The property that we now call the Domaine de Cromey came to be during the reign of Louis XIV. We have an impressive collection of archives that take us back to the day.
But nothing so dramatically fixes Cromey in time as the pink marble fireplace that we uncovered in the main salon. With carvings that commemorate a pilgrimage to Compostello, the fireplace is a monument to an aristocratic family and a noble property.
We take our stewardship of Cromey seriously. And so, the restoration of this magnificent chimney was a priority in our renovation project. But the task was far from simple. The original fireplace was not installed; it was part of the wall. So removing it for restoration was tricky.
We asked an old-time craftsman for help, a true artisan. And slowly, respectfully, keeping the marble structure intact, he removed the chimney and took it away to his workshop. In the meantime he uncovered the original wrought-iron fireback. Dated 1716, it pinpoints the construction of the main building in the compound.
What’s more, this fireback is nearly as valuable a relic as the fireplace itself. Our craftsman said that he had never seen another like it. At an inch and a half thick and 250 pounds, they just don’t make them like that anymore.
Cromey continues to astound us. At every turn in this restoration we are humbled by the history we are uncovering. But finding 1716 cast in iron at the center of the project puts it all in perspective. We are living history. And we invite you to join us as, in 2016, we celebrate 300 years of the Domaine de Cromey.