History of Ribourdin castle
In the XVth century, the name of Ribourdin Castle came out : Pierre de Chuin was the first known lord, he lived there from 1517 until his death in about 1540. The estate includes La Mothe Castle and Fontaine-Madame Castle then.
Guillaume de Chuin succeeds him. After his death, Marie Deschamps, his widow, Lady of Avigneau, had the tutory of their daughter Marie; François Maraffin, a convinced calvinist, was her second husband.
Against his will, his step-daughter marries Guillaume de la Bussière, catholic, who takes possession of Avigneau and Ribourdin Castle then, whose wife is the heiress. Marie de Chuin, after the death of Guillaume de la Bussière, marries Léon de Mauny. In 1611, their daughter will get Ribourdin as a dowry at the time of her wedding with Antoine Chevalier des Miniers.
Their daughter Marie Chevalier, marquis Louis Culant’s wife, sells the fief in 1761 to François Michel Petit de Marivats.
The marquis de Germigny succeeds him but won’t reside at the castle; he will sell it to the Châteauvieux family, Lords of Fontaine-Madame.
In 1811, in front of financial difficulties, the Châteauvieux family will sell it together with Fontaine-Madame to Mr Davache de Thèze.
From 1820, Ribourdin estate was successively sold to farmers.
In the XIXth century, the enclosure of broad ditches feeded by the close brook was still preserved and a fortified door defended the entrance of the castle, near the dovecot.
On the road of Vallan, in direction of Chevannes, the castle comes out in the dale.
The manor is composed of a rectangular main building flanked with two turrets to the opposite angles, north and south. The architectural composition of this XVIth century building had been carefully done and remains in spite of its mutilations. A profiled stone cord marks the level of the first floor; it stops where the top of the triangular pediments rises, supported by pilasters with corinthian capitals, from where a bust emerged, today broken. In the middle, reaching this cord, the fronton of the slightly lower door is supported by ionic capitals on fluted pilasters. A heraldic cartouche, unfortunately hammered, decorated this central pediment. The mullioned windows on the first level are no longer visible.
Originally, an only central door opened on a hall, with a stone staircase at the back, and on both sides, two large rooms whose ceilings with painted beams preserve the traces of a decoration of ornamental foliage and cartouches. Their monumental carved stone mantlepieces remain as well as in the large bedroom on the first floor.
The same architectural arrangement is to be seen on the western front with windows in semicircular arch.
A walk planted with trees was directly leading to the church of the village and the lords of Ribourdin used to enter their chapel, on a side of the church of Chevannes, through a door on the northern aisle, walled a long time ago.
The dovecote is a massive tower in perfect proportion which, a hundred years ago, had the honour to be mentioned in the publication of the Yonne Scientific Society in an article entitled: “oratio pro columbis” ( a prayer for pigeons ) :
« …, I visited several dovecots located in the fertile valley of the Baulches' Valley, in the west of Auxerre, from the VALLAN plateaus up to the river of Yonne. We meet there curious specimens. The most beautiful, the most perfectly preserved is the farm of Ribourdin (...). The farm has a picturesque appearance. The building dates from the Renaissance and offer perfectly preserved relics. It's an old castle fell into vileness. The court forms a vast quadrilateral. The dovecot is located in the tower on the left of the entrance. Our excellent colleague and compatriot, Charles M Philipard, had the courtesy to let us make a very successful sketch. »
Do not hesitate to ask us to visit the Dovecot, it is with pleasure that we will have you discover the inside of this incredible edifice composed of nearly 2,800 putlogs (nest for pigeons) in terracotta walled of and served by a rotating double ladders' system.
Be careful, the access is made via a small ladder and can be difficult.