The castle, like so many others, viz. Moncontour, Loudun, Loches, is said to have been founded by Fulk Nerra who died in 1040.  The Chronicle of the Counts of Anjou states that Count Odo Champagne (d.1037), Gelduin Saumur and Geoffrey St Aignan had decided to attack Montrichard castle which Fulk had built on an eminence over the River Cher.  This was actually on the land of Gelduin in the vills of Reabblus Nobilis and Nanteuil which had been laid waste by Fulk.  Fulk had made Lord Roger Diaboler of Montresor custodian of Montrichard and he had to face Count Odo's advance from Blois.  However, Fulk allied with Count Herbert of Le Mans and their joint forces beat Odo at the new Pontlevoy castle.

The site was fought over by William Rufus at the end of the eleventh century and eventually fell to Hugh Ambroise in 1109.  The castle then became a family fortress for the Ambroises.  It was attacked unsuccessfully by Philip Augustus in 1188 and witnessed the presence of King Richard on 27 June 1190.  The Black Prince (d.1376) failed to take the castle during the Hundred Years' War.  King Louis XI (d.1483) attacked it with artillery and then exchanged it with William Harcourt whose ancestors had married Perenelle Amboise, the last of her line.  Louis chose the church of the Holy Cross beneath the castle to celebrate the marriage of his 2 daughters, Anne in 1474 and Joan in 1476.  The castle was dismantled in 1589.

The castle consists of yet another early hall some 50' square.  Again this was raised in height to be a 65' high keep.  The thickened base of the tower has walls up to 18' thick and again has Romanesque internal fittings and fixtures, just like Loches.  This keep was surrounded by an irregular polygonal shell keep which is much destroyed to the south.  To the west was a large outer ward, all of the twelfth century, while a new set of lodgings with a round tower was built in the fifteenth century to the south.  Another ward, with a large round corner tower, was built to the west in the thirteenth century.

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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