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......
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
- english, french, spanish
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
Canceled bookings will not receive a refund
One of the mopst relaxing holidays we've ever had!
From the moment we arrived to the moment we left we loved our French adventure. The bell tower was a fabulous and quirky accommodation choice, like nothing we've stayed in before. The calm and relaxed nature of the holiday offered us opportunity to really connect as a family whilst also offering a chance to row on the lake, paddle in local streams and explore local attractions; all whilst trying to improve our French. This was all set in the beautiful backdrop of rural France. What really made the holiday for us though was how welcome we were all (us, our 2 children and our dog) made to feel by our hosts Sophie and Damien and our four legged host Badka! We would totally recommend the Bell Tower to anyone looking to relax, enjoy something a bit different and gain a sense of feeling at home in a place that most likely feels very different from home.
It was really a pleasure to receive your lovely family, captain Batka misses you. It's nice to receive people who enjoy our little fist house, the bell tower..and its surrounding.
Nous vous embrassons.
Sophie et Damien
Stunningly peaceful and charming.
We loved our stay in the tower, it was peaceful and quirky with everything you could possibly need. Winston our Sprocker spaniel loved the grounds where he could sniff out the most interesting smells. A great base for exploring the beautiful surrounding countryside and villages. Sophia and Damian were great hosts and we hope to return in the future.
Thank you , it' s always a pleasure to receive people who enjoy our little tower and take of the place..
Our dog miss your lovely well behaved dog Winston.
Nice to see you again
Sophie Damien and of course Batka
Amazing week in a unique beautiful home
We had a fantastic week in this unique tower. It has been very cleverly designed and decorated. We had everything we needed, and more! Sophie and Damien are wonderful hosts, kind and very helpful! The property is in a beautiful rural setting with a lovely fishing lake. There are lots of lovely walks in the area, a stream to paddle in (& search for special blue stones), fishing, games etc...all on the property. We enjoyed going to the lake near Sille (with beach) and visiting local villages.
We thoroughly recommend this wonderful gite!!
It was a real pleasure to receive your family with 2 lovely children .
Batka miss you, he has definitively leave the gite and is back home.
sophie, damien and captain batka
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!
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.
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.
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
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
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.