In Saint Germain d'Esteuil, on an exceptional site, woods and vines surround a beautiful mansion harmoniously developed throughout the centuries. The spot has been occupied since the Bronze Age (axes found on site) and well into the gallo-roman times (archeological site of Brion). But the official history of Livran dates back to November 22nd, 1280, when King Edward Ist of England gave permission to the de Got brothers to settle there.
The Livran land has been continuously occupied for a long time. The first traces of this, in Médoc, date from the end of the Mesolithic, era around 6000 or 5000 BC.
Three kilometers from Livran, the megalithic alley of Barbehere can be found, probably built by pastoral communities of the Middle Neolithic (era around 4000 BC). On the Livran site itself, in 1845, 32 axes were found dating back to the Middle Bronze Age (1500 to 1100 BC).
The Biturige Vivisci, Celtic people who founded Burdigala (Bordeaux) during the first century BC, imported the first vine (Vitis Biturica) in the region. Burdigala surrendered to Rome in 56 BC. Thus began in Médoc a long period of gallo-roman occupation (proven by the archeological site of Brion). The etymology of the name Livran probably comes from this era : a land made free (castrum liberonis) by the statis "civitas libera" (free people or regions), that the Romans gave, among others, to the Biturige Vivisque with whom they maintained good relations, especially on a commercial level. The name Livran appears to have been written "Livrano" in the "Gascon Rolls” of 1280.
On November 22nd, 1280, King Edward Ist of England granted the Gascon territory of Livran (Livrano) to the de Got brothers (probably descending from Visigoth lords who quickly assimilated the Gascon culture): Béraud (knight) and Arnaud (bishop). He gave them the right to build a fortified house there. The de Got family, a family of considerable social status and influence, became the first owners of Livran.
The manor of Livran was inherited by of knight and vicomte Arnaud Gracie de Got, elder son of Béraud and brother of Bertrand, archbishop of Bordeaux and first Pope of Avignon in 1305 under the name Clément V.
The de Got family temporarily lost possession of Livran in 1324 to King Edward II of England, for having taken sides France. But a decade later Guyeen returned to the French kingdom, Charles VII granted Livran to the French heirs of the de Got : the de Bordeaux, a family of parliament members, jurats (members of the municipal body) and prévôts (civil officers).
Around 1581-82, Livran was sold to Thomas de Ram "advisor of the King and lieutenant general in the territory of Guiene". Then, succeeding one another through marriage, came the Maniban, the Dupérier de Larsan (who also owned the Château Branaire in Saint Julien) and finally the Lambert des Granges who sold the domain in 1900 to the English wine and spirits company James L. Demman & Co.
In the last century, during World War I, the Château was turned into an auxiliary hospital and hosted up to sixty five wounded soldiers.
During World War II, Emile Liquard, Livran's administrator, hid food and people in the Château. A testimony from Jacques Vendroux confirms the sincere friendship that united the Liquard, Vendroux and De Gaulle families. The Liquards bought Livran in 1957.
In 1962, Emile Liquard, deputee of Gironde, elected official at the General council, Vice president of the European Council, Mayor of Saint Germain d'Esteuil, sold Livran to the Godefrins, who settled in after returning from Northern Africa, until 2008. The domain was then sold to a Russian investment fund.
Today, the new owners (since 2013) Olivier Michon and his spouse Edwige (daughter of Lucien Lurton), are breathing new life in to the beautiful domain they fell in love with. In their eyes, Livran is not only an exceptional land but a true historical heritage.
Alongside its history, Henri Ribardieu ("Les châteaux de la Gironde") tells us a legend that fills the park with an atmosphere of mystery.
"In the nights only lit by the moon, when the faraway bells chime the twelfth hour and the breeze gives life to the leaves of the Miqueu woods, it is not rare, people say, to get a glimpse, through the trees, at the blurry silhouette of a lonely wanderer who silently walks down the paths. Little by little, the indeterminate form becomes more distinct; papal clothes cover his shoulders, a golden cross shines on his chest. The singular visitor moving along under the trees was the victim of the atrocious ordeal that is decapitation. It is the Archbishop of Livran; in the one hand he is carrying his own head cut off by the headsman; in the other, he is holding his breviary, reciting it devoutly.