"As far as the capricious river of my memory goes, since the clear springs of my childhood, la Ginelle has impressed me.
This big grey-stoned, roughcast with lime mortar, low, massive farm, unshakable under its Romanic tiled roof, still seems to be defying men, time and seasons for ever.
The spur with oaks, cypresses and pines on which it stands is looming on the misty horizon of the Cevennes Mountains.
In clear weather, its fifteen windows with white shutters open up to the South facing the blue barrier of the Pyrenees from Bigorre to Roussillon.
La Ginelle is blissfully part of this soft, uneven scenery, from East to West, as if it is the flagship of a whole fleet of scows (the farms anchored in the country).
Such unusual metaphors come to the mind when looking at this wind-swept countryside, when the skies seem to be moving, sometimes dark or heavy with rain, sometimes clear and light blue, sometimes with huge white clouds heading west.
Then it is suddenly calm and radiant for a few hours or a few days. That deep peace brings to rest for a moment the tree lines, the medieval castles, the village bell towers, the old mills dating back to the time when the Lauragais was named "Pays de Cocagne" (land of plenty) for its wealth due to the cultivation of pastel in the Middle Ages.
The main building soul reveals its deep nature, built to brave the winter flurries and to open up to the summer bright sun.
Our large and diverse family takes its identity and originality from this house. The outstanding personality of my grandmother inspired the spirit of the old house and impressed all of us. They were deeply linked to each other."
(Written in 1970 by Michel Castaing, the owner of the house and the founder of the joint ownership.)
La Ginelle became part of the family in 1860 when this grandmother's parents bought it so that, after her wedding, she could live near their home in Montmaur, 2 km from there. Till that time, the estate had belonged to the Séverac family. It was sold by two brothers, who were retired Engineering Corps officers and who built granaries, redesigned the park and planted a pine tree lane.
A family member, the well-known composer Déodat de Séverac, lived in St Félix of Lauragais.
Before them, the history of the place is less known.
When the Canal du Midi was built la Ginelle was on the plans of construction as a group of buildings looking like a hamlet.
The place has been inhabited for a very long time as some Roman amphoras were found after some deep ploughings.