Armentières Castle, locally known as Château d'Armentières, lies in a small valley next to the village of Armentières-sur-Ourcq, north of the town of Château-Thierry in the Aisne department in the Picardy region in France.
Armentières Castle was built in 1297 by the Knights of Armentières. After its construction several owners followed, amongst them a Gaucher d'Unchair in 1320. In 1326 the castle went to the Conflans family; a noble family from the Champagne region. They kept the castle for 120 years. In 1446 they sold it to Jean II Juvénal des Ursins, a notable French chronicler and historian, who was Bishop of Beauvais, Bishop of Laon and Archbishop of Reims. He made many improvements to the castle in the taste of the Renaissance.
His descendants owned Armentières Castle until 1560 went it returned to the Conflans family by marriage. From then on the Marquess de Conflans d'Armentières owned the castle. He also exercised his right to speak justice and a prison of ill repute was located in the castle. In 1620 the Marquess left and the castle was rented out. From then on the castle was used as a farm.
During the French Revolution Armentières Castle was confiscated. By auction it was then sold to a farmer; Madame Hutin.
Although its long use a farm spared it from destruction during the Revolution this also caused the main castle to be in bad maintenance and stones from the castle were used to pave roads and rebuild houses. The castle was badly damaged during World War I. It was used as a farm until 1975. Then the bailey with the functioning farm on it and the main castle were separated. The moats were filled in causing ground water problems at the present.
At present Armentières Castle is private property and can not be visited. Too bad because it looks great and I would love to take a look inside. There are restoration plans.