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History and Heritage

The Ligoure estate is comprised of a chateau and its landscaped grounds, farmland and 40-hectare forest park. Its history is actually a family story which began in the 19th century.

The park's layout

The park's layout

The Ligoure estate is comprised of a chateau and its landscaped grounds, farmland and a 40-hectare forest park

Family history

Family history

In 1856, Frédéric Le Play created a large farming estate in Ligoure, which he passed on to his son Albert who in turn left his mark on it by building a new chateau and outbuildings.

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In 1856, Frédéric Le Play purchased the various plots of land comprising the Ligoure estate. At the time, this estate was abandoned and had no access roads. Frédéric, who was both an engineer, economist and sociologist, wanted to create a large farming estate to put into practice his pioneering ideas in the fields of agriculture and social organisation.

In 1867, Frédéric gave his son Albert the task of taking on the running of the estate. Aware of the poor condition of the property, he made a number of changes. Firstly, he had a new chateau built on the ruins of a former building, along with outbuildings and new stables, as well as purchasing agricultural equipment. He laid out and landscaped the forest park and had a 6 km perimeter wall built in 1881.

The landscaped park was improved in 1930 with a remarkable botanical collection. It today offers walkers the possibility to admire no fewer than 200 conifer varieties.

Frédéric Le Play

Frédéric Le Play (1806-1882)

A graduate of the prestigious Polytechnique engineering school, a mining engineer and a sociologist. In 1830 he was appointed as under-manager and inspector of studies at the Ecole des Mines. He authored a now famous survey on "European workers" (1856). Under the Second Empire, he became a member of the council of state and carried out numerous studies for the government of Napoleon III. He is today considered one of the pioneers of French sociology.

Albert Le Play

Albert Le Play (1842-1937)

Senator for the Haute-Vienne area from 1892 to 1900.
As a doctor in medicine and agronomist, he was given the task 1867 of organising the agricultural exhibition in Billancourt, during the universal exhibition, of which his father was the curator. Albert Le Play published numerous works on agricultural chemicals.

Pierre Le Play

Pierre Le Play

He continued the work of his father Albert and his grandfather and also achieved well-deserved success. In 1937, he obtained the departemental honorary title which had been awarded to his father in 1879, a fine example of a family tradition in line with the teachings of his illustrious grandfather.



Béatrice Thomas-Mouzon

The granddaughter of Pierre Le Play, she is the owner of Ligoure. In 1997, she donated the forested part of the estate to the Département (county) of Haute-Vienne.