Courceriers is in north-east Mayenne near the village of Saint-Thomas-de-Courceriers which takes its name from the site. It is easily accessed from the Channel ports, four hours drive from Calais and the Eurotunnel terminal and two hours from Caen. Steeped in history, Courceriers was once home to prehistoric man. It has also been a Roman camp ("Caesar's Court"), an important site in Gaul (the Gallic Roman Empire) and a medieval fortress. After this was sacked by English armies in 1419, a château was built on the site, also sadly now dispatched into history. You will be living part of that history when you stay in the tower, all that remains of the château. All around are reminders of Courceriers' glorious past - the massive fortress ramparts, the ruins of the Keep, the valley that was dammed and flooded by the Romans to keep the heathen hordes at bay, the manor houses and the chapel, built in 1418, La Portail (the gatehouse), built in 1657, the old mill......
- Cottage592 sq. ft.
- Half Baths0
- Minimum Stay3 - 4 nights
17th century tower in Saint Thomas de Courceriers, La Mayenne, France - Idyllic Location, 1 Hr From Le Mans Race Track And Plantagenet City, 35 Mins From Alençon
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- Response time:
- within a few hours
- English, French
- Calendar last updated:
- Jul 1, 2018
About Sophie Gallais
We love nature, animals and the countryside. Just as well because there's a lot around here!
Sophie Gallais purchased this Cottage in 1949
Why Sophie Gallais chose Saint-Thomas-de-Courceriers
Courceriers has been owned by my family for 170 years. My family bought it 25 years after the French Revolution! Damien and I lived in the tower for 4 years and converted it to our own high standards. When we had our children we decided to renovate the nearby old manor house and offer the tower as a holiday home, which you can enjoy today. It has a wonderful feeling of remoteness and history but is within easy reach of towns and villages of all sizes so you never feel cut off from civilization (the nearest shops, bar, restaurant, etc. are 4 km). Between Laval and Alençon, our gîte is also just one hour from Le Mans and two hours from the Normandy coast, Le Mont St Michel, The Loire Valley and even Paris by TGV. But why go there when there is so much to see and do on your doorstep.
What makes this Cottage unique
We believe our gîte is unique! Sure, there are gîtes that are in old châteaux but how many can boast a heritage going back before Roman times? The gîte consists of a 17th century tower on 5 levels linked by a spiral staircase and surrounded by the remains of an ancient fortress which dates from the 14th century. It is equipped with all modern conveniences and is completely separate from our house, which is nearby, should you need us. In the extensive grounds there are a fishing lake of 1.5 hectares and a river. A 3.2m boat is at the disposal of our guests, free of charge. The local countryside is beautiful and is ideal for walking, rambling or cycling, along the quiet country lanes or the many chemins that have been there for centuries. Driving here is also a real pleasure.
Pool / Spa
Local Services & Businesses
Sports & Adventure Activities
charming location & lovely stay
Owners very helpful & lovely dog
Very nice stay - recommended
It was a pleasure to welcome you and the 2 little knights of the tower, see you soon
sophie and damien
magical holiday in stunning surroundings
This was our second stay at the tower at Courceriers and it won't be the last. Apart from the amazing location and the fascinating history of the place, the welcome received by Sophie and Damien is second to none. Fresh eggs from the chickens on the doorstep in the morning, veg from the garden and a freshly baked raspberry and chocolate cake made us feel like spoilt children! The tower itself is quirky and fun to live in and is equipped with all the essentials although I forgot to tell Sophie that we lacked a sieve for draining veg and pasta - sorry! Hot water in plentiful supply, beds made at no extra charge and guests welcome. Our daughter and her partner turned up for a couple of days in their camper van and were encouraged to stay on after we had left. Finally, for dog lovers, this is the best holiday rental as Sophie's gorgeous dog is always there on the doorstep to welcome you and even the cat pops in for the occasional visit. We absolutely love this place, even when the sun isn't shining. We haven't yet taken the boat out on the lake, but there's always next time......
This is a truly unique holiday experience, nothing like we have ever encountered before!
Despite studying all the pictures and data thoroughly before travelling, we were still unprepared for the truly wonderful setting we had been fortunate enough to book! The location is very quiet and isolated, but the tower had everything we needed, including wi-fi and British TV, a real home from home. The kitchen was very well equipped, and cooking, food storage and even a dishwasher and washing machine made everything a breeze. There was plentiful hot water too, and a proper bath in addition to the shower. The bed was very comfortable and everything was of good quality and very clean.
