Tancarville Castle

Tancarville Castle, locally known as Château de Tancarville, lies south west of the city of Lillebonne, in the Seine-Maritime department in France.

Tancarville Castle was first built during the 11th century by the Tancarville family, a Norman family from Viking descent, who were chamberlains of the Dukes of Normandy. It was built on a cliff overlooking the river Seine. It was mentioned for the first time shortly after 1100. Later during the 12th century extra walls and towers were added.

In 1316, Jeanne de Tancarville, sole heir of the castle, married Jean II de Melun who then became the Count of Tancarville. In 1417 the castle and county went to the Harcourt family by marriage.

In 1418, during the Hundred Years' War, Normandy, and thus Tancarville Castle, was conquered by Henry V of England. He then granted the title of 'Earl of Tankerville' to John Grey, one of his knights, for rendered services during the conquest. This led to the situation that there was simultaneously an English Earl of Tankerville and a French Count of Tancarville from the Harcourt family. The Harcourt family recovered their castle later during the 15th century after the English departed in 1453.

In the late 15th century Tancarville Castle went to the Dukes of Longueville by inheritance. In 1526, Léonor d'Orléans, Duke of Longueville, opened up his castle to Protestant soldiers. This led to a siege of the castle by the troops of Charles IX of France. This siege was however lifted due to fierce resistance and the threat of an imminent arrival of Huguenot troops.

In the late 17th century the castle went to the Count of Evreux; Antoine Crozat, Marquis du Châtel. In the early 18th century he had a new château built inside the old castle walls. Then it was sold to the Scottish economist John Law. He had plans to turn the castle into a factory but these plans were not carried out. After a couple of years he sold it to the Duke of Luxembourg. His descendants owned the castle up until the French Revolution.

During the French Revolution the castle was confiscated, looted and partly burned. The French State then vainly tried to auction off the castle and in 1804 donated the castle to the Hospices de Le Havre. In 1825, Charles X of France returned the castle to the descendants of the Duke of Luxembourg. By that time the castle was rented out as the lodging of a steward of the surrounding wood.

During the 1960's Tancarville Castle served as a holiday home for local youth. At some point after that it was abandoned.

At present Tancarville Castle can not be visited. Too bad, a beautiful castle. I was lucky enough to get in when a local school was organising a summer fest there and they allowed me entrance. The medieval parts of the castle were in ruins and the 18th century château was dilapidated. I read that there are plans to restore the castle.


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Tancarville Castle

Tancarville Castle, locally known as Château de Tancarville, lies south west of the city of Lillebonne, in the Seine-Maritime department in France.

Tancarville Castle was first built during the 11th century by the Tancarville family, a Norman family from Viking descent, who were chamberlains of the Dukes of Normandy. It was built on a cliff overlooking the river Seine. It was mentioned for the first time shortly after 1100. Later during the 12th century extra walls and towers were added.

In 1316, Jeanne de Tancarville, sole heir of the castle, married Jean II de Melun who then became the Count of Tancarville. In 1417 the castle and county went to the Harcourt family by marriage.

In 1418, during the Hundred Years' War, Normandy, and thus Tancarville Castle, was conquered by Henry V of England. He then granted the title of 'Earl of Tankerville' to John Grey, one of his knights, for rendered services during the conquest. This led to the situation that there was simultaneously an English Earl of Tankerville and a French Count of Tancarville from the Harcourt family. The Harcourt family recovered their castle later during the 15th century after the English departed in 1453.

In the late 15th century Tancarville Castle went to the Dukes of Longueville by inheritance. In 1526, Léonor d'Orléans, Duke of Longueville, opened up his castle to Protestant soldiers. This led to a siege of the castle by the troops of Charles IX of France. This siege was however lifted due to fierce resistance and the threat of an imminent arrival of Huguenot troops.

In the late 17th century the castle went to the Count of Evreux; Antoine Crozat, Marquis du Châtel. In the early 18th century he had a new château built inside the old castle walls. Then it was sold to the Scottish economist John Law. He had plans to turn the castle into a factory but these plans were not carried out. After a couple of years he sold it to the Duke of Luxembourg. His descendants owned the castle up until the French Revolution.

During the French Revolution the castle was confiscated, looted and partly burned. The French State then vainly tried to auction off the castle and in 1804 donated the castle to the Hospices de Le Havre. In 1825, Charles X of France returned the castle to the descendants of the Duke of Luxembourg. By that time the castle was rented out as the lodging of a steward of the surrounding wood.

During the 1960's Tancarville Castle served as a holiday home for local youth. At some point after that it was abandoned.

At present Tancarville Castle can not be visited. Too bad, a beautiful castle. I was lucky enough to get in when a local school was organising a summer fest there and they allowed me entrance. The medieval parts of the castle were in ruins and the 18th century château was dilapidated. I read that there are plans to restore the castle.


Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://castles.nl/tancarville-castle#sigFreeIdf6775e0149