossé-Brissac family, it was sold several times and currently it is the property of M.Huault-Dupuy, general councilor , and whose son married Miss Bodinier, daughter of the senator. Paul Bartel
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 famous Atelier 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 Stösser-Gliott from Switzerland buy the estate, complete with all furniture. In 2005 the farmhouse is completely renovated, a large swimming pool is built, a restaurant and studios and apartments are part of the renovations
The Château was handed to Michael and his New Zealand partner, Sonia Townshend on April 2, 2015 to continue with the loving curation of this castle.