Termes castle is only 1½ miles south of Durfort as the crow flies.  It is therefore little surprise to find that the Durfort family held the fortress from the Termes, the first mentioned being the early eleventh century (before 1060) Teudomar Durfort.  By 1215, with the death of Raymond Termes in 1213, the Durforts seem to have surrendered their castle to the Crusaders, with the result that Alan Roucy, who also held Termes, was lord.  After the 1226 ‘war of Limoux' Roger Durfort was probably lord under Oliver Termes (d.1274), when he regained the lordship from Louis IX (d.1270).  However in 1243, it was Hugh Durfort who swore allegiance to King Louis and the next year marched with the Crusaders on Montsegur.  In 1256 it was Gaucelin Durfort who rebelled against the king, although he is said to have regained his lands by a timely submission.  Regardless the overlordship of the castle seems to have left the Termes family and passed to the counts of Foix.  On 2 May 1259, Count Roger IV of Foix (d.1265) gave the castle and bastide of Durfort to Loup and Roger-Isarn (d.1316+), his son.  The strategic importance of the castle ended with the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659.  After this it was converted more into a house than a castle and was finally abandoned in the eighteenth century.

The castle ruins, surrounded on three sides by the River Orbieu, wander across the summit of the hill.  To the SE lies an apparently separate D shaped tower.  Just west of this is an elongated D shaped tower, similar to the towers at Ewloe and Castel y Bere in Wales as well as nearby Peyrepertuse.  A large ward to the north connects this with the summit of the hill where there is a rectangular ward with internal buildings butting up against the curtain.  This has one round tower to the NW.  The entrance must have been to the NE, but the whole is now heavily wooded and has been closed to the public due to the unstable state of the ruins.

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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