" To avoid any difficulties concerning the recognition and delineation of the said parcel, M. Castagné has filed a site plan indicating in red ink the part sold. The plan, which he has drawn up on a sheet of paper legally stamped, as required by law, and marked ne varietur(2), with the signature of M. Gaillard (Figure 1), will be registered before or at the same time as the present documents, and will remain as an Annexe after having been approved by the Prefect of Lot and M. Castagné. From this date His Majesty the Emperor will take possession of the said parcel, with full ownership and use of it..." .
Napoleon III died on 9 January 1873, and the division of his estate is recorded on 1 June 1876. Under the terms of the marriage contract and the inheritance laws, the Crown Prince Napoleon Eugene Louis Jean Joseph Bonaparte, known as Louis-Napoleon, inherited half of the land, the other half remaining the property of Napoleon's wife, the Empress Eugénie. On the death of the prince, who was killed by the Zulus during a patrol in the Zoulouland bush (part of modern day South Africa) on 1 June 1879, the Empress Eugénie inherited the land in question from her son's estate, as registered on 11 February 1880. From that date it was the Empress Eugénie de Montijo(3) who owned the Emperor's land. She died 40 years later in 1920 at the age of 94 years. No declaration of succession has been found dating from that time. From 1920, the land thus belongs to the heirs of the Empress. After her death requests were made to her heirs to yield the plots in question to the Martel tourist office. These letters appear to have received no response.
In 1963, during the revision of the cadastral plan of the commune, the Emperor's land became a triangle (Figure 2), shown in section AH as plot 171 (14 to 45 ca) and plot 173 (16 to 35 ca), a total area 30a 90 ca. The remaining land, about 10 ares, was allocated for an unknown reason to plots 172 and 235 belonging to the Lespinard family who, at that time, had a water pipe installed from their hamlet of La Coste to the basin built by Jean Burello (Lespinard family) and Albert Aussel(8). This pipe crossed the Emperor's land.
In 1994, we gave the full dossier on the history of Napoleon's land to M. Roger Perrier (9), notary of Vayrac, asking him to find a solution which would give the owner of the land the authorisation to carry out new archeological excavations.
For this he called upon five senior citizens who testified that since their youth, that is, for more than fifty years, they had never known or seen anyone use these plots, neither had they heard or known of anyone claiming the property.
In addition, M. Sérager, mayor of the municipality of Saint-Denis-lès-Martel from 1977 to 1995, stated that the said parcels were exempt from property tax. This legal document was passed to Saint-Denis-lès-Martel on 12 April 1995 where all the parties signed with M. Perrier, who paid the registration fees of 500 francs. From that date, the land originally purchased by Napoleon III fell into the public domain.