Year of visit
  • 2020

Location

Address: Near a dirt road east of the D-109 road, Noyers-sur-Serein, France

Website

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Noyers Castle

Château de Noyers

Noyers Castle, locally known as Château de Noyers, lies on the mountain above the town of Noyers-sur-Serein (a.k.a. Noyers) in the Yonne department in France.

Noyers Castle was first mentioned in 1077. It was built on a rocky ridge overlooking the village in a bend in the Serein river by the Lords of Noyers, probably between 1047 and 1065, and at that time consisted of just a large square keep and a chapel.

Almost a century later, Clarembaud de Noyers added an enclosure round the keep, before accompanying King Philip II (Philippe Auguste) on the Third Crusade where he died. His brother Hugues de Noyers, Bishop of Auxerre, between 1196 and 1206, turned the castle into large and strong fortress by building a triple enclosure with lots of towers, underground passages, dry moats, a manor house and chapel. He also built a wall around the village. After these works were finished Noyers Castle was described as being one of the finest castles in France.

By 1216 the castle was owned by Miles VII de Noyers. During the Champagne War of Succession, Miles then let his brother-in-law, Érard of Brienne, Lord of Ramerupt and pretender to the County of Champagne, hide out in his castle. Because of this the castle was unsuccessfully besieged for several months by Blanche of Navarre, Countess of Champagne.

At the end of the 13th century Miles X de Noyers yielded his lordship to the Duke of Burgundy, Robert II. During the Hundred Years' War, in 1360, the castle was taken by the roaming English troops of Edward III of England. Miles XII took back Noyers in 1362 and later entertained Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, in his castle several times. When Miles died in 1370 the castle passed to the Counts of Joigny.

In 1419 Noyers Castle was bought by Margaret of Bavaria, Duchess consort of Burgundy. Due to war acts during the Hundred Years' War and lack of maintenance the castle was in a dilapidated state so, until 1429, major restoration work was undertaken. During the Armagnac-Burgundian Civil War, Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, made the castle his headquarters in 1433. A year later the castle withstood a siege. In 1463 the castle withstood yet another siege, this time by the troops of Louis XI of France. In 1477 the castle passed to Charles I of Amboise, Count of Brienne, after the collapse of the Burgundian State. It passed to the House of Austria in 1493.

During the first half of the 16th century the castle had several owners. By the 1560's it was owned by Louis de Bourbon, Prince of Condé. During the 2nd French War of Religion, in 1568, Louis, a Protestant, had at first sought refuge in Noyers Castle and reinforced it together with the village. Later that year the Count of Tavannes took Noyers, with the use of artillery, and ransacked the castle. It was retaken by Protestant troops quickly after only to be taken again by French troops who then strengthened its defenses. Later the French garrison abandoned the castle due to an outbreak of the plague and a force of Huguenots moved in. The French king Charles IX then had enough of it; he had a royal army move to Noyers, take it and ruin it.

In 1590 war had started again and Noyers Castle was taken and retaken several times, sometimes by force and sometimes by a ruse or treachery, by royalist forces or troops of the Catholic League of France until 1599. Then Henry IV of France ordered the castle to be razed so it could never be used to oppose royal power ever again. This was carried out around 1610 and the castle remained a ruin.

Despite the destruction of 1610, by the 1780's there were still several towers and large portions of walls standing. The House of Luynes, which by then held the title of Lords of Noyers, sold the ruined castle to the municipality around 1789. The ruins were then torn down to build a wall next to the river to create jobs for the poorest villagers.

The scarce remains of Noyers Castle are now in the care of an association of volunteers who try to restore some parts. What remains of the castle today are mainly a couple of ruined towers and bases of the middle enclosure. The rest of the castle terrain is very much overgrown and only shows ground marks.

At present the site is freely accessible but sadly enough there is not much to be seen. A sad end for what once must have been a mighty castle.


