Ensemble, sauvons la ferme du Château de Contay

Financed
177 %
12,400€ Pledged out of 7,000€
Don contre don
51 Donations from 6 countries
Finished
Château de Contay’s dovecote & farmhouses require a specific attention after having been left aside for decades. Today, and thanks to your support, we would like to refurbish it by recreating the old classical features and giving it a new artistic role.

château de CONTAY’s DOVECOTE & farmhouses as an example of xviii century architecture

THIS IS A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO DONATE AND PARTICIPATE IN THE REFURBISHMENT AND CONVERSION OF THE DOVECOTE, STABLES, AND OTHER FARMHOUSES TO MAKE THEM PART OF AN ARTISTIC PROJECT.

The Estate of Contay remained in the same family for a 564-year period, from 1138 to 1702. The medieval chateau was located next to the nearby river and torn down during the Spanish invasions of the 17th century. The construction of the existing Chateau de Contay & farmhouses completed in 1753.

The Village of Contay is only 160 kilometers away from Paris and 20 kilometers away from the Picardy region’s main city, Amiens. The village of Contay is also at the extreme north of the Picardy region, giving this area a crucial role in many battles of past centuries between the Kingdom of France and the Duchy of Burgundy, Spanish Netherlands, and England at different points of history. More recently, the area was the site of battles at the end of XIX century and during the first and second World Wars.  

Kings, such as Francis 1st, princes, aristocrats and officers, such as Louis Ferdinand Faidherbe, as well as artists went to Contay to rule, escape, or find inspiration. The most famous visitor may have been the world-renowned author Jules Verne.

In the darkest hours of the 20th century, Chateau de Contay hosted Allied Armies (WW1) and was occupied by SS Army (WW2).

Chateau de Contay is Grade 2 listed and is exemplary of the building structure of the 18th century and decorative art from the French Second Empire. 


REFURBISHMENT project

What would be a French castle without its farm? The presence of the dovecote reminds us of the power of the Château de Contay before the French Revolution as only rulers were authorized to build such a home. The other farmhouses, built between the XVIII century and the XX century, remind us of the importance of being self-sufficient in food supplies. 

It is quite rare these days to find a listed châteaux with their farms on the same property; most have either been sold separately over time or destroyed during the wars In the XIX and XX centuries, especially in the Picardy region. This is why it is part of our mission to maintain all the buildings along with Château de Contay and not only to maintain the Château itself. 

Château de Contay’s farmhouses have a strong identity in the community. Various generations of our neighbors were born there and lived there with their families when the Château had staff. Their fathers were often gardeners and their mothers were maids. Other neighbors used to come and work or sell agricultural products to the château.

This is why this project is not only about refurbishing old buildings but most importantly reopening them to the community, with cultural and artistic events. 


Our family arrived in Contay in 2018 and, since then, has worked hard to avoid the worst: the dilapidation of Chateau de Contay over time. We focused first on the East wing – including the Grand staircase – of the château which was already neglected and therefore aging quicker than normal. We also had to manage all the consequences of the storms during the last two winters, including reparations of the roof and replacement of windows. But it’s actually the grounds which have occupied us the most, with trees and even walls falling. 

FINANCING TARGETS

1st target: 7000 €. These funds will help finance the refurbishment of the dovecote, including the dark purple slate roof and side panels as well as structural wooden work. Facades will also need to be cleaned and mortar will need to be consolidated in some places. Then, lighting could be installed to illulinate the architectural and regional features of the dovecote. 

2nd target: 12,000 €. These funds will give us the opportunity to refurbish the stables for which local repairs are required on the roof and the facades. Also, interiors will need to be cleaned before being able to welcome artistic and cultural events from which people will be able to have an astonishing view over Château de Contay. 


3rd target: This third step of the financing will allow us to refurbish the rabbit hutches to then welcome contemporary installations from local artists. Industrial tiles will also need to be replaced by dark purple slate to create a link with the other buildings of the estate. 

If together we succeed in going beyond the 3rd step of the financing, we will then start the renovation of the farmer’s house, starting with the roof and wooden works and continuing with interior restoration. Ideally, we would like to host artists retreats in this residence so that they focus on their art in an inspiring location surrounded by nature and history.

