Lavoir de FrançoisLavoir de François
©Lavoir de François|S. Zwarteveen-OTHVS
FrançoisThe charm of washhouses and mills


At the edge of the Niortaise plain, the commune of François is made up of several villages. It is crossed by the Sèvre Niortaise and its tributaries the Chambon and the Musson. In the Middle Ages, this situation allowed François to develop, there are still beautiful examples of period architecture to this day. Today, the town offers walkers a landscape of meadows along the river, with its washhouses and mills.

Francois' Church

The church is located in the village of François; the town hall and the temple are located in the village of Breuil.

It is a building of rectangular plan and of modest size surmounted by a bell-tower-wall. The church was built in the 19th century; the old Romanesque church having been sold as national property during the Revolution.


Vaudeleigne Castle

Not far from the confluence between the Chambon and the Sèvre Niortaise, this vast residence was built in the 15th century, then remodeled and completed with a terraced wing in the 19th century. This work was carried out by Pierre-Théophile Segretain who is also on the initiative of the Prefecture, the Prison and the Court of Niort.

The large park that initially surrounded the castle has been divided, only a small part still surrounds this private property not open to the public.


Availles Castle

Built on a hillside overlooking the Musson, the Château d’Availles is an old fortified farm dating from medieval times. From this period, a Renaissance fireplace has been preserved, the mantle of which bears the coat of arms of the lords of Parthenay, to whom the lords of Availles were related.

The facade of the castle dating from the 18th century has a monumental entrance that lovers of architecture will appreciate. Its elevation begins with bosses on the ground floor and ends with a triangular pediment. The semi-circular twinned openings ensure the lighting of the staircase. The windows are ample on the two noble levels, while on the top floor, in the attic, they become low and rectangular. Private property not open to the public.


Castle of the Fief

The Domaine du Fief was built in the 15th century. The dovecote of the Fief has 1096 pigeonholes , which means the holes in the wall of the dovecote housing the pigeons. The number of putlogs corresponded to the size of the estate and its influence. We therefore let you imagine the importance of the castle!