Not long ago I was commissioned to take commercial photographs for marketing purposes at one of the most stunning places I’ve ever worked, Chateau Brametourte in the Tarn, south-west France. I just adore historical buildings, so to get this commission was heaven for me. I photograph lots of office and shop interiors every month, and this was a welcome change of scenery.
The chateau has high ceilings, turrets, towers, stone spiral staircases, arrow-slit windows, gothic arches, escape tunnels and of course a resident ghost! I was there for a few days taking pictures for their marketing purposes.
I’ve renovated several very old houses in England over the years, though nothing on this scale. It was so fascinating for me to stay and work in such a stunningly restored chateau. The views from its lofty hilltop position were out of this world, and I think I’ll be back soon as a fully paid up guest to this lovely bed and breakfast chateau.
The 11th century chateau, medieval home of the Viscounts of Lautrec, has a bloody history stretching back 900 years. This ‘batiment’ was developed over five centuries until it became a fortified castle complete with grand gothic and renaissance fireplaces, a central cobbled courtyard with gothic arches and four look-out towers.
The fort was surrounded by a deep dry moat and underneath, its substantial cellars contained food and wine storage areas and dungeons as well as an entrance to an underground escape tunnel that came out in the local village church. Thus, during the turbulent medieval centuries, the occupants of Château Brametourte were able to defend themselves within the walls for many months, confident in the knowledge of a secret escape route if required. Such a strong hold was vital during the turbulent medieval ages of Cathar martyrdom, land seizures by Knights of the Templar and feudal battles between local war lords.
Left frozen in time following the 16th century religious wars, it has been sensitively restored, using traditional and sustainable methods. Each room is furnished with elegant antiques and luxurious silks, satins and tapestries with private bathrooms and stunning reception rooms. Encompassing the chateau is 25 hectares of private woods, gardens and meadows. The medieval hilltop village of Lautrec is just 5 minutes away.
The castle enjoys a much more peaceful existence these days; Alison and Paul, the English owners, now host wedding receptions and offer truly luxurious bed and breakfast accommodation to visitors.
I hope you enjoy looking at my pictures.
Enjoy your week!