Villiers-en-Plaine is a village whose history bears witness to many adventures. Originally, Villac would have been a lake city located on the banks of a vanished lake. In the Middle Ages, it took the name of Villiers and became Villiers-en-Plaine in the 16th century. The feudal castle would have been erected in the 9th century in the current town by the Norman invadersRazed in 1242 by order of Saint-Louis, he will be rebuilt in the 15th century by the Jourdains. By marriage, he becomes the property of the La Forterie family from 1868 to 1954. Not far from the recently built village hall, stands a seven-hectare wooded park around the castle, rebuilt in the 18th century, modified in the 19th century, and now housing the town hall and the postal agency. Its outbuildings have been converted into a children's area and its old stables house the Georges-Louis Godeau media library. Among the many small local businesses, theWine union de Villiers-en-Plaine benefits from a reputation that goes well beyond the doors of the canton. To enjoy a beautiful panorama of the Virollais region located to the north of Niort, you have to take the road to Niort in Coulonges. The cereal plain extending to the nearby Vendée then takes shape.

What to see in Villiers-en-Plaine?

01. The castle-town hall

Became the local lords, Norman invaders built in the middle of the 9th century a primitive castle originally composed of four crenellated towers. His castellany will depend both on St-Maixent and Parthenay. In 1242, he was shaved on order of Saint-Louis, because his lord Guy de Rochefort is a supporter of Hugues de Lusignan, Count of La Marche and ally of the King of England. Only the cellars remain still today. The Jordans, of Oriou (St-Maxire), of the Forges (Ménigoute) and other places rebuild it in the 20th century and protects it from fortifications defended by the Old, Little and Great Guards. On November 1566, XNUMX, Francois Jourdain, which serves the Duke of Montpensier Jean de Bourbon, exchange with John of Laval, Baron de Bressuire, the 6th part of the barony of Mothe-St-Héray against the land and lordship of Villiers-en-Plaine. Upon his death, the fief was assigned to his son Louis which pays homage to theabbot of St-Maixent in 1590. During the French Revolution, Charles Jourdain having emigrated, the family home is nationalized, then bought in 1795 by his wife Renée-Charlotte de Conty. The current building, which preserves the South Tower, the dry moat and the location of the drawbridge, was built at the beginning of the 18th century then underwent modifications at the beginning of the 19th century: a courtyard framed by a main building and two wings. In 1868, the estate was transmitted by marriage to Émile Gaud de La Forterie. On the death of Charles de La Forterie, it became the property in 1954 of the Fathers of Chavagnes-en-Paillers, Vendée religious congregation, then purchased in 1962 by the City of Niort who uses it as recreation center. Since 1989, the town hall of Villiers-en-Plaine has been located in the neoclassical monument which was renovated twenty-three years later.

02. Saint-Laurent Church

The church is one of the stages of one of the itineraries of the jacquaire route deux-sévrienne. It is given in 1080 at Saint-Laurent Benedictine priory falling under theSaint-Cyprien Abbey of Poitiers. The building was rebuilt in the 15th century. Her bell tower dates from the 19th century. THE sanctuary and the burial place of several members of the Jordan family, lords of the parish from the 15th century (see the epitaphs engraved in the stone and decorated with their azure coat of arms with the golden lion.

Other curiosities to see:

  • The Dent fountain and wash house, in Champbertrand, municipal property, and the Dent priory from the 12th-13th centuries in Champbertrand (private)
  • The former Saint-Laurent priory from the 17th century in the village (private)
  • Also noteworthy in the cemetery, the grave of Jean Boutin (1786-1871). Gunner in Napoleon's armies, he traveled throughout Europe and participated in numerous battles, as evidenced by his pyramid-shaped tombstone topped with a cross.

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