Château de Merpins
Location: Merpins, in the Charente departement of France (Poitou-Charentes Region).
Built: 10th-13th century.
Condition: In good condition.
Ownership / Access: Privately owned.
ISMH Reference Number: PA00104421
Notes: Château de Merpins who was an important medieval fortress, there remains only the ruins of the town of Merpins in Charente. The rocky outcrop on which was built the castle has been occupied since the Neolithic. The site is located within 2 km of the old Roman road from Saintes to Périgueux, the Boisne path that passes the Frenade, and historians have long suspected that this was the location of the Condate step. In the tenth century the manor belonged to Merpins Taillefer counts of Angoulême. Merpins in 1179 was captured by the English and Richard the Lion Heart in 1180 gives to his bastard son of Philippe Falcombridge, married to Amélie de Cognac. Cognac and Merpins are not met for a long time, in 1204 he sold Merpins to John Lackland. His son Henry III will Merpins to Hugh X of Lusignan, Cognac lord of Isabella of Angoulême husband. Merpins in 1308 met the royal possessions but lost and retaken by the English in 1360 by the Treaty of Brétigny. This is after a siege of six led by Marshal of Sancerre that was taken in 1387. The king Charles VI ordered its destruction and ruins are sold. But the site still see combat, it will be occupied by Catholics and Protestants. This is the Duke of Mayenne that removes in 1577. The original fort was built in the ninth century. She, from the tenth century, was reinforced by stones and then between 1140 and 1150 were built the dungeon and the castle. After 1179 three towers are built by the British that build walls and dig a dry moat. Other fortification works date from the thirteenth century.
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