Gallery

Year of visit
  • 2020

Location

Address: Near a dirt road east of the D-109 road, Noyers-sur-Serein, France

Website

Year of visit
  • 2020

Location

Address: Near a dirt road east of the D-109 road, Noyers-sur-Serein, France

Website

previousnext

Noyers Castle

Château de Noyers

Noyers Castle, locally known as Château de Noyers, lies on the mountain above the town of Noyers-sur-Serein (a.k.a. Noyers) in the Yonne department in France.

Noyers Castle was first mentioned in 1077. It was built on a rocky ridge overlooking the village in a bend in the Serein river by the Lords of Noyers, probably between 1047 and 1065, and at that time consisted of just a large square keep and a chapel.

Almost a century later, Clarembaud de Noyers added an enclosure round the keep, before accompanying King Philip II (Philippe Auguste) on the Third Crusade where he died. His brother Hugues de Noyers, Bishop of Auxerre, between 1196 and 1206, turned the castle into large and strong fortress by building a triple enclosure with lots of towers, underground passages, dry moats, a manor house and chapel. He also built a wall around the village. After these works were finished Noyers Castle was described as being one of the finest castles in France.

By 1216 the castle was owned by Miles VII de Noyers. During the Champagne War of Succession, Miles then let his brother-in-law, Érard of Brienne, Lord of Ramerupt and pretender to the County of Champagne, hide out in his castle. Because of this the castle was unsuccessfully besieged for several months by Blanche of Navarre, Countess of Champagne.

At the end of the 13th century Miles X de Noyers yielded his lordship to the Duke of Burgundy, Robert II. During the Hundred Years' War, in 1360, the castle was taken by the roaming English troops of Edward III of England. Miles XII took back Noyers in 1362 and later entertained Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, in his castle several times. When Miles died in 1370 the castle passed to the Counts of Joigny.

In 1419 Noyers Castle was bought by Margaret of Bavaria, Duchess consort of Burgundy. Due to war acts during the Hundred Years' War and lack of maintenance the castle was in a dilapidated state so, until 1429, major restoration work was undertaken. During the Armagnac-Burgundian Civil War, Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, made the castle his headquarters in 1433. A year later the castle withstood a siege. In 1463 the castle withstood yet another siege, this time by the troops of Louis XI of France. In 1477 the castle passed to Charles I of Amboise, Count of Brienne, after the collapse of the Burgundian State. It passed to the House of Austria in 1493.

During the first half of the 16th century the castle had several owners. By the 1560's it was owned by Louis de Bourbon, Prince of Condé. During the 2nd French War of Religion, in 1568, Louis, a Protestant, had at first sought refuge in Noyers Castle and reinforced it together with the village. Later that year the Count of Tavannes took Noyers, with the use of artillery, and ransacked the castle. It was retaken by Protestant troops quickly after only to be taken again by French troops who then strengthened its defenses. Later the French garrison abandoned the castle due to an outbreak of the plague and a force of Huguenots moved in. The French king Charles IX then had enough of it; he had a royal army move to Noyers, take it and ruin it.

In 1590 war had started again and Noyers Castle was taken and retaken several times, sometimes by force and sometimes by a ruse or treachery, by royalist forces or troops of the Catholic League of France until 1599. Then Henry IV of France ordered the castle to be razed so it could never be used to oppose royal power ever again. This was carried out around 1610 and the castle remained a ruin.

Despite the destruction of 1610, by the 1780's there were still several towers and large portions of walls standing. The House of Luynes, which by then held the title of Lords of Noyers, sold the ruined castle to the municipality around 1789. The ruins were then torn down to build a wall next to the river to create jobs for the poorest villagers.

The scarce remains of Noyers Castle are now in the care of an association of volunteers who try to restore some parts. What remains of the castle today are mainly a couple of ruined towers and bases of the middle enclosure. The rest of the castle terrain is very much overgrown and only shows ground marks.

At present the site is freely accessible but sadly enough there is not much to be seen. A sad end for what once must have been a mighty castle.


Gallery

Year of visit
  • 2020

Location

Address: Near a dirt road east of the D-109 road, Noyers-sur-Serein, France

Website