About the Domaine de La Barre
Today, the domain covers 140 acres, including the farm Saint-Michel, the historical pound of La Barre, a parc with accommodation and outdoor activities, and a chapel.
The Domaine de La Barre is settled on a site whose history dates back at least to the Templar monks who lived in the 12th and 13th centuries throughout the territory of Gourgé and its surroundings, as evidenced by numerous remains and historical documents.
The Templar Commandery of Gourgé took several names such as Saint-Georges de La Lande or La Lande de Gourgé. The lands and the pond of La Barre paid a rent to this commandery, in connection with the great Commandery of Montgauguier in Vienne (bordering French department). The pond and its dike were built at that time.
In 1313, all the properties of the templars monks were confiscated by the king Philippe Le Bel and given to the knights of the Order of Malta. This explains why the small chapel at the entrance area has a Malta cross. It is a vestige of older buildings whose stones were used to build it.
The chapel was restored recently by the Robins, after historical searches. There is a spiritual force there, linked to its origins, that the Robin family, and, since its recent arrival, the Pervanchon family, are keen to maintain.
Click here to discover the story of the Saint-Michel Farm
The Saint-Michel farm for the life of soil, plants & animals
The farm Saint-Michel was created and named by the Robin family, settled in Gourgé for centuries. The family owned the farm in the middle of the 20th century. Joel Robin tells the story in his book « Au nom de la terre, la foi d’un paysan » (no translation in English – « In the name of Earth, the faith of a peasant » is the title). In the 90’s, Jean, the Joël’s son, and his wife Anne change the strategy of the farming system: they decided to develop rural tourism, and to convert land into organic farming. A vision of pionneers!
A new milestone in 2018 was the search of a partner to transmit step by step the farm. Jean & Anne chose the Pervanchon family and Frank became a farmer to work with them. Knowing the high level of consciousness of the Robin family, Frank decides to be a real gentleman-farmer, keeper of the earth and live beings of the domain. He wants to promote soil abundance and fertilty. His aim for the farm Saint-Michel: to feed humans thanks plant organic seeds. An ode for the green kingdom, to sustain all form of life!
Your host and his family
« My name is Frank, and I will enjoy to welcome you here, at the Domaine de La Barre, close to the medieval city of Parthenay. My childhood in Niort, spending many hours in the Marais Poitevin, the Green Venice, made me discover Poitou, with its strengths and its mysteries, the birthplace of Rabelais and Mélusine. What a start!
I studied agronomy and worked first for rural development as a trainer for farmers and farming advisers. More recently I was research engineer for the French Ministry of Agriculture.At 43, I decided to experience a radical change by coming to settle with my wife and my two daughters in Gourgé. This is a voluntary choice shared by the four of us, each with their own motivations.
My work in La Barre is in the continuity of my predecessors: the Robins who developed this place with know-how, energy & love. I am grateful to them for agreeing to pass on their knowledge and their land to me.
For me, the Domaine de La Barre is for me the starting point of a life project in a place that I want to be welcoming, training, resting, and playing. I settled in La Barre because I feel here the energies of the Garden of Eden, rich in kindness and openness. People visiting La Barre, I know it, perceive its spiritual, natural & material forces. It’s a highly fertile & creative place, good for mind and body!
Welcome to La Barre ! It’s for me a source of joy to share time with you in such a living place. To live on this Domain is a real revival!