barre-1Photos courtesy of Château de la Barre








The history of Château de la Barre is very much that of the Vanssay family, an ancient family from Brittany who settled in the Pays de la Loire region in the 9th century. The Domesday Book documents family members who accompanied William the Conqueror to England and fought in the Battle of Hastings.

The Vanssay family acquired the Château de la Barre by marriage in 1404. The structure had once been used as a court of justice and a toll collection center.

Over the centuries, the chateau was expanded and fortified. In the 17th century, the great granddaughter of the builders of the famous Loire Valley château, Chenonceau, married Marin de Vanssay and added a new wing. The 18th century saw a complete refurbishment of the interiors.

Unlike many of the grand estates and châteaux during the time of the French Revolution, Château de la Barre remained intact. Later, members of the Vanssay family went with Napoleon to Russia, and in 1870, Count de Vanssay served as private secretary to the Count of Chambord, the last legitimate heir to the throne of France.

On the grounds you may still see the 16th-century fortifications and family chapel.

Pamela’s Perspective

If you’re looking for the ultimate experience of château life in the French countryside, this is the place and the splurge you’ve been looking for. You’ll take home a memory of France you’ll never forget.

Keep in mind this is a private home, thus there are no locks on the doors; there’s no need for them. Because this isn’t a hotel or a B&B, you won’t find those kinds of services here—nor would you want to.

Please mention Castle and Palace and receive a VIP welcome drink upon arrival!


Château de la Barre

A 16th-century castle


F-72120 Conflans-sur-Anille
Tel: ++33 (0)2 43 35 00 17
Hotel website
Reserve with

Fast facts

5 rooms and suites in the château
2 self-catering apartments in Le Cottage

Double rooms: 295–390 euros
Suites: 420–760 euros

Open: end of February through January

Getting there

From the direction of Paris, take A11 and exit at La Ferté Bernard. Continue south on D1. 5.5 km after the village of Berfay, turn right onto the château property. If you reach St. Calais, you’ve gone too far, and do not turn down towards Conflans.

What to do

On site: bicycles; billiards
Nearby: tennis; swimming pool; horseback riding; golf; Châteaux of the Loire Valley; troglodyte village of Troo; Le Perche with its Knights Templar Commanderie; Romanesque chapels; gothic cathedrals; medieval Plantagenet city of Le Mans; hot air ballooning


Yes. Small family chapel, which is perfect for a small, chic wedding or vow renewal blessing.


The Château de la Barre is one of those special places where descendants of the original family have opened the doors of their beautiful home to guests of the world.

As soon as you drive up to the château, you’ll be personally welcomed with a glass of the local cider by Guy and Marnie, the Comte and Comtesse de Vanssay. It won’t take long to be swept up in their enthusiasm for their estate and culture of the surrounding region. And for good reason, because this château is like stepping into the 18th-century world of French noble living.

Everything you see in the various salons is authentic. Family heirlooms, antiques, embroidered linens, and paintings are of museum quality, and each, no doubt, have a story to tell.

Antiques, paintings are luxurious fabrics fill the five guest rooms as well. Each bears a names that reflects its theme: The Suite Esprit de Jouy features an authentic Louis XVI canopied bed; shades of gold fill the Chambre Jaune, and an antique bathtub and 17th-century Florentine mirror adorn the Suite de Marin de Vanssay. Open the windows of any room and gaze out over the château’s 100-acre private park, or 16th-century fortifications.

For an exceptional experience, don’t miss a “Grand Siècle” dinner. You’ll share a large dining table with Guy, Marnie, and the other guests. Guy is a master at pairing wine with an utterly delicious five-course meal—all served on the family silver, fine china, and crystal. In the morning, Marnie will present a perfect breakfast to start your day.

You’ll never be at a loss for things to do in the region. Marnie will draw up an itinerary for you of the “don’t miss” sights, the hidden gems, and the perfect restaurant to indulge in the specialties of the region.

Apart from the château is a small 16th-century manor/cottage that holds two fully self-catering apartments, which are perfect for for weekly stays or more. Guests at the cottage do not have the same services as those who stay in the château. Each apartment has a separate entrance, kitchen, and en suite bathroom. Especially romantic is the rustic “Les Glycines,” with a big stone fireplace, bits of exposed brick on the walls, and a beamed ceiling.

Something special

curlicueThe château has been in the Vanssay family for 600 years.

curlicuePrivate concerts