Harcourt Castle

Harcourt Castle, locally known as Château d'Harcourt, lies north of the village of the same name, in the Eure department in France.

Harcourt Castle was built as a stone keep during the second half of the 12th century by Robert II d'Harcourt, a companion of Richard I of England "the Lionheart" during the Third Crusade. Before that it probably consisted of a wooden motte-and-bailey castle.

In the 13th century the keep was incorporated into a stone polygonal inner castle. Also the defenses of the outer bailey were rebuilt in stone; a more-or-less circular curtain wall with 9 round towers. It was circled by a dry moat. Later that century, Jean II d'Harcourt was Marshal of France and accommodated Philip III of France in the castle.

Life at Harcourt Castle seems to have passed relatively peacefully as it only became of military importance during the Hundred Years' War, in the 14th and 15th centuries. Before that war the gate house was built. During the war, in 1418, the castle was taken by the English. It was taken back in 1449 by the Counts of Dunois, Eu and Saint-Pol. After the war the castle was returned to the Rieux family.

In the second half of the 16th century the castle went to the Dukes of Guise. During the French Wars of Religion they strengthened the castle and in 1588 garrisoned it with troops from the Catholic League.

During the 17th century the castle lost its military purpose and was rebuilt by Françoise de Brancas, wife of the Count of Harcourt, into a more comfortable residence. For this she had 3 sides of the inner castle demolished to let more light into her apartments. She also had large windows installed and the interior layout revised. Also the keep was leveled so it fitted more with the remaining buildings.

During the 18th century fell into disrepair. In 1802 the abandoned and overgrown castle was acquired by a Louis Gervais Delamarre for the purpose of creating an arboretum.

At present Harcourt Castle can be visited for a fee. A very nice castle.


Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://castles.nl/harcourt-castle#sigFreeIdd685d0b111

Harcourt Castle

Harcourt Castle, locally known as Château d'Harcourt, lies north of the village of the same name, in the Eure department in France.

Harcourt Castle was built as a stone keep during the second half of the 12th century by Robert II d'Harcourt, a companion of Richard I of England "the Lionheart" during the Third Crusade. Before that it probably consisted of a wooden motte-and-bailey castle.

In the 13th century the keep was incorporated into a stone polygonal inner castle. Also the defenses of the outer bailey were rebuilt in stone; a more-or-less circular curtain wall with 9 round towers. It was circled by a dry moat. Later that century, Jean II d'Harcourt was Marshal of France and accommodated Philip III of France in the castle.

Life at Harcourt Castle seems to have passed relatively peacefully as it only became of military importance during the Hundred Years' War, in the 14th and 15th centuries. Before that war the gate house was built. During the war, in 1418, the castle was taken by the English. It was taken back in 1449 by the Counts of Dunois, Eu and Saint-Pol. After the war the castle was returned to the Rieux family.

In the second half of the 16th century the castle went to the Dukes of Guise. During the French Wars of Religion they strengthened the castle and in 1588 garrisoned it with troops from the Catholic League.

During the 17th century the castle lost its military purpose and was rebuilt by Françoise de Brancas, wife of the Count of Harcourt, into a more comfortable residence. For this she had 3 sides of the inner castle demolished to let more light into her apartments. She also had large windows installed and the interior layout revised. Also the keep was leveled so it fitted more with the remaining buildings.

During the 18th century fell into disrepair. In 1802 the abandoned and overgrown castle was acquired by a Louis Gervais Delamarre for the purpose of creating an arboretum.

At present Harcourt Castle can be visited for a fee. A very nice castle.


Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://castles.nl/harcourt-castle#sigFreeIdd685d0b111