The eleventh century castle, castellum Inglia, was built by the bishop of Poitiers on a rocky hill overlooking the River Anglin before 1025.  Like Chauvigny the castle was later held by Lusignans and then Guichard d'Angles.  He was born in 1310 and was described by
Froissart  as 'loyal, passionate, wise, brave, gallant and forward'.  In 1346 he defended Niort for King Philip against the earl of Derby and later fought at the battle of Maupertuis, where he was left for dead.  In December 1360, by the treaty of Brétigny, King John II of France assigned various lands to Edward III of England making up fully half of contemporary France.  The lands of Guichard were amongst this and he rapidly became marshal of Aquitaine and then earl of Huntington as well as a member of the Order of the Garter.  He finally died in London in 1380, where he was tutor to the young King Richard II.  In the meantime Angles had fallen back to the Lusignan family who sold their claim to the castle to the bishops of Poitiers, who retained Angle until the French Revolution.

Angles-sur-l'Anglin is thought of as one of the most beautiful villages of France.  The castle is also spectacular perched as it is on its long crag above the River Anglin.  In shape it appears more like the Byzantine castles of Sicily than a French fortress.  The castle, which follows the irregular rock, is roughly triangular with the main buildings to the west, which is the widest part of the site.  At the NE apex is an elongated D shaped tower, similar to that at Ewloe and Castell y Bere in Wales.  Nearby to the west of this is a squashed D shaped tower, more French in origin.  In the long SW wall above the river are three round towers, on the front where the river and crag makes such defences rather unnecessary.  There is also a hall block projecting beyond the enceinte on a crag and covering the central round tower.  

To the east a short blocking wall across the ithmus of the site leads to another D shaped tower in the north wall.  There is also a Romanesque entrance here, reduced in size and guarded bya macholation above.  This section may be the remnants of an early hall keep, although its west side is now missing, the windows are much later and a fifteenth century gable has been added which still stands to the north.  There are also D shaped buttresses to the east and much older pilaster buttresses to the north beneath the gable.  

From the 'hall' 
an irregualr curtain meanders back to the elongated D shaped tower.  This wall is strengthened by many buttresses and contains the north side of a round tower with pilaster buttresses.  This north front may be the oldest section of the fortress.  SE of this is a long narrow ward with a D shaped tower in its own little ward at the NW end.  Steps lead up around the crag to a postern in the side of this tower.  Beyond this again to the SE is another irregular ward with at least one D shaped turret.  This contains the castle chapel.

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

  • Index

  • Home