A village of
small winding streets that stands atop a hill that overlooks the river Pitit
Lay. This interesting and picturesque village on the D48 is just 12
kilometers from Les Herbiers and was for centuries the centre of much of the
power in the Bas Poitou. In the 12 century the Lusignan family held power not
only here but abroad, in 1192 Guy de Lusignan was king of Cypress. Mouchamps
is on the old Middle ages route to Chantonnay which was abandoning it in the
16th century, it now lies quietly in the bocage where time now seems to pass it
by. The Church who's beginnings were that of a chapel of a chateau of the
12th Century when it was much smaller, the nave was shorter, the choir had a
crypt but the latter is no longer accessible. In 1308 Guillaume VII de Parthenay
enlarged the chapel adding 2 aisles and 2 buttress in granite, a bell tower in
Romanesque style, tiled roof and exterior, to the left of the transept, a 5m
buttress with a sculpture in stones of the Maltees cross. In the 15th century a
large stained glass window in the flamboyant style was added. In the 16th
Century the church became a Protestant temple, in 1628 Richelieu the Bishop of
Lucon came to reconcile the Catholic for their services to the church, the
argument went on till 1628 when Richelieu commenced the war against the
Protestants,it was at this time that the protestants retook their temple. In
the 19th century 2 stone staircases were erected to permit access to the
Tribunes. The church was completely renovated from 1981 to 1983.
square has a busy and lively feel to it with a couple of restaurants, a bar and
other shops, a mixture of old buildings with small streets leading off inviting
you to go and explore. If you wander off down the twisting streets towards
the river Petit Lay you will find old and interesting buildings, a reminder of
more glorious days in the past. Days when the town was more affluent, when the
train stopped here. Today the train station is part of the manicipal sports
complex. The past is never far away at Mouchamps, there are reminders in the
form of stately homes a reminder of when this area housed some of the most
influential and richest families in the land.
The great French politician Georges Clemenceau ( father of Victory) is buried in
a plain grave amongst the trees next to his father in the grounds the family's
16th century manor house with turrets at each corner. See images
of Le Colombier.
Chateau de Parc Soubise. This large estate of 750 hectares was
once the home of the richest and most important family in the Bas Poitou which
become the Vendee during the Revolution. It had a colourful, turbulent and often
tragic history. For more details of the Chateau du Parc Soubise, view images and see the video.
Chateau de la Bobiniere. 19th Century chateau, built
at the height of the industrial period when the railway brought much wealth to
the area. A pretty Chateau in good park land with magnificent dependences
(Barns, stables, and other working buildings). See Chateau de la Bobiniere images.
Loges le Fief
17th century nobles home. Open on Journee du Patrimoine on the 3rd weekend in
September. See images of Loges le Fief Goyau.