Cucugnan castle is the ancient supposedly tenth century predecessor of Queribus castle just across the valley.  However, as Queribus seems to have been inhabited since Roman times, this claim seems as unlikely as the one that the castle is thirteenth or fourteenth century.  

The place is first mentioned in 951 when it was given by Count Arnaud of Carcassonne (d.957) to Lagrasse abbey, while the castle was not mentioned until 1140.  In the first half of the thirteenth century Peter and Berenger Cucugnan opposed the advance of the Crusaders and helped with the defence of Peyrepertuse until their surrender to Louis IX (d.1270) in 1241.  The ruins of
Cucugnan fortress stand above the windmill, which itself dates back to before 1692.  West of the castle at La Vignasse Roman tiles have been uncovered.  Unfortunately the 'Romanesque' church beneath the castle is an 1860s rebuild.

The castle occupies an E-W running ridge, with the Omer windmill occupying the SW portion of the site.  This appears to have been an outer ward.  The main fortress consisted of a polygonal ward about 90' E-W by 50' N-S.  The main remains are to the west and consist of later rectangular buildings, one of which contained a cistern.  The curtain wall to the S&E revets the rock on which the castle stands and there is a mostly internal round tower at the southernmost point.  Such a design seems most closely mirrored by the revetting of rocks as found at the early castles of Fenouillet, Queribus and Termes.  A church once stood upon the summit.

Why not join me here and at other French castles?  Information on this and other tours can be found at Scholarly Sojourns.


Copyright©2019 Paul Martin Remfry

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