The first historical evidence we can find at the property dates back to the Roman times. Then the Vikings were the first ones to build a wooden fortress that was called “The Holm” – the location overlooking the marshes and directly connected to the sea was very convenient for them. This fortress is the foundation of today’s castle.
Our family took over the place in the 12th century as we were brothers in arm of William the Conqueror with a notorious influence on the entire region up to England.
Our ancestor Marechal de Bellefonds, one of the loyal warriors of Louis the 14th, played a key role in the development of the property and the region around. Legend has it that after a serious disagreement with the King, he came back at L’Isle Marie and organised some major construction works. He built an irrigation system to dry the marshes around, a hospital for injured soldiers as well as a chapel as an extension of it, designed by the famous Mansart (architect of the Versailles Palace). We restored this beautiful 17th century building and it is today functioning as a holiday residence with 2 beautiful apartments.
The Grand Dauphin, son of Louis the 14th came to visit Marechal de Bellefonds and offered many gifts including chestnut trees that are still thriving today and among the first ones to be imported to France. You can find his original portrait in our living room, as well as a portrait of Louis the 16th that was gifted to the family later on.
Along with the moments of glory the property and its residents went through some tragic events, too. One of them was the French Revolution when the property looted and nearly destroyed. And of course, the Second World War when the entire region was first occupied by the Nazis and then severely bombed by the Allied forces. On June 6, 1944, L’Isle Marie was at the heart of the battles for Normandy. Part of the 82nd division of American paratroopers landed over its lands and a bomber plane crashed behind the hospital (today’s Mansion) which burned together with the chapel and the stables. You can see the damage filmed after the war here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGLH6B_3ZAE
We decided to share the unique history of our family home by opening our doors to guests, so we can continue the legacy and share the history of this beautiful island. Why an island? Because every winter, from December onwards up until March the two rivers surrounding the property overflow and Isle Marie becomes an island surrounded by water with only a small road connection to the mainland!
We welcome our guests with great dedication and personal attention and it is always a pleasure to share our history and all the projects for the future of Château L’Isle Marie.
Tel: +33 2 33 93 27 20
Whatsapp: +33 7 81 10 37 92