The owner's friendly cat came to visit the tower, and the dog came to visit on my fishing trips. He was surprisingly well behaved for a big chap!
We visited in October and had several frosty nights, but the tower was well heated and nobody "forced" me to venture out at first light to "Siberia Corner" to fish each day!
I must admit that when booking French holidays I usually "manage" to have a lake reasonably close to visit, often on site! However, none have come close to this in size or potential. It is about 4 acres, surrounded by overhanging trees and extremely old. The stock is largely unknown, but, there was a stocking of mirror carp in January 2016 totalling 400 kgs. The fish added were between 8 and 14 kgs (around 17 - 30 lbs). There are some other common carp of unknown proportions and quantity but overall the stocking is fairly light. As there is a plentiful supply of naturals including mussels, snails and bloodworm the fishing is difficult. There has been very little angling done, but as it increases and more bait goes in, (good quality pellets and boilies), the fish will become easier to catch!
There is a row boat available, and a little time spent exploring yields suitable areas to "lay traps". This is a very old lake set in woodland, and as such, there is a lot of silt present. However, there are plenty of firm areas to fish.
Fishing for a few hours most (frosty) mornings was a real pleasure, and the highlight was the capture of a splendid mirror of 18lb 10oz, The first of the new fish stocked to be caught.
We will be returning in Spring for another attempt at the uncaught leviathans!
I must add, there is a small pool with small (ish) common carp available a few hundred yards up the lane which is ideal if you have limited time or just want everything a bit easier!
Overall a great holiday with very friendly and helpful hosts. Thank you!
Living with a Little Bit of History!
Just spent a fantastic week at the tower where we were blessed with great weather and able to spend lots of time outside in the beautiful surroundings of the garden area. Lots of space for our 11 year old to run around, play football and table tennis. My husband and son also enjoyed fishing in the lake whilst I appreciated the peace and quiet just listening to the birds. Sophie and Damien made us very welcome and it was great to meet them. The gite was very clean and well equipped with comfortable beds and a well stocked kitchen. All the necessities were provided in the fridge and on the shelves and Sophie had baked us a delicious organic cake! A bedroom fan was very welcome as it was warm and the WIFI worked well as did the satellite TV which suited our son. He really enjoyed the adventure of sleeping on the mezzanine floor and Sophie allowed him to feed the chickens each day which he loved. There were also ducks, rabbits, cats and the family dog to enjoy.
The history of the tower and the ruin are fascinating and anyone planning on going should read about it on the internet in advance as it adds to the imagination! Sophie is very good at explaining it all too.
Locally we visited Le Mans and Mayenne for shops and there is a lake at Sille, about 20 mins away, with a beach and lots of facilities which is really safe for children and very clean. We would recommend the tower to our friends and hope to return. Sophie and Damien, thank you for sharing it with us!
It was a pleasure to receive all of 3 of you, thank you for your kindness.
sophie et damien
Unique and enjoyable stay
We spent a wonderful, relaxing week in the tower. We were welcomed by Sophie who had baked us a delicious cake. We enjoyed the peace and tranquility of the location and the beauty of the surroundings. The children (14 and 11) were never bored with fishing, table tennis, cycling and the rowing boat all available. Lots of space to play cricket and badminton too. We ate al fresco every evening; the weather was warm and sunny. Sophie provided us with lots of information and maps for local day trips- our favourites were the mediaval town of Sainte Suzanne and Sillé (Coco) Plage with its water sport activities on the lake. The tower is as described with everything one needs- we loved it- certainly a unique place to stay. I'm sure we'll be back.
