At the roundabout, when we arrive from Poitiers, you can see a wonderful Renaissance castle on the right side. We cannot visit this castle but we can tell you its history. The estate belonged to Jacques d’Ausseure, mayor of Poitiers, since the end of the 14th century. In 1516 he was allowed building a fortified house. The yard, a quadrilateral with massive round towers, shows the medieval influence as well as the dry moats and the little castle at the entrance, which looks like the castle of Dissay with its two towers. A covered crenellated watch way with machicoulis protects the drawbridge. The main building fits between the little castle and the corner tower where the chapel is located.
The castle has been built to live in there that is why it has got large chimneys. Mullion windows and sculpted dormer windows remember the influence of the castle Bonnivet, which is close to here. Back to this yard there are a tower for domestic functions and a dovecote. Both of those towers confirm their defensive role with cannons. The most famous owner of this castle was the General Chemineau. He knew glory in the Napoleon’s army. During the seat in Dantzig he ran a squad against the Russian army, stole three barrels, and made 800 prisoners. After this accomplishment he received the Légion d’honneur.
Then he distinguished himself in Portugal and must be amputated by the right leg during a battle in Lützen. The Restoration made him knight of Saint Louis and commander of la Vienne, Charente-Inférieure and Deux-Sèvres. He did up his castle bringing some elements of comfort.
Note: his name is engraved on stone of one of a pillar at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
2 - The fontaine du Pic :
On the road of Chezeaux
The Fontaine du Pic is located at the limit between Vendeuvre-du-Poitou and Marigny-Brizay on the road of Chezeaux by leaving the Croix du Truet. A road on the left crosses the wood of la Fenêtre and leads to the fountain after 700 meters walking. The water, which comes out the fountain, flows to Marigny-Brizay bypassing the Saint Gabriel’s farm. The fountain is dominated by a square stone base (1,50 meter side and 1,40 meter high); the cross has been installed by the Kermadec’s family from the castle of La Marre and is over this beautiful monument. Down the fountain we can see a step, which lets suppose this Calvary served as an altar during the Rogations period. Madam de Kermadec told us she remembered processions with children. “We came there to obtain rain when the weather was very dry”. Indeed, the peak to which the fountain owes its name is a bird who announces the rain by singing. It is not certainly a fate!
3- Les Chezeaux :
Registered at the Additional Inventory of Historical Monuments in 1985
We find mention of this site for the first time in 938, it was a territory belonging to the baron de Grisse in Chéneché. It succeeded to three families: Chabots family until the 15th century, Constants family until the 19th century and De Lauzons family until recently because a certain Madam de Lauzon has been councillor of the municipality in Vendeuvre-du-Poitou during the 60’s.
The current owner, Dr. De Boissière, bought the territory in 1971. The current castle replaces the noble medieval house and has been built by the Constants family in the 18th century; it was constituted by buildings organized around a closed yard but there are only two towers, one squared in north-east corner and the other round north-west. The main front of the castle is oriented to the South with sixteen big windows on two levels; the slate roof is decorated with three sculpted stone windows. Fronts, roofs, chapel of the home have been registered at the Additional Inventory Historical Monuments in 1985.
4- La fuye de Bataillé :
A Fuye is a dovecote…
On the landscape of Vendeuvre-du-Poitou there is one of the most beautiful fuye in the Departement of La Vienne. But what is a fuye? A fuye is a dovecote and its name comes from a race of pigeon, which were before raised here: the fuyard. To discover this fuye, you have to go to Bataillé between Vendeuvre-du-Poitou and Bellefois. The dovecote belongs to Mr. and Mme.Chauzamy, who have several holiday cottages and fitted hosts' houses in main buildings, which form a remarkable set. This house is mentioned in texts from the twelfth century.
The territory of Bataillé was located in the lordship of Chéneché. The fuye is cylindrical overcame by a conical roof covered by flat tiles and a lantern covered by slate; above the main entrance we can read an engraved date: 1658. The fuye has got two windows, one at East and the other at South, in winter it let the sun penetrate to warm up the inside but in summer it stills fresh.
Inside the fuye there is gyratory ladder, which allowed getting baby pigeons, putting them in the aviary and eat them. This type of dovecote exists in Greece and Roma since the 6th century before Jesus-Christ. We count around 600 dovecotes in the department of La Vienne, they were built away from houses in order to not disturb pigeons and to avoid smell. Owners of fuyes were lords; the number of putlogs was proportional to the area of their land. A putlog is the hole where a pigeon lives. In the fuye of Bataillé there are 372 putlogs, the land was also huge and rich.
You can see another magnificent dovecote in the castle of la Barum in Chéneché near from Vendeuvre-du-Poitou. If you visit the dovecote of Bataillé you will see a smart peculiarity: a little stone edge down of the inside wall, which stopped rats climbing to eat eggs.
Today there are no more pigeons; the abolition gave a fatal hurt in 1789 and during the Second World War German army blocked the opens to stop pigeons taking refuge in there.