The Manoir de Villa was first occupied by the Plata family, then handed over to the Preux family in 1497 (Angeline de Preux). The death of Catherine Meyer, the last descendent of the Preux branch of the family, 30 January 1923, marked the start of a difficult period for the conservation of the building. The property went to 17 distant relatives and could have signalled the end of Château de Villa’s existence as a single unit but the home was bought in 1939 by a woman from canton Vaud, Mme Panchaud De Bottens, who wanted to create a museum of Swiss costumes. She was the victim of fraud, however, and had to file for bankruptcy in 1943. Following the 1946 earthquake the building, covered by a mortgage with the Banque Cantonale du Valais, was saved thanks to the generosity of Sierre’s residents, who became aware of the city’s heritage through articles in the local newspaper written by François de Preux.