What's in the Name? Do you know a Castle from a Château?

Originally posted on & updated on 13th November, 2023

When you’re searching for a property in Britain the label of a “detached” house can often feel cold and uninspiring, but travel across the water to France, and properties there fill you with excitement and anticipation as you immediately imagine their unique character and features. Properties for sale with My-French-House are often entitled Chateau, Maison de Maitre, Manoir, Mas, Perigourdine or Charentaise but what is in a name? When it comes to your home in France, we are here to guide you through knowing your Castles from your Chateaux and your Manoirs from your Maisons de Maitres.

Castles & Chateaux, What’s the Difference?

You don’t have to be a lord of the manor or of nobility or gentry to own your own château in France, at My French House we have many Castles and Chateaux for sale with asking price starting from around €600,000 euros. Although the French word for ‘château’ is generally translated as castle it is more likely to mean a country house or a manor house. Without confusing you too much a typical French château is actually described in English as a palace or country house, for example, Chateau de Versailles does not resemble a castle and was located in the countryside which is why in English it is known as the Palace of Versailles. As a result we are left with a wealth of prestigious Chateaux, Country Houses, Manor Houses and even a few actual castles scattered throughout France available to be your next home.

Owning a chateau in France may mean that your home was once occupied by French royalty or nobility, labelled the British “stately homes” your chateau is more than likely to be filled with history and extravagance.

The epitome of elegance and classic charm you will find chateaux scattered throughout France however My French House is lucky enough to have a few chateaux in the Loire Valley. Home to warm summers and rich in agricultural land, more than 300 chateaux that were built in this area between the 10th until the 20th Century. Named “The Valley of the Kings” due to its former residents some of these Chateaux have been lovingly restored for you to enjoy their original features and become king of your own castle. You will encounter, sweeping driveways, guest lodges and grand entrance halls all set in estates that have views as far as your eyes can see. Furthermore we have Chateaux for sale in the Rhone-Alpes, Aquitaine & Midi-Pyrenees in Occitanie, and Normandy, each of these period properties offer you so much more than just a home, you will own your own piece of history.

Manoirs & Maisons de Maitre

The literal translation of a Maison de Maitre is “Masters House” therefore many of these period properties may have been owned by local nobles, perhaps the mayor of Tours or the local doctor in Le Lude. Properties like these may also be known by other names as they are often influenced by their region, for example in Provence they are called Mas Provençal and “in Charente you might live in a Charentaise. As you might imagine your Maison de Maitre would encompass a plethora of original features and boast high ceilings, charming fireplaces and large gardens. Some properties that are passed down through the generations may retain much of the property’s original character and charm that you can feel as soon as you enter the gates. At My-French-House we currently have many properties throughout France that cover a variety of these styles of property in your favourite villages and towns.

If a Chateau in the Loire Valley isn’t for you the region has a selection of beautiful properties for you to call home where you can still experience the breath-taking landscape and vibrant cities. You will find typical French mansion’s near sought after villages which boast secret gardens or that have recently undergone renovations to enhance their period charms. Forgetting the age of these properties, you will find that however traditional in style they may be, many come with their own swimming pool and other 21st century features. These contemporary pools, private gardens and exclusive guest houses are all captivating luxuries that your property might include. Classic French Maison de Maitres can be found in the heart of national parks or surrounded by picturesque countryside. Gites and lodges can be used for guests rather than servants as you have the option to share your new home or welcome family members to summer vacations in France.

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