Originally a mill driven by the River Seulles, the Château du Baffy was built around 1735, with extensions added in the late 18th and early 19th Century. The mill was dismantled in 1840, but some remains are still visible.
During WWII, the Château’s owners were the Vignerol family who all refused to depart when the Germans overran the area and used our fine manor house as a headquarters. During the 1960s, the Château was converted into a hotel.
Our Château experienced an incredible journey during WWII. The following paragraphs tell a little of its story:
“During the war the hamlet of Colombiers-sur-Seulles and those surrounding it, were occupied by the Germans. However, in June 1944, Colombiers was liberated. Germans who had been using the Château, and hiding in the parks and areas in the lawns, fled the scene, and so those who lived in the Château celebrated with the liberating soldiers.
“The Château was used as a commune for all alliances – French priests, soldiers and officers of Canadian, American, English and Scottish descent, who came through Colombiers-sur-Seulles, in addition to refugees from nearby towns. They pitched tents in the grounds and were fed, watered, and provided with alcohol. Those from nearby villages, whose own property or towns had been destroyed, also visited the Château. Many of the officers brought tea, chocolate, cigarettes and soap with them.
“At night time, the bombing was at its worst and those who were in the house would run to the trenches for cover. They would keep mattresses there for sleeping. The bombing would be so loud that you had to scream to be heard and the dust would make their eyes water. The sky would light up like fireworks. However, they would usually return to the house for their meals where they would make bread, with enough for meals in the trenches if necessary.
“American tanks were spotted in outside towns including Rennes, and optimism spread within the commune that the war was almost over. The route to Caen was reopened, despite it being in ruins, and everyone celebrated by singing and playing songs on the piano.”
– Translated from the diary of a local resident.