Perched on a limestone crag overlooking the River Loir the 3 storey keep is thought without evidence to have been built by Count Theobald V of Blois (ruled 1151-20 Jan 1191).  The rest of the medieval castle is gone, but Jehan Dunois, the Bastard of Orléans, built the west wing up the face of a cliff between 1459 and 1468.  The Sainte-Chapelle was also built on the castle site between 1451 and 1493, when the bell tower was erected.

The keep is 90' high, although it rises to 138' to the top of its spire. 
It is 56' in diameter and has walls 13' thick.  The first floor entrance was 33' up and above this are 4 external insteps which do not mark internal room levels, although they possibly mark building phases.  The upper floor lights are Romanesque, but are set under Angevin pointed arches.  The battlements still exist under the roof.

Such round tower keeps tend to be seen as thirteenth century in the UK - always without serious dating evidence - viz. Pembroke, Bronllys and Tretower.  Such late datings have been challened at Longtown and Buckenham in the UK.  Similar towers exist in France and are generally reckoned as twelfth century, viz. Chateau-Renault, Freteval, Peyrepertuse and Roche Guyon.

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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