Welcome to the Grand Chateau de Sommesnil. We are delighted to share information regarding the history of the Chateau.
The Chateau of Sommesnil is a historic chateau situated in the Seine Maritime area of Normandy, in the area known as The Caux – a beautiful and historical part of France.
The Chateau has been restored to a very high standard and is available for short stays or events by negotiation.
It is difficult to imagine a more uniquely or ideally situated property than Chateau Sommesnil which stands in this elevated location above the Caux valley, an area that has been at the heart of some of the most fundamental periods of French and European history spanning back over many centuries.
Easily accessed via the Channel Tunnel and a variety of Channel Ports with the closest, Dieppe, being barely 40 minutes drive, perhaps most significant for many of the visitors and guests is the fact that the heart of Paris can be reached in a speedy 90 minutes by one of the regular direct trains from nearby Yvetot Station.
The charm of the undulating rural countryside around Chateau Sommesnil is enhanced by the remarkable number of diverse chateau estates with their long family histories that surround the village Sommesnil, some being open to the general public whilst others can be visited as guests of Chateau Sommesnil by private arrangement.
Whilst many of the visitors enjoy the peaceful parkland surroundings in the Chateau grounds possibly coupled with walking and bicycling through the nearby Normandie countryside, again by special arrangement, neighbouring estates have agreed to make available a host of country pursuits for those of the guests seeking a greater level of activity including riding, fishing and shooting.
Perhaps one of the principal aspects of modern European history found to be at almost every turn for visitors to Normandie is the impact that World War II had on the area from the early days of the German occupation through to D-Day and beyond when the allies returned to mainland Europe finally defeating the oppressors.
In 1940 as commander of the 7th Panzers, Rommel took the surrender of the French Army and the Highland Division at nearby St Valery en Caux , after which he occupied Chateau Sommesnil as his base.
Throughout this area the major facets of the war are chronicled, not is books, but by the reality of hidden gems such hardware as hidden rocket sites and the massive coastal defences at one end of the scale down to simple but beautiful commorative stained glass windows, giving thanks in local churches at the other and, as always, the sombre but evocative elegance of the graveyards so immaculately maintained by local people on behalf of the War Graves Commission.
Continuing with this theme, it is impossible to overlook the Normandie beaches where the D-Day landings took place, locations that remain a magnet to visitors from around the world who flock to see these stark reminders of the Allies’ first hard won steps towards freeing Europe to become the vibrant continent it is today.
Reminders that are coupled with such historic locations as Sainte-Mère-Eglise and Pegasus Bridge where the resident population still extends a welcome to the families those soldiers who fought for their freedom in this foreign land.
For those who have had the good fortune to be invited to visit Chateau Sommesnil as guests of the owner, unanimous opinion would seem to be of having had a unique experience and the opportunity to appreciate, “hands on”, a history in so many of its facets whilst at the same time enjoying the comforts and privileges of 21stC living.