Domfront Castle

Domfront Castle, locally known as Château de Domfront, lies in the town of the same name, in the Orne department in France.

Domfront Castle was founded around 1010-1020 by William of Bellême, probably as a wooden fortification at the end of a spur. In 1049 the castle, then owned by William I Talvas de Bellême, was successfully besieged by the Duke of Normandy; William the Conqueror.

Apparently the castle was returned to the Bellêmes for in 1094 the townspeople of Domfront revolted against their lord; Robert of Bellême, and shifted their loyalty to Henry Beauclerc, who would soon become Henry I of England. After his victory in the Battle of Tinchebray in 1106 Henry made Domfront one of the defenses of the borders of the Duchy of Normandy (like Avranches, Mortain and Vire) and had one of his typical quadrangular keeps erected here.

In 1196 Domfront was the private property of Henry II of England. Henry received the papal legates here who came to reconcile him with Thomas Becket. In 1204, when the castle was the private property of King John of England, it was taken by Philip II of France. Louis IX of France gave Domfront to the House of Artois in 1259. It was confiscated from Robert III of Artois in 1332.

In 1342 Domfront Castle was ceded to the Count of Alençon by Philip VI of France. In 1356 the count lost it after a siege by the troops of Charles II of Navarre, they then occupied the castle for the next 10 years after which it returned to the count.

During the winter of 1417-1418, the English commanded by the Duke of Clarence started a siege of Domfront. The French held out until July 1418. It was occupied by the English until 1450 when it was finally taken back by the French. During the revolt of the League of the Public Weal the castle was again fought over.

In 1574, the castle of Domfront, which served as a refuge for Gabriel de Lorges, 1st Earl of Montgomery, was successfully besieged by the royal troops of Marshal de Matignon.

Domfront Castle was finally slighted in 1610 on the orders of Maximilien de Béthune, Duke of Sully.

At present the remnant of Domfront Castle can freely be visited. Its grounds, separated from the town by a wide and deep ditch, are now a town park. A very interesting castle ruin in a nice medieval walled town. Worth your visit.


Gallery

Domfront Castle

Domfront Castle, locally known as Château de Domfront, lies in the town of the same name, in the Orne department in France.

Domfront Castle was founded around 1010-1020 by William of Bellême, probably as a wooden fortification at the end of a spur. In 1049 the castle, then owned by William I Talvas de Bellême, was successfully besieged by the Duke of Normandy; William the Conqueror.

Apparently the castle was returned to the Bellêmes for in 1094 the townspeople of Domfront revolted against their lord; Robert of Bellême, and shifted their loyalty to Henry Beauclerc, who would soon become Henry I of England. After his victory in the Battle of Tinchebray in 1106 Henry made Domfront one of the defenses of the borders of the Duchy of Normandy (like Avranches, Mortain and Vire) and had one of his typical quadrangular keeps erected here.

In 1196 Domfront was the private property of Henry II of England. Henry received the papal legates here who came to reconcile him with Thomas Becket. In 1204, when the castle was the private property of King John of England, it was taken by Philip II of France. Louis IX of France gave Domfront to the House of Artois in 1259. It was confiscated from Robert III of Artois in 1332.

In 1342 Domfront Castle was ceded to the Count of Alençon by Philip VI of France. In 1356 the count lost it after a siege by the troops of Charles II of Navarre, they then occupied the castle for the next 10 years after which it returned to the count.

During the winter of 1417-1418, the English commanded by the Duke of Clarence started a siege of Domfront. The French held out until July 1418. It was occupied by the English until 1450 when it was finally taken back by the French. During the revolt of the League of the Public Weal the castle was again fought over.

In 1574, the castle of Domfront, which served as a refuge for Gabriel de Lorges, 1st Earl of Montgomery, was successfully besieged by the royal troops of Marshal de Matignon.

Domfront Castle was finally slighted in 1610 on the orders of Maximilien de Béthune, Duke of Sully.

At present the remnant of Domfront Castle can freely be visited. Its grounds, separated from the town by a wide and deep ditch, are now a town park. A very interesting castle ruin in a nice medieval walled town. Worth your visit.


Gallery