In 1694, five seigniories are given to François Hertel and his four sons as a reward for their prowess-at-arms against the Iroquois. One of those, named “of Rouville”, is given to Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville, then 20 years of age. Five generations later, Jean-Baptiste René Hertel de Rouville will be the last of the Hertel family to be head of the seigniory as he will sell it in 1844 to Major Thomas Edmund Campbell for 17,000 pounds. It’s Thomas Edmund Campbell who will initiate the construction of the Manoir Campbell as we know it today. The new Tudor-style manor, completed in 1850, will keep several architectural elements of the original Manoir Rouville, justifying its current name of “Manoir Rouville-Campbell”.
After the wedding of Sir John Douglas Sutherland Campbell’s, lord marcher of Lorne, to princess Louise, 4th daughter of queen Victoria, many members of the royal family will regularly stay at the Manoir Campbell. We presume that King Edward VII has stayed there a few times during his rule despite the unrest that is taking place in international politics at that time. Under the circumstances, his visits would have been hidden through extraordinary security measures by the state. It is even said that a basement door was used to access a secret passage leading to a more secure exit near the domain. This door, the exterior access of which has been closed off, still exists today; this lets us assume that the story is true! Aside from the King, many visitors of mark have stayed at the Manoir Rouville-Campbell through the following years. Amongst others, Lord Elgin, Sir Walter Head, the Duke of Connaught and many members of the royal family have passed through the threshold of the manor’s great door. Following the death of Thomas Edmund Campbell, the seigniory will stay his family’s property for a long time, until the death of Mabel Allen, wife of Lord Colin Campbell, in 1955. Afterwards, the manor was slowly split apart and changed hands many times until it was purchased in 1969 by sculptor Jordi Bonet, who will have it classified as a historical monument in 1977. At this time, an American movie production was shot at this location full of history and magic: Barry Levinson’s Hotel New Hampshire, starring Beau Bridges, Rob Lowe and Jodie Foster. In 1996, comedian Yvon Deschamps buys the manor and actively participates in its development.
Now a property of the Imbeau family, the Manoir Rouville-Campbell is a luxury hotel that still continues adapting to its time. Its 200 years of activity leaves it without any sign of fatigue; on the contrary, it continues to impress through its authenticity, its rich history and the determination of its hosts to preserve its unique character, which makes it a treasure of our national heritage.
It is one of the best kept secrets of our history. A historical monument where the guests are and always will be caught up in the beauty and majesty of its surroundings.