Help us restore a sublime 17th-century castle in Upper Normandy, France



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 Min stay requested: 1 week or less

  • Description


    After spending several years in Paris living in chaos, pollution and general indifference, we decided to return to real life close to nature and real people. In 2016, the opportunity was given to acquire a fabulous estate based on an island of 10 hectares composed of both a mill of the 12th century and a castle of the 16th century.

    Alix, Aliénor, our two little daughters of 7 and 3 years old, Ariane and Bernard-Marie are our little family who quickly integrated into a beautiful region where nature is omnipresent!

    The castle, built in 1636, belonged to the most famous and powerful woman of her time, Mademoiselle de Montpensier, the granddaughter of King Henry IV and Queen Marie de Medici. Suffice to say that it is an architectural marvel that has managed to cross the centuries, but now requires many care to restore its former splendor! The challenge is huge but fantastic to take up! The mill, meanwhile, dates from the 12th century and continues tirelessly to rotate its wheel driven by the river that surrounds the property. There is no more flour produced today, but the electricity needed for the estate.

    Our life is now oriented towards the protection of nature, sustainable development, culture, friendship between peoples and sharing. Our domain is gradually becoming an international cultural center in which many artistic, musical and intellectual events take place. We want to make it a place where all men and women of good will meet one day to share a few moments of themselves and make their differences a strength for all!

    If you are a Trump supporter or a global warming sceptic, forget us!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help with Eco Projects
    Language practice

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    You'll experience to live in the magnificient surrounding of a 1636 French Castle ! All people coming to wisit are astonished by the beauty of the place and the good energy. The biodiversity of the park is exceptional and we want to developp a forest garden (Martin Crawford) and a garden of medicinal plants.
    Moreover the area around the Domaine is beautiful, there are many places to visit.
    You will also experiment to leave in the nearby of a French family, with other helpers (we'd like to build a team of 5 or 6 helpers), and you will experiment French food and meals.

  • Help


    Your mission, if you accept it, will be to remove all the tinsel of the "modern times", that is, ciment and concrete and returning to the 17th century to join the walls of the castle with lime. You will discover an ancestral technique under the direction of a master craftsman specialized in the renovation of old houses and castles! Unique experience guaranteed!
    If, by chance, you do not wish to return to the 21st century, the castle and the History of France would be held for the sole responsible! ;-)

  • Languages spoken

    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Italian: Fluent
    Russian: Fluent
    Spanish: Beginner

  • Accommodation


    As in the 17th century or so! ;-) Camping outside or camp cots inside the castle's outbuildings. We'll provide shower and toilets, food (breakfast, lunch and diner)...

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    To recover from this mission, you will be invited to participate in the maintenance of parks, vegetable garden and Orchard. If that's not enough, you'll be encouraged to fish for trouts, salmons and eels that abound in the river that surrounds the property!
    And if you are not a fisherman, then watch and photograph the dozens of species of birds and animals on the property or come and make jams with us!
    Let yourself be tempted by the lush nature and the ocean located just 20 minutes from the castle!

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

This is a room we will acomodate for helpers. We'll do our best for you to feel confortable ! You'll sleep there on cots or in tents, as you prefer
Helpers' bathroom
The dependance where outside joints in cements are to be removed. You will sleep inside on cots or outside in tents as you prefer...
From the place, we can see the forest around
The castle under snow last winter !
Beautiful nature nearby the mill
The wheel of the mill
We organize concerts in the mill
During a week-end last April craftmen exhibited their work in the Domaine : we received 1200 visitors
This is me ! (Ariane)

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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (4.8)

Communication: (5.0)

Host ref number: 526467622648