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Gabriel de Froment, Baron de Castille, was born [1747] in a modest house in Uzès, to a family of minor nobility, with no fortune nor relation. The Baron died about 80 years later in an almost fairy-like castle, very rich, and married to a princess of Rohan.

Translated from: Un Personnage Hors de Commun: Gabriel de Froment, Baron de Castille by Henry de Seguins-Cohorn

(Lithograph from a private collection, photographed with permission)

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The castle of Castille, sometimes called “the castle of a thousand columns” was, in the beginning, a fortified farm during the epoch of the “Grandes Compagnies.” [15th-16th century] When the Baron inherited the property, he transformed it [between 1788-1806], creating the columns, a park and gardens, one of which was a fruit garden with 300 fruit trees and a winter garden of 160 trees.

Translated from: Le Parc et les Fabriques du Château de Castille by Henry de Seguins-Cohorn

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The father of Henry de Seguins-Cohorn inherited the Castille castle property from his ancestors, descendants of the Baron. However, he involved himself in a business venture with a partner who owned the patent to a farm machine on caterpillar wheels. Unfortunately, the business did very badly, and with the partner abandoning him, he was obliged to sell the family property in order to honour the debts of the partner’s company.

De Seguins-père moved to North Africa at Nedroma (Algeria), where Henry de Seguins-Cohorn was born. (Interview with Henry de Seguins-Cohorn)

The Castille property has passed several hands, one of which was the English art collector Douglas Cooper.

(Painting from a private collection, photographed with permission)

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The 3-column monument, mounted by a globe, a cross and a crescent, was erected in memory of the firstborn son of the Baron of Castille, the former First Page of the Emperor, who died a young officer in the battle of Essling. The crescent is said to represent the “C” in Castille.

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The small roman-like temple is believed to be the sepulchre for the second wife of the Baron, Epiphanie, the princess de Rohan.

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The monumental arch (now used as an entryway to the cemetery) was the first sepulchre of the Baron.

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An incomplete phrase written in metal letters (some of which are missing) on one of the top interior walls of the small temple, leads us to believe that a young child or infant of the Baron was buried here with his mother:

Attend Maman dorénavant, paix mon enfant *
(Wait for Mother from now on, peace my child)

Or: Rest in peace my child, wait for Mother henceforth.

* Deduced by Mme Claude Hurel née Haour

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Surrounding the 3-column monument are several tombstones, some of which are believed to be those of the domestics of the Baron.

When the cemetery and the chapel were ransacked by robbers, who thought there were treasures buried beneath, the remains of the Baron and his family were then transferred to another family crypt located at Carpentras. (Interview with Henry de Seguins-Cohorn)

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(Lithograph from a private collection, photographed with permission)

Some of these monuments have been sold, and I’m told that one of these can be found in New York city.

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(Painting from a private collection, photographed with permission)

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