#1055. Our favourite little part of Normandy in Autumn

By Dallas Thomas | Uncategorized

Nov 02

Having managed to get a leave and “exemption to travel” pass from the Australian Border Force we continued our plans to travel to France. We had planned more than 12 months ago to travel to France. Then by another miracle we were issued with a French Visa for 12 months and were told we could renew it in Paris. We thought let’s go. First stop, Paris, to catch up with friends and then on to Normandy for a month.

Chateau Chantore is near Bacilly and situated on 20 hectares of parks and gardens.

The Château de Chantore was built in 1780 by a lord of Chantore. The design, the plantations of the park, very rich in exotic trees, are due to M. Angot, deputy for Avranches, who spent part of his life there in the charm of elegant and intellectual relations.

This stronghold of Roussellière had belonged to the House of Guiton until the 16th century. It has been claimed that this Roussellière, or Roussel’s land, had been the cradle of a Roussel, warrior of conquest, stem of the Dukes of Bedfort, and ancestor of Lord John Russel. However this name does not appear in the Domesday, but it is in the list of Duchesne in the form of Roussel.

The old castle was in the meadows, on the banks of the Lerre, where some debris still reminds us of it. Next, in the courtyard of Champagne, a treasure was found a few years ago. By a rather ordinary contrast then, a Roussel was among the defenders of Mont-Saint-Michel against the English. He was undoubtedly one of those Roussels who gave their name to a sergeant in Avranches, where Montfaut found them noble; Their arms were of silver with two gold anilles on a chief of gules. 

We didn’t stay in the Chateau which is a B&B but in the Gîte de l’Orangerie this of course has more room and a private garden. The B&B is even more luxurious and has views of Mont-Saint-Michel.

The grounds are a joy to walk, sit and relax in and of course it’s a photographer’s paradise.

Early morning fog is something I love to capture.

An autumn thunderstorm captured from the safety of our Gite was amazing to witness.

This image is a blend/composite of about 10 images
This image is a blend/composite if about 10 images

The freshly renovated stables are very reminiscent of those at Chantilly albeit on a smaller scale.

The flowers are abundant.

Overall a very pleasant 4 weeks were spent there. It’s a place we shall return to again. This was our third visit.

I’ve put together a You Tube of these and other images.


​Never miss a post

​Like what you are reading? Subscribe below and receive all posts in your inbox as they are published. Join the conversation with thousands of other creative photographers.

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Well, at least some of us made it. Dateline February 2020 I was finalising my travel arrangements for a trip back to Prague, to continue where we left off last year, and then drive down to Český Krumlov, Vienna, and finally, Budapest. Then the news flooded in – went to my doctor for advice on this “COVID” thing – and was told very firmly and flatly “NO! – you are NOT going! – I KNOW why you’ve come here! And you AREN’T DOING it!” So we had to cancel everything.

    And ever since, the news has simply gotten worse.

    Hope you and your wife are OK, Dallas. Hope the risk was worth it. But that disease would almost certainly finish me off, so I simply can’t take that risk.

    Typical Normandy weather – a lot like Brittany next door – “You can tell when it’s summer – the rain is warm!” I’d be extremely nervous about taking my D850 out in such humidity – I’ve already had to throw away one very expensive telephoto lens, because it grew a lovely crop of white mould inside the joints between adjacent lenses. But I’m perfectly happy to admire your shots – from almost “grim” to purely theatrical – well done!

    It’s almost like a “Reader’s Digest” introduction to France – the love of architecture, gardens, horses (those stables are a dead give away), dogs, food, wine, women. Of course you can scarcely capture all of it in camera, but much of it is hinted at both in these images and in the accompanying text.

    I’m still shuddering at the thought of wandering around as a homeless stranger in a continent smothered in a disease that not even the great God “Dumbo Tramp” can control. I sincerely hope you’re both staying safe!

    • Hi Pete, our trip was well thought through. That is why we headed straight to Normandy for a month to a place we know and love. The apartment we rent in the 4th is again when known to us as it’s our home away from home. We are very careful in what we do, Philippe provides us with local knowledge which I can say is very much appreciated. Lockdown is not all that bad. We can go out for a walk for upto an hour and shop for groceries etc. My camera goes with me so I get to shoot. Time will tell how things work out we are positive of a good outcome.

  • >