About Bonneval Castle
The Château de Bonneval is a castle in the commune of Coussac-Bonneval in the Haute-Vienne département of France. The castle is notable for having been home to the aristocratic de Bonneval family since its construction. Bonneval Castle has been listed since 1960 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
Bonneval Castle history
A fortress has existed at Bonneval since at least 930 AD, as is shown by a stone bearing that date in the masonry of the entrance tower. Yet the castle in its present state dates from the 14th century, probably constructed by Jean I, seigneur of Bonneval. The castle was built on an elevated position in the village centre, commanding views in all directions and protecting access to Aquitaine.
Bonneval Castle underwent modifications in the 18th and 19th centuries; the southwest façade between the two corner towers dates to 1780. The castle underwent a restoration in 1771–72 under the direction of the architect Broussaud, and another in 1900, in the Renaissance courtyard.
Bonneval Castle today
Bonneval Castle continues to stand on a quadrangular plan, boasting corner towers with medieval machicolations and pepper-pot roofs. The château is furnished with pieces from between the Renaissance and Directoire periods. Among its furnishings are tapestries from Aubusson and Fontainebleau.
Today the castle is privately owned, however, guided tours of the Château de Bonneval are available from late-June to mid-September and on various dates in May. These tours can be done in English or French. Afterwards, you can wander around the pretty grounds or explore the small gift shop.
Getting to Bonneval Castle
Located just off the D901 in the small town of Coussac-Bonneval, Bonneval Castle is between Limoges and Brive-ala-Gaillarde – a 55 minute drive to Limoges airport. Alternately, from the Coussac-Bonneval train station just outside the town you can get to nearby Saint-Yrieix and Limoges.