The Ainay water gardens date back to the end of the 16th century, when the two Renaissance pavilions marking the entrance to the gardens were built. As the centuries passed, the garden evolved according to fashion, but retained its structure.
Abandoned following the French Revolution, the château was restored around 1855 and the park transformed into a landscaped park.
In 1985, contemporary gardens were created around the Renaissance water gardens, and the ancient structure was restored.
Water is omnipresent in the château grounds, where it plays an essential role. The remarkable and highly elaborate hydraulic system inherited from the Middle Ages is still in use, with weirs and shovels regulating the flow of water along its entire course.
Numerous ornamental trees planted in the middle of the last century can still be seen today in the park, which boasts many beautiful tree species, including bald cypresses planted along the moats and canals, hundred-year-old oaks and gigantic plane trees.
The creation of the contemporary gardens at Ainay-le-Vieil has given the château a setting worthy of it, enhancing the contrast between the long perspectives of the canals surrounding the Grand Carré en l'Île and the enclosed Hortus Conclusus gardens of the Chartreuses.
The gardens of Ainay-le-Vieil have benefited from thirty years of creations, restorations and developments to welcome the public.