Finally, that’s it! In Bézu-Saint-Éloi (Eure), after more than 30 years of a titanic project to which he devoted almost all of his free time, Jean-François Jorelle has just opened its gîte in a restored medieval tower, that of the White Queen. A place named in homage to Blanche of Navarre, the short-lived Queen of France, who retired in the 14th century to this part of Eure on the death of her husband Philippe VI of Valois in 1350.
An undeniable charm
Renowned in particular for the quality of his wooden toys, the carpenter whose family business – which he has just ped on to his son Carl – dates back to 1864, completed this somewhat crazy project carried out with the help of his two children. “I feel like this tower was put in my way and I couldn’t get away. In a way, it was the mission that I had igned to myself,” smiles the sturdy 62-year-old, happy and proud to be able to show off the fruit of his hard work. “And then, it was my childhood dream too since this ruin of which there was almost nothing left and which I rebuilt stone by stone has always fascinated me.” He, who was born on this family property, did not want to sell it when his father mentioned the possibility. “I told myself that one day I was going to blame myself. »
It must be said that the whole thing has an undeniable charm. With its 1.30 m thick walls, its high ceilings, its huge custom-made wooden doors, its furniture straight out of an episode of “Game of Thrones” or “Kaamelott”, its round bed measuring 2.40 m in diameter or even its bathtub made in a sealed barrel by the owner, the gîte, open since October, is in itself a real time machine. Direction the Normandy of William the Conqueror who built a whole series of fortresses on the banks of the Epte in the 11th century to defend the borders of his kingdom. “The one located in Bézu-Saint-Éloi constituted part of the second line of defense,” specifies Jean-François Jorelle, inexhaustible on this period and on Norman history as a whole.
A pion that undoubtedly gave him the courage, year after year, to never give up. “I was trying not to think about the long term. By telling myself that every day I spent working I was getting closer to my goal little by little. » Today, he is reached.
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