Recent History of Les Remparts
The shape of Les Remparts has seen little change since 1837 when it was shown as two plots on the land register, with a Maison de Maître to the west (Unit 3), accessed from Rue du Chateau, and another building directly behind it with access from Rue du Couvent (unit 2), each with their own staircase; only Unit 6 has been added in the past 180 years!
The Maison de Maître was probably the last building to be added (before 1837) and in order to construct a pitched roof, the central wall, M4 was increased in height. The oldest external walls are 1,2,3,4 & 9 and possibly all date back to the Middle Ages. M2 was originally the wall of a different building on the east side (in the garden of 16, Rue du Chateau) and most likely extended south across Rue du Couvent.
Unit 4 was an attic/ store. In the first half of the twentieth century the north side of Unit 4 downstairs was one large space containing a small room housing twin sit down toilets (!) and a staircase to the upstairs, undivided except for a small room in the south east corner. Unit 4 also contained a deep well in the north east corner.
Les Remparts changed hands in 1956 and the new owners started a restaurant and a patisserie, making significant changes to the interior and exterior of Les Remparts on the back of a successful enterprise.
The upstairs of Unit 4 was used to form a restaurant from 1961 and a grand medieval fireplace purchased from a ruined chateau and renovated in Rue du Couvent was added. The windows to the restaurant were enlarged in 1975.
They created parking for the thriving restaurant in 1974 by agreeing with the Mayor that all waste material from the introduction of a telephone system to Gensac would be dumped in the front garden to form a mound; this partially concealed the walls of the remparts.
They opened up walls into Unit 4 from Unit 3, wall M8, to move the kitchen for the Maison de Maître and this space was subsequently converted into a patisserie. They made a large opening into Unit 4 from Unit 2, wall M5, to allow for access to what would become the restaurant kitchen and patisserie kitchen. Previously the downstairs of Unit 2 had been use to accommodate workers and was only accessible from the entrance in Rue du Couvent.
They made a small door through from the western side of Unit 2 (downstairs) into a toilet in the hall of Unit 3, enabling access to the Hall by virtue of the Hall having access to the same toilet located under the staircase.
In 1989 the north side of Unit 4 downstairs was converted to become the Hotel reception with guests entering from the west side to check in and departing from the east side to access the hotel bedrooms.
Between 1987-89 another family ran the restaurant which was then sold in 1989 and the same buyer also bought the Maison de Maître (Unit 3) in 1999. The new owner made an opening in wall M4 upstairs from the landing area to access the two rear eastern bedrooms without needing to use the wooden staircase next to the kitchen.
16 Rue du Chateau, opposite the church, had been the home of the parish priest and was a presbytery until it was acquired by the Commune and also let to the new owner who turned it into a hotel around 1989.
Les Remparts changed hands again in 2005 and the new owners continued to run the restaurant and rent 16 Rue du Chateau from the Commune for operation as a hotel.
With only five rooms and busy for six months a year 16 Rue du Chateau was finally sold by the Commune in 2015 for use as a family home. In 2016 Les Remparts was sold to the Robinson family and also re-designated as a residential building.
Areas of Les Remparts
The plan shows the areas of Les Remparts as determined by David Souny in 2015.
Wall Reference Numbers
The wall reference numbers used by David Souny.
Cadastral Plan – 2015
Les Remparts consists of 200, 202, 214, 173. Plot 200 stretches to the track between Pessac and Gensac.
View from Route de Pujols – early 20th Century
This postcard had a poststamp of October 1912.
View from Route de Pujols
Les Remparts is clearly visible.
Outside Washing Facility
The washing facility for Les Remparts sits on the boundary.
General View from Juillac
This postcard had a poststamp of September 1950.
Postcard of Les Remparts
Les Remparts #1
Les Remparts before the extension of the car park. The window in Unit 2 has shutters. c late 1950s as the ‘crazy paving’ effect appears to be in place along the west wall.
Postcard of Les Remparts – c.1960
Notice the 2cv6 just below the centre of the picture.
Les Remparts #2
The original remparts are visible here. The land boundary is also very obvious. The wall to the courtyward appears to be having some work done. It looks like a very similar picture to Les Remparts #1 but the postcard I have has a poststamp of 1972.
Les Remparts Looking South
Pre changes outside the front of 14 Rue du Chateau.
Postcard Looking North-East
This postcard had a poststamp of July 1965.
Unit 4 – Kitchen
Before being converted to a patisserie the south side of Unit 4 was converted into a kitchen. These pictures were taken in late 1950s.
Front Facade – 1962
This picture shows the house before the development of the Patisserie and Restaurant in 1962. The front of the house had already been improved with the lower ‘crazy paving’ facade being added right across the western edge of the property. Above the front door was an ironmongery design.
The newly converted Patisserie c.1966.
Courtyard & Garages – 1950s
This postcard had a poststamp of July 1961. There were two double garages, each covered by a tiled roof.
Courtyard & Garages – pre 1989
Here is the courtyard sometime before 1989. Pigs were kept in the out building. The wall with a door marked the edge of one of two garages and has been removed. A pool was installed in 2007.
Courtyard & Pool – 2007 onwards
The swimming pool was added in 2007.
Les Remparts – 1960s
This postcard had a poststamp of August 1977
Les Remparts before the extension of the car park.
Creating a Parking Area
This picture appears to show lorries dumping the hardcore to build the parking area at the front of the property in 1974.
Front of Les Remparts
Showing previous style of window and front door.
Restaurant des Remparts (West Side) in 19??
Restaurant des Remparts from the front garden.
Restaurant des Remparts (South Side) in 19??
Restaurant des Remparts.
Postcard of Gensac Landscape
The Mediterranean Cypress tree has been a feature of the local landscape.
Postcard Looking South East
This view is towards the site of the old chateau.
Aerial View – Late 1980s
This postcard had a poststamp of April 1990. The front landscaping and enlarged windows to the restaurant end are visible. The hedge runs around the top of the front garden area.
Public Area – 1980s
Communal area in 1980s viewed from Wattle room.
Les Remparts (West Side) in 2015
Les Remparts waiting to be sold in 2015. The railings in front of the restaurant windows had been changed since the originals in 1975.
Les Remparts (South Side) in 2015
Les Remparts waiting to be sold in 2015. The window shows a ‘for sale’ description.
The Restaurant – 2015
Les Remparts restaurant in 2015 following a period of inactivity.
Unit 4 – West Facade 2015
The facade of Unit 4 showing the Reception and Office on the ground floor and restaurant upstairs (2015).