Alain-Marie de Kergorlay

1066 - 1700

In 1066, Hugues de Carbonnel took part in the conquest of England alongside William the Conquerer. At the period, he was already the lord of Canisy. A fortified tower and a building remain of the mediaeval château. Most of the current architecture of the Château de Canisy dates to the period of Henry IV when Hervé de Carbonnel (1558-1625) undertook the construction of a château worthy of his illustrious marriage to Anne de Matignon, the daughter of the comte de Thorigny, Maréchal de France. In 1558, he gave the commission to the architect François Gabriel, ancestor of the celebrated family of royal architects. The use of magnificent Cotentin stone and puddingstone, a purple stone with amethyst tones for the dressed stone motifs and the framing of the doors and windows, gives this château an absolutely unique colouring and relief.

1700 - 1800

In the 17th century, the château was bequeathed by his aunt to Antoine de Faudoas, the grandfather of Justine who, in 1787, married Louis-Gabriel de Kergorlay, an officer in the King’s army. In April 1789, the family decided to send this young couple on a trip to Italy to escape the somewhat deleterious atmosphere of the Court: the trip was extended until 1803… because of the French Revolution. Justine’s sister, Eléonore, a great friend of Charlotte Corday, their father, Augustin-Hervé de Faudoas, and their aunt were arrested in Canisy on 15 June 1794, transferred to the Conciergerie and guillotined on July 14, 1794, 13 days before the fall of Robespierre on 9 Thermidor…

Gabriel de Kergorlay (1766-1830) & Justine de Faudoas (1771-1832)

The château, deprived of its owners, escaped the confiscation and sale as a National Good thanks to its steward. According to the family account, “when the agents of the Department arrived with the intention of seizing the château, he thoroughly fuddled them, put them back into their carriages and sent them to Saint-Lô.” When Gabriel and Justine returned in 1803, they moved back to Canisy and, under the Restoration, Gabriel became Deputy of the Manche department and Peer of France.

1800 - 1900

His son Hervé became an influential notable of the Manche as General Counselor then Deputy, and especially as a renowned agronomist who had transformed his estate into an avant-garde farm. This enterprising man had major renovations made to both the interior and exterior of the château; the transformation of the grounds into an English-style park also dates to his period.
Hervé’s first cousin, Louis de Kergorlay, was an extremely close friend of an illustrious château-owner, Alexis de Tocqueville. A very abundant correspondence, published today, traces in a very lively and moving manner the crossed destinies of these two aristocrats, very lucid about their period.

et Henry-Louis
de Kergorlay

1900 - 2000

In the 20th century, the Château de Canisy remained the fief of the Kergorlay family that, generation after generation, lived in it, preserved it and restored it. Damaged by the combats that took place during the Allied landing, the château was restored with the help of Historic Monuments, which listed it in 1945. Today, on the initiative of Denis and Marie-Christine de Kergorlay, the Château de Canisy shines brightly, whether on weekends with friends so wonderfully described by Pierre-Jean Rémy, or cultural encounters organized by foundations and companies that wish to bring together their members at an exceptional venue.