It was a pleasure to receive all of you, It's nice to see your children enjoying life.
sophie et damien
An enjoyable stay in a beautiful building. A very warm welcome by the owners Sophie and Damien. We particularly enjoyed fishing for carp and roach every day in the lake, eating the delicious home made cake that Sophie made, and having a lovely relaxing time. Hope to be back in 2015.
thank you Juliet and Chris
See you in March
Batka is is onthe way to be a good boy
Special interest holidays: Le Mans - the property is well suited for the Le Mans racetrack. We are delighted to offer our wonderful medieval tower for the weekends of the Le Mans events. The track is an easy, enjoyable drive and your vehicles will be safe Courceriers. As the Le Mans events straddle two separate weeks we have to charge a modest supplement for these weekends but otherwise there is no premium. Normandy beaches - a couple of hours easy drive away. 2014 is of course the 70th anniversary of the WWII landings. Wildlife and bird watching tours can be arranged through contacts in a nearby village. There are many wonderful places within easy reach of Courceriers, some of which you will have heard of. The department of La Mayenne itself is relatively unknown and unspoilt, yet it has more châteaux than any other department in France, not all grand of course. In just a couple of hours you can be at the coast and a little more and you are in the Loire valley. So a day-trip can take you a long way. Coast/Beach: The coast and beaches are about two hours drive away as are the Normandy Beaches where the WWII landings took place. For swimming, there is a wonderful lake with a sandy man-made beach at Sillé-le-Guillaume, 19 km away (12 miles) and excellent public pools at Villaines- la-Juhel (9 km) and Evron (20 km). The beach at Sillé-le-Guillaume has horse and donkey rides, boat trips and bars and restaurants. There are many lakes and of course the Mayenne river, all great places to walk or cycle. Travel: Your own transport is essential. You can of course hire cars at all airports and ports (and even the local supermarket) but if you are from a non-EU country please do check requirements re e.g. international driving licences Distances: 30 km Sainte-Suzanne (Fabulous medieval walled town) 30 km Mayenne town 32 km Lassay Les Châteaux (Medieval château still occupied. You can visit) 41 km Bagnoles-de-l'Orne (Old Spa town. Lake, restaurants and casino) 40 km Alençon (Large market Thursdays) 54 km Le Mans (Plantagenet city, racetrack, shopping centres) 55 km Laval (The Department capital) 2 hours Le Mont-St-Michel (UNESCO World Heritage site) 2.5 hours to the Loire Valley 2.5 hours to Paris by TGV via Le Mans (1 hour on tr Further Details: Once you have booked we will give you access to a wealth of local information you should find useful for your stay. This area truly has a great deal to offer but is unspoilt, gentle and amazingly unpopulated. Driving is a real pleasure as the roads are so quiet. If you have any interest in the countryside, history, châteaux and churches, walking, cycling or just relaxing over a long lunch you will not run out of things to do or places to visit. To be fair, if you are looking for a theme park holiday it's probably not for you.... but wait, we have those nearby too! The nearest general store, boulangerie, bar/restaurant (and hairdresser!) are in Courcité, 4 km away. The nearest town with banks, supermarkets, bars, restaurants, lots of shops, whatever, is Villains-la-Juhel, 8 km away (less than 10 minutes). You will note the total lack of people! When is the last time you parked right outside Tesco? If you are looking at our listing you should also be looking at what is in the area around us. We can offer you unique accommodation but you must research our fabulous surroundings - Roman towns? Medieval towns? Châteaux? a sandy beach (yes!), forests, adventure holidays, French open markets, summer fêtes..... It's the land that time forgot. Well, without the dinosaurs, more like England in the 50's.
Additional information about rental rates
Booking Notes: 30% of the total price is required to secure a reservation. The balance may be paid upon arrival. Please make all bookings through this website, Owners Direct. Our prices are quoted in GB pounds so you know exactly what you will be paying no matter what happens to the exchange rate. If you would like to pay in Euros or any other currency please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate you. Changeover Day: Normally Saturday - arrive after 16h00, depart before 11h00. If your requirements differ please contact us and we will do our best to be flexible. The use of the boat and bikes are free. The use of private lake for fishing is charged 250 euros/ week. No kill fishing- carp common and mirror up to . Stocked with 450 kg carp up to 31 lb.Use of a barbless hook often falls out when the fish is in the net, inflatable unhooking mats, common sense and preparation are required to practice good carp care. Thank you Notes on prices: Although our low season two week rate is quoted per week the minimum stay for this price is only 12 nights. The entire period will be pro-rated at the lower price. For stays during Le Mans race weekends only (i.e. not part of a longer stay) please contact us for a quote. Our gîte is perfect for a romantic few days away or a short break so please enquire if this is what you would like. For the gite and fishing exclusive 5 acre lake, we stocked 500 kg of common and mirror carp between 13lb up to 31 lb and will charge extra fees. maxi 3 anglers. If you would like to stay for a longer period please contact us for a quote.