Villa Eléonore Louise

The crest in low relief of Henry Peter Brougham and Vaux, Lord Chancellor of England, appears in the axis of the facade of the villa. When the lord discovers the locality in 1835 during a trip in the south of France, he is fascinated and buys a vast agricultural piece of land stretching to the sea on the western part of the village. Louis Larras, engineer, architect and geometer of the Corps Royal des Ponts & Chaussees is in charge of the plans of the villa and the brothers Fleury Guichard, builders, are in charge of its realization. It is the first holiday house edified in Cannes.

The construction of this beautiful neo-classic and Italian villa, composed of one central body framed by two pavilions in symmetry, is completed in 1839 and the interior fitting in 1849 only. In 1850, two lateral wings come in addition and a terrace is erected at the first story level, supported by a remarkable portico of porphyry Doric columns. An alley goes from the villa to the sea. The garden delineated by Lord Brougham is laid out in 1855 by Gilbert Nabonnand, horticulturist. Eucalyptus, ficus, araucarias and mimosa, all brought in from faraway regions and acclimatized by the latter are planted in the park. A lovely rose garden and a vegetable garden complete the whole.

When the lord dies, in 1868, aged 90, the domain is divided into plots in successive steps. In 1883, an exotic garden of 4.8 hectares remains around the villa, maintained by the gardener, Mr. Busby. Around 1900, it includes, for the two thirds, soft slope lawns decorated with bouquets of coconut palms, date palms, ginkgo biloba and brightened up with alleys of roses, orange trees, olive trees and wisteria arbours. The rest is mixed groves. In 1924, Henry Charles, son and heir of Lord Brougham, sells the property to Julien Wegler. The latter reduces the park to 2.2 hectares and then abandons the property toward 1937.  Ten years later, Louis Dieu carries out a housing estate, dividing the villa in apartments, retaining however its original exterior aspect and considerably reducing the garden.

The house bears the name of Eléonore Louise, only daughter of Lord Brougham, deceased a little before the construction of the villa.

villa eleonore

The first villa constructed in Cannes