night time at manoir

About us


the journey so far

In January 2022 we decided to change our lives forever. We sold almost everything we owned in the UK, packed up what was left and, with the dog, moved to France all within six months.

The adventure started by finding the majestic Maison Du Fort, a 17th century manoir in the Lot & Garonne region of South Western France. This beautiful manoir was in need of a family to rescue it and refresh this grand old lady back to her former glory. Alastair and I fell in love with the manoir on our very first viewing.

Maison Du Fort was originally Chateau Du Fort  and had only been owned by one family, the Leroy family, until we bought it in May 2022. Madame Becq, at 97 years old, was the last  family member to reside in this grand building. Agents were instructed to find a family who would love the house, all the furniture and its history. Initial offers by others were rejected.

There is a strong art connection with the house (see history page) and with Alastair being half French, myself an artist, wanting to bring art back into the house and grounds, together with the fact we adored all the original furniture, we offered and Madame Becq chose us.

We are only at the beginning of our journey at the Manoir. We have so many exciting plans – restoration, art studios, gites as well as making Maison du Fort an Art House for visitors and our local community. Of course, firstly, it is to make it a wonderful family home for me, Alastair, our daughter Cersei, Pip the dog and now two cats Mia and Ellie.

As the adventure progresses through our first year we sincerely hope that the restoration will develop into something that we can be proud of and that gives justice to Maison Du Fort and her history.

Our history page will give more in depth information about the Manoir and its importance to the community. This page will be updated regularly, as we discover more of her story.

We would love you to follow the restorations, vintage finds, future volunteering breaks, together with the ups and downs of our daily journey. Visit our Instagram and Facebook pages for  more up to the minute stories and of course, we hope to see you later this year when we open our doors to host painting holidays, events and workshops.

With love from France

Leesa & Alastair