Since 2000, the Département de Loire-Atlantique has been involved in the restoration of the natural and architectural landscapes of La Garenne Lemot Estate.
The Département de Loire-Atlantique put in place a restoration project for the gardens and the follies located on the grounds of the estate back in 2000. The aim of this project was to replicate the atmosphere of the park at the time of its creation between 1805 and 1827, by sculptor, François-Frédéric Lemot. From 2014 to 2017, a new phase of restoration work is underway.
Due to the advanced state of maturity of some of the vegetation cover, this restoration campaign consists of renewing the trees originally planted at the time when the estate was created by Lemot, thereby restoring its original aspect or appearance.
• On the banks of the Sèvre, the contrast between the picturesque aspect of the rocks and the follies has partially disappeared. The restoration project aims to replicate the views sought after by Lemot and to better showcase the follies.
• At the plateau level, the trees originally planted have become lost in dense vegetation cover. Some of this vegetation cover will be cleared.
This phase of the restoration project concerns the various Renaissance-type structures constructed by Lemot: the Colonne de Madrid (column), the Borne milliaire[EL1] (milliarium), the Édicule à l'antique (aedicula), the Grotte d'Héloïse (grotto), the Rocher de Rousseau (rock), the pergola, icehouse and Temple de Vesta.
The Temple de Vesta overlooks the Sèvre and is the largest folly on the grounds of the estate. This round temple is surrounded by columns reminiscent of the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, thereby illustrating the link between the Clissonais site and antiquity. This temple underwent extensive restoration work: restoration of the roof, columns and their bases, cornices, the terrace and parapet, the frames of the window openings, and the railings of the staircase. A grid was also installed at the entrance to the staircase.
The total cost of the restoration work of the garden and follies is €410,000. A new phase of work began in September 2014 and will continue up until December 2017.
Opposite the estate, on the other side of the Sèvre, the Temple de l’Amitié was built under the direction of sculptor Lemot between 1812 and 1819 to house the tomb of his friend, art collector, François Cacault.
The property of the Département de Loire-Atlantique since 1993, this temple underwent a first restoration campaign of the peristyle in 1995 and 1996. The latest restoration campaign involves work on the chapel (framework, roof, etc.). It should be completed by late December 2015 - early January 2016 at a total cost of €274,000.
Did you know? According to the Larousse dictionary, a folly is an ornamental building (temple, ruin or other), constructed mainly for decoration or to enhance the landscape, typically found in a park or the grounds of an estate or demesne.