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Escape to the Chateau: Who owned the chateau before Dick and Angel Strawbridge?

Find out all about the property's previous owners here…


chateau history© Photo: Instagram
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
August 26, 2022
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Dick and Angel Strawbridge have become household names thanks to their popular lifestyle programme, Escape to the Chateau, which sees them take on the mammoth task of renovating a 45-bedroom chateau in the North West of France.

MORE: Dick and Angel Strawbridge announce they are 'leaving the chateau' - details

Over the last seven years, Dick and Angel have managed to transform the property into not only an incredible family home but a beautiful wedding venue too. However, have you ever wondered who owned the 19th-century Château de la Motte-Husson before the couple? Find out all about the property's previous owners here…

WATCH: Dick and Angel Strawbridge reveal incredible discovery while restoring roof

Back in 2015, Angel and Dick made the decision to relocate their young family from their two-bed flat in Essex to the French region of Martigné-sur-Mayenne after looking up listings for chateaus for sale on the internet. 

MORE: Escape to the Chateau: Who is Dick Strawbridge's first wife?

MORE: Escape to the Chateau's Angel Strawbridge reveals dream renovation plans for family home

They opted to purchase the derelict chateau that has become their home for the bargain price of £280,000. For 45 bedrooms, that's certainly not a bad deal! However, before they became the owners, the property had stood empty for 40 years and had no electricity, heating or running water. 

chateau dick angel© Photo: Rex

Angel and Dick brought the 45-bedroom chateau back in 2015

The land the chateau sits on dates back to the 12th century when it was gifted to Henri de Husson. At the time, it was a fortified stronghold in the parish of La Mott, but by 1406, the Husson family built a mansion there that they named Château de la Motte-Husson or Husson Castle.

chateau old© Photo: Instagram

The property in its current iteration was built between 1868 and 1874

It was passed down through several generations of Hussons for almost 200 years before it was acquired by the de Baglion family, descendants of the princes of Perugia, in 1600. A few centuries later, it was rebuilt in the enclosure of the old square moat over a six-year period from 1868 to 1874 at the wish of Countess Louise-Dorothée, who was keen to build an even grander home for the family.

The original plans and invoices for the building still exist and are on display within the château, and making adjustments for inflation, it appears that the project cost around £1m.

chateau reno© Photo: Channel 4

It was abandoned in the 1970s and the couple have been renovating since 2015

The chateau was once again passed down through the family until it landed in the hands of Guy de Baglion de la Dufferie in 1954. Heowned the property until his death in 1999, when it was passed to his wife and children. Sadly though, at this point, it was in a state of disrepair, having not been occupied since at least 1975.

MORE: Dick and Angel Strawbridge reveal staff concern they faced at French Chateau

The house then went on the market in late 2014 when it caught the eye of the Strawbridges, and a few months later, they got the keys to the property and have been living there ever since.

Dick has explained on the Escape to the Chateau official website how they still live in close proximity to relations of de Baglion family, writing: "Our neighbours include members of the de Baglion family, who have been nothing but welcoming and continued to maintain the property even after we had paid our deposit."

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