The first recorded mention of Lalande dates from the mid 15th century. At that time the Seigneur of this land was Jacques de Lalande. His neighbour, Guillaume du Boueix, was brutally murdered. The farm next door to us is called le Boué – could this be a trace of the name of this lord, de Boueix? According to local tradition, he was killed in front of his family whilst on his way to church. He was behind in his tax payments to the Lord of Sainte-Severe, a town 20 kilometres from Lalande. Trying to seek the approval of that overlord, a knight called Huguet de Chamborant took it upon himself to serve ‘justice’. Rather a severe penalty for late taxes…
It must have been distressing enough to hear that his neighbour had been hacked to pieces, but the fate of the Boueix family was about to become very important to Jacques de Lalande, as, in 1448 he married Marie, the widow of the unfortunate Guillaume. To truly cement the family ties, his brother, Jean de Lalande, married Guillaume’s sister!
Jacques spent the rest of his life seeking justice through the courts against the murderer, Huguet de Chamborant, for the sake of his widow and her daughters. He succeeded and Huguet was sent into exile.
In the 16th century the current chateau was built, by the side of the lake. The east wing with it’s huge square towers, defenses and semi circular tower, date from that period, though no records have been found of the owners at that time. In the late 17th century Lalande entered into the du Mont family. At this point the chateau became a pawn between two powerful women. Due to inheritance debts Marie du Mont lost Lalande to Louis XIV’s cousin, La Grande Mademoiselle, in 1691. La Grande Mademoiselle was one of the richest heiresses of her time, who turned down marriage proposals from kings. She was no mean opponent. But Marie du Month spent the next 30 years fighting to regain Lalande, and eventually succeeded in 1721. Tenacity is still a crucial necessity for any chatelaine! The chateau remained in the hands of the du Mont family a little longer.
But one of the families who owned (and lived in) the Chateau de Lalande the longest were the Marquis du Pouget de Nadaillac. In 1791, aged 17, Charles Joseph du Pouget de Nadaillac went into exile in England to escape the French revolution. His father had been head of the King’s Guard, so his head would have been guillotined for sure. He fought with the allies against Napoleon, and was able to return to France in 1814 when the monarchy was restored. At that time he married Marie Suzanne Le Maitre de Laage, who had inherited the Chateau de Lalande. From then on the family lived here, although the Nadaillacs already had an ancestral castle in the Lot region of France. Lalande was closer to Paris, which was an important consideration as in 1823 Charles Joseph became Marechal of the King’s Armies.
The Marquis de Nadaillacs kept the chateau for nearly 200 years. In the 1860s a fire led to the rebuilding of a wing and the addition of two circular towers. The chapel was built in 1865 after the drowning of the five year old Charles de Nadaillac in the moat.
We bought Lalande from the de Nadaillac family in 2005, and remain in contact with them. They are one of the most delightful, honourable families I have ever met, and they helped me very much as I started my journey here.