Set in idyllic countryside in the department of Charente in south-west France lies the restored 15th-century Château de la Roche, with six reception rooms, five bedrooms, four bathrooms and just over 105 hectares of land. It was originally built to protect La Boutonne, which was an important river route in those days, and you can still find some remains of its military past in what’s left of the old castle (a crenellated tower) and moat. The main body of the château dates from 1755 when it was reconstructed in the neo-classical style with a beautiful jardin à la française; a symmetrical garden featuring a geometric pattern.
It’s believed that in 1621, the 20-year-old Louis XIII stayed at the château for a few weeks during the siege of St-jean d’angély, the Huguenot (Protestant) stronghold. It was captured after only 26 days and, doubtless feeling pleased with himself, legend has it that before departing south to lead the Siege of Montpellier, the king briefly returned but this time to rest and stay at the château for pleasure. sifex.co.uk