A the great round tower was allegedly built by Theobald Blois of Champagne (1102-52) about 1140. However
in 1020 a charter to Marmoutier abbey mentioned the place as Castrum Rainaldi which indicates that a castle already stood here. A later charter to Vendome abbey mentioned it under the same name. Tradtionally the castle was
burned around 1140 by Sulpice II of Amboise and then rebuilt by
Theobald (d.1152) with the round keep. However, the keep's similarity to
Freteval may well suggest that both are eleventh century. At least thirteen other round tower keeps over 50' in diameter exist in the British Isles.
The round tower keep on the low motte stands 62'
high, is 48' in diameter and has walls 10' thick.
Entrance to the keep was at first floor level, there being 5
floors in all, of which the upper one has disappeared. The north
the tower has collapsed. It is possible that the round keep
stands on a possible motte within the remains of a shell keep around
it. Such a style is repeated in the British Isles at Tretower as well as in France at Chatillon sur Indre and Freteval.
At Chateau Renault a later castle of the
fourteenth century stands on the site of the bailey. Recently,
the back of the fourteenth century gatehouse collapsed, but was rebuilt in 2015.
Other early French round tower keeps stand at Brosse, Neufles and Freteval.
Why not join me here and at other French
castles? Information on this and other tours can be found at Scholarly
Paul Martin Remfry