Chambres d’Hôtes & Gites
After the fire, the house remained totally derelict, for over 30 years. Post-war years were austere, and what money there was for rebuilding went to the cities and towns. However, Madam Bonnetblanc did receive a payment to compensate for her loss, but the scale of the manor and the amount of work required meant that it was not really a viable proposition. She built a much smaller farmhouse in land to the rear of the property, where other farm buildings had also been burned down, and Chez Jallot was left to tumble.
We have spoken to people who remember Madam Bonnetblanc at a local home for the elderly. She spoke very fondly of the manor, and reported that it was always a happy home. She was never bitter about what happened, simply happy that all had escaped without harm.
In the late 1970's the site was sold and work started to clear out the worst of the fire debris. A concrete beam and block floor was put in at ground level and some repairs to the walls were made; some floor joists were put into place to form the basis of the first and second floors. Unfortunately, the developers didn't get around to putting on a roof before they left, never to return. Doug and Deni are told the plan was to turn the house into a nightclub, a strange notion in 'the middle of no where'.
Again, the manor stood neglected for almost 30 years. The building had become so unstable it was unsafe to enter "never in a thunderstorm" it was told. It had been taken off the 'Cadastral Plan' and hence no longer existed according to bureaucracy.
The intervening years had wrought havoc with the structure of the building. Ivy had grown so massively over the East wall as to break down one chimneystack completely, along with around 6 meter of gable end. Trees, brambles and general rubbish cluttered all sides of the building; the only way to approach the ruins was by cutting down brambles. The front steps were impassable and literally hundreds of trees were growing in the back garden. This was the jungle Doug and Deni started to clear back in May 2003.
A diary of the restoration, the trials and tribulations of life in France and the fun world of being part of Grand Designs Abroad can be found in their BOOK.