of Lenvège Château The château brings to
mind the chivalrous Estissac family. It was built circa 1250
and served as a base for the first barony of Saussignac. In
1345 the château was attacked by the Count of Derby but was
valiantly defended by Hélie Fergand, the second Seigneur
d’Estissac, aided by a troop of Du Guesclin’s soldiers.
The ladies of Château de Lenvège have been mentioned in
Rabelais stayed there.
Brantome fell in love - unrequited - with one of its
chatelaines and wrote poetry for her.
Montaigne dedicated a chapter of his Essays to this same lady.
The parish of Saussignac was separated from the castellany of
Bergerac and given to Hélie d’Estissac by Marguerite de Turenne
Three centuries later the last d’Estissac was killed in his
prime by Biron, the unfaithful friend of Henry IV of France, in
a duel which remains famous to this day.
The bloody duel took place over a child of 12 - Anne de Caumont,
perhaps the most eligible beauty of France, whose life reads
like a veritable, tumultuous novel.
Caumont-Lauzun family succeeded the d’Estissacs but the Duke of
Lauzun’s father, who has gone down in history as an elegant
lover, sold his Seigneury to Pierre d’Escodera of Boisse, one of
the great soldiers of the reign of Louis XIII. It was he who
began construction of the château but it was still incomplete
when he was assassinated by Protestants in 1621 and, following
his death, all work came to a halt. Building only resumed a
century later and the château was, in fact, never finished.
The château, with its two huge wings and three main buildings
with mansard roofs, occupies the highest part of the village
with all the imposing grandeur typical of 17th century noble
It had the title of barony and its jurisdiction included the
five parishes which today make up the communes of Sigoulès
(Dordogne), Saussignac, and Monestier and Razac.
The last real Seigneur of Saussignac was Emmanuel Louis, Marquis
of Pont Saint Maurice, Lieutenant General and ambassador who
played an important political role in the last few years of
Louis XVI’s reign.
(Extract from ‘L’Histoire des Chateaux de France’ by Boisserie