L'Echelle Castle, locally known as Château de L'Echelle, lies in the center of a village with the same name, in the Ardennes department in France.
When L'Echelle Castle was exactly built is unknown. A first castle at this site was probably founded in the 13th century.
In the 15th century a band of Armagnacs, outlawed supporters of Charles, Duke of Orléans, during the Hundred Years' War, settled in L'Echelle Castle and ravaged the area.
In 1594, Antoine de La Marche des Contes became Lord of L'Echelle by his marriage to Anne de Maucourt. Antoine, Governor of Sedan between 1599 and 1640, rebuilt L'Echelle Castle and gave it its present appearance. In 1642 Spanish troops plundered the village and attacked the castle. The castle walls still bear traces of this attack.
In 1730 the castle was acquired by the Chapter of Reims and transformed into a farm. During the French Revolution it was confiscated and sold as Bien Nationaux to a local hatter, Simon Pottier. He ceded the castle to the local community. The castle then became the town hall, a school and lodging for the head teacher.
At present L'Echelle Castle is still property of the village and houses a small local history museum.
When I visited the museum didn't appear to have been opened recently. The castle was freely accessible with exception of its interior. A nice village castle.