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Manoir Saussus, 63 Rue de la Riviere, Pauillac, 33250

History

Manoir Saussus is a 150 year-old petit château in Pauillac.  It sits amongst the vineyards and castles of the premier appellation in the Médoc, the heart of the Bordeaux wine region, and gazes out over the Gironde estuary. 

 

The building started life as a wine château.  The horses that worked its vineyards were housed in the stable at the rear of the property.  The Manoir’s vaulted wings were chais, where powerful, complex reds were fermented and blended, and then stored in barrels.  The bottled products were laid down in the cellar beneath the central building.  The tower was un moulin-à-vent (a windmill), used for grinding the flour that fed the vine workers.

 

After several generations, the estate was broken-up, and the current building and land became a hospital.  The current owners (the Rushton-King family) have found several keepsakes from this time hidden in nooks in the stone perimeter walls. 

 

During the Second World War, Manoir Saussus was requisitioned by the German army, and it was used to accommodate their officers.  The pole that now proudly flies the property’s flag was installed during this time to display Nazi insignia.

 

After the war, the building became an old people’s home, and then a UCPA holiday centre.  It had been vacant for 10 years before it was bought by the current owners, and was in danger of being lost, strangled by vegetation, and broken by neglect, vandalism and arson.  However, the current owners fell in love with it, and have set about bringing it slowly back to life.  

 

Renovation

The current owners purchased Manoir Saussus in 2016.  Since then, they have been renovating and restoring the property.  This has been an arduous task, living in the château for a year without heating or plumbing! 

 

Outside, they have cleared the creepers and the trees that smothered the property, and hid it from sight.  Stone-masons have set about restoring its dressed stone facades.  They’ve re-built pillars and perimeter walls, and skilled metal workers have reinstated wrought-iron gates and railings.  Local joiners have renovated and replaced windows, doors and shutters.  A generous pool has been added, the garden landscaped, and terraces set.  

 

Inside, the renovation commenced in the central building, the former home of the wine-makers.  This has now been fully restored.  Beautiful limed French oak floors have been laid.  Stunning new kitchens and bathrooms have been installed, with shining granite work-surfaces, and warm marble tiles.  Chandeliers (including one made of wine glasses, a nod to the Manoir’s heritage and illustrious neighbours) hang from the ceilings.  Restored and reworked Louis XV furniture help to balance between the traditional and the modern.

 

The next stage of the project will be to renovate the wings, the stable and the tower.  The owners aim to create a grand entertaining space in the South Wing, with a cavernous ballroom that could also be used for wine-tasting and dining on a large scale, or perhaps (more healthily!) for yoga retreats.  They will also add at least four more bedrooms, four bathrooms, three kitchens and living rooms across the remaining spaces, creating the perfect venue for extended family holidays or events.

 

Your custom will help to continue to save this historic building for generations to come!

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