Parc du Manoir de Villers
30 route de Sahurs 76113 SAINT-PIERRE-DE-MANNEVILLE / Vallée de Seine
In the town of Saint-Pierre-de-Manneville, within a meander of the river Seine a few kilometres away from Rouen, there is a park surrounding an impressive 16th century manor house. This remarkable garden, designed in the 18th century, has been enlarged and modified during the 19th and 20th centuries. The 10-acre park is divided into several rooms and offers enchanting perspectives over the Manoir de Villers. This "Country house" has evolved over the centuries and is now a typical example of 19th century rural architecture.
I parked my car in a car park adjoining the Manoir de Villers. At first, I didn't know where to go as I didn't see the building straight away. The entrance is a small opening in the wall surrounding the property. I bought my ticket in the small house on the right, and then, I finally saw the park. I walked along a small wood and walked up what must be the central path. I spotted the large entrance gate which I guess is the "official" entrance to the property. When I arrived I took a map to guide me and I noticed that the park is perfectly laid-out. The map is actually very pretty, painted with watercolour. It is original and I carefully observed all the details in the painting. The flowerbeds are rectangular and I noticed there were areas with flowers and colours as well as wooded areas. After studying the map, I ventured into the park. As I looked up, I was delighted to see a lovely chapel whose façade was covered with ivy. It is magnificent and I quickly got closer to have a look inside. It was simply beautiful and I was moved to see such a building in a park. The map shows numbers to follow but I can't help but looking everywhere around me as I was so eager to see the whole park. It felt as if I was wandering around a little village, another world. I passed the chapel, and there it was. What a Manor House, wow! I had never seen such a building before. Describing it or taking a picture wouldn't be enough to get the feeling I experienced while I was looking at it. The building is impressive, first for its size. Then for its height! And last but not least for its style. Its style is not uniform and I noticed several different construction periods. I saw half-timbering, bricks, Caumont stone, etc. the building is unique, it is the least we can say. I stayed there facing the manor house for a while trying to memorise every detail. But I especially allowed myself to experience the vibes coming from it. I felt the weight of the history of this house. 500 years of existence! I thought about its past, which must have been really intense, and about all the people who have stood where I was standing at that moment. I was both moved and fascinated by this sight and completely mesmerized by the atmosphere of the place.
My fascination continued with the Secret Garden. The name itself appealed to me. I spotted a small access among the perennials and plants, and I sneaked in. I walked down a few stairs and here I was in the heart of this small enclosed garden. It is aptly named, the atmosphere is intimate, confidential and light. The colours are both vivid and soft. Sitting on a chair, I admired the graceful movements of the plants around me, enjoying this peaceful and pleasant time. Still in this state of well-being, I reached the green garden, also called the "grass amphitheatre” because of its semi-circular shape. Incredible, the view was stunning. I took in the entire manor house and this new perspective was all the more impressive.
In the heart of the park, I went from one surprise to another and each new room brought new emotions. My steps led me to a lake, overlooked by a small wooden cottage. The place is peaceful. I sat in the grass, facing the lake, and I listened carefully to the surrounding sounds. I couldn't remember ever feeling so tranquil in such a landscape. I deeply enjoyed this moment before I decided to continue my walk in park a little longer...
Remarkable garden, Plant collection, French style, Contemporary
Services : Shop
Activities available on site : Temporary exhibitions
The visit lasts approximately : 75 min
Languages spoken : English, German
Tours available in : English
Voir les autres prestations
Methods of payment : Vouchers, Postal or bank cheques, Cash