WHO WE ARE

We acquired the estate of Contay in 2018, with the ambition to actively participate in the rebirth of the historical and cultural heritage of our country. We are a family of 4, all grown-up, living apart in Paris, Brussels, and London, but there is only one place when we meet altogether: Château de Contay. Every day we spend there, we try to achieve our mission: maintaining and improving the estate of Château de Contay and implementing initiatives to make it financially sustainable in the XXI century.

Practically, this mission could be divided into 3 main tasks:

  • - Refurbishment of the buildings to adapt them to a modern lifestyle and making them enjoyable and memorable for our guests;
  • - Gathering historical documentation and data to better understand the role of Château de Contay within its community; and
  • - Opening Château de Contay to many more international and national guests, who have a deep link to this part of France or who want to experience first-hand the historical French art de vivre.

We have already been visited by Australian, Canadian, English, Scottish, Dutch, Belgian, and French guests. We hope that you will count amongst the ones to come. 

HOw to help?

This project could be a collective success thanks to you. You could help us financially, but you can also provide us with some ideas regarding the kind of artistic and cultural events that you would like to see in Château de Contay. If you wish to help financially, please feel free to use one of the following means:

  • - Online donation on this page after registering on Dartagnans’s website; or
  • - Bank transfer (from 1000€ onwards) after registering on Dartagnans’s website.   

They work with us / THey speak about us

They work with us

They speak about us


thank you so much to all of you!

We are so glad to count you amongst our friends and partners. We would like to thank you for the generosity and time that you have dedicated to this project. Please stay in touch with us so that we can update you re the works and the events to come, and don’t forget to use your reward!

[email protected]teaudecontay.fr  

Chateau de Contay (@chateau_contay) • Photos et vidéos Instagram www.chateaudecontay.fr

Rewards

Pledge €10 or more
2 donations
Corporal
2 tickets to visit the farm and the grounds of Château de Contay

Pledge €20 or more
8 donations
Sergeant
Family pack to visit the farm and the grounds of Château de Contay, including entry rights up to 6 people from the same family and 1 free product from the farm (eggs, fruits, jams or juices) to bring home

Pledge €50 or more
11 donations (139 left)
Sergeant-Major
Family pack to visit the farm and the grounds of Château de Contay, including entry rights up to 6 people from the same family
1 historical object from Château de Contay can be collected onsite or can be sent to your home

Pledge €100 or more
7 donations (68 left)
Lieutenant
Family pack to visit the farm and the grounds of Château de Contay, including entry rights up to 6 people from the same family
1 plate showing your name as well as the date of your donation to be hanged on one of the existing trees of the domain

Pledge €200 or more
5 donations (25 left)
Captain
Family pack to visit the farm and the grounds of Château de Contay, including entry rights up to 6 people from the same family
1 apple/pear tree to be planted with a plate showing your name next to it
1 product from this tree delivered to you the first year (fruits, jam, juices)

Pledge €300 or more
8 donations (12 left)
Major
1 week-end at Château de Contay, including one night on us in the traditional wing of the château, as well as complementary breakfasts for 2 persons
Welcome drinks for 2
1 product from the farm as a souvenir of your stay

Pledge €500 or more
6 donations (14 left)
Colonel
1 week-end at Château de Contay, including one night on us in the newly refurbished (2020) wing of the château (Be amongst the first to discover it!!), as well as complementary breakfasts for 2 persons
1 complementary Yoga session or Painting session for 2
Welcome drinks for 2
1 product from the farm as a souvenir of your stay

Pledge €990 or more
2 donations (8 left)
Brigadier
Host a private event in the grounds of Château de Contay for 1 exceptional day
Maximum capacity of 20 people
1 bespoke plate in one of the 25 rabbit hutches to be converted into artistic alcove

Pledge €2,500 or more
1 donation (9 left)
General
Host a private event in the grounds of Château de Contay for 1 exceptional day
Maximum capacity of 50 people
1 bespoke plate in one of the 25 rabbit hutches to be converted into artistic alcove

Pledge €5,000 or more
0 donation (5 left)
Field Marshal
Host a private event in the grounds of Château de Contay for 1 exceptional day
Maximum capacity of 100 people
1 bespoke plate in one of the 25 rabbit hutches to be converted into artistic alcove

Pledge without a reward
1 donation
 
Pledge an amount of your choosing