The first known Lord and owner of Château de Candé was Macé de Larçay, in 1313. François Briçonnet, the mayor of Tours and state treasurer, purchased the fief in 1499 and built a Renaissance house on the site of the old fortress. He died before the building was finished, and it was completed by his daughter, Jeanne, in 1508.
Several owners succeeded to the estate, but none brought major transformations to the castle. In 1853, Santiago Drake del Castillo, heir of a wealthy plantation owner, acquired the castle. At this time the northern wing was added, in the neo-gothic style; this tripled the living space.
In 1927, Charles Bedaux, a Franco-American industrial millionaire, and his wife Fern, repurchased the castle with Jean Drake del Castillo, the grandson of Santiago. They carried out substantial work to modernise the castle, such as adding a plumbing system, improving the electrical system and installing central heating in all parts of the building, with 60 tons of pipes installed in the walls. The eight bedrooms are each equipped with a bathroom in the art déco style; all have baths equipped with an American system, making it possible to fill and empty a bathtub in less than one minute. Indoor toilets were also added. Bedaux installed a telephone, which at the time was unique in a French residence; it was directly connected to the exchange in Tours, and therefore required an operator to be present in the castle. A golf course with 18 holes, a tennis court, a gymnasium and a solarium were also built at this time.
In 1937, the marriage of the Duke of Windsor (formerly King Edward VIII), and Wallis Warfield Simpson took place here. Cecil Beaton took their wedding photos here as well. On the death of Fern Bedaux in 1972, the castle was bequeathed to the State, which reassigned it to the council of Indre-et-Loire in 1974.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.
The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.
The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.
Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.
At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.
In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.