The castle is thought to have been built at the end of the tenth century by Count Eudes Blois (d.996) and was besieged by the counts of Anjou in 1000, 1025, 1037 and 1117.  In 1037, after seizing Saumur, Count Fulk Nerra (d.1040) crossed the Vienne near Chinon on a bridge of boats and besieged Montbason, then held by the men of Count Odo of Blois (d.1037).  Count Odo marched to the rescue of the castle and then back to fight the Lotharingians at Bar-sur-l'Aube castle, where he was killed.  At this point Fulk againt attacked Montbazon and this time took the castle, handing it to the custody of William Mirebeau.

In 1109 the baron of Preuilly also besieged the castle.  There is a motte some 1,600 feet to the south of the fortress which may have been a siege castle during one of these attacks.  In 1205, after Normandy had fallen to him, Philip Augustus gave the castle to the lord of Colombiers.

Blocking the south end of a ridge end site above the Indre stands the keep of Montbazon castle.  This rectangular keep, like so many in the district, viz Montrichard, Loches etc, appears to have begun life as a hall with pilaster buttresses on the exposed south and west sides - of which one is oddly rounded - and typical early round-headed windows on the main floor.  This was later heightened to make a keep with fine twin-light round headed windows somewhat similar to those at Goodrich castle.  There is herringbone masonry in the build.

The keep is protected to the south and west by a small ward with a D shaped tower to the SW, somewhat similar to one at Brecon and a round turret to the SE.  To the NW is a fine forebuilding with good ashlar buttresses.  The main bailey to the north has been largely destroyed, although the platform with some of the enceinte, somewhat remeniscent of Chinon, survives.  All this is supposed to be twelfth century.  Built on this is a later fifteenth century castle with 2 towers and a gatehouse.  There are also traces of the town wall, especially at the Porte de Moulins, just east of the keep.

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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