About Bricquebec Castle
Bricquebec Castle is a medieval fortress in the Manche département of France. Originally built in the 10th or 11th centuries the fortress was completely rebuilt in the 14th century and later altered in the 16th century. In 1418, King Henry V of England offered it to the Earl of Suffolk. It was returned in 1450 to Louis II of Estouteville.
Today certain parts of the castle have been renovated to operate as a hotel while the remains form scenic ruins. The castle is listed as a Monument historique since 1840 by the French Ministry of Culture.
Bricquebec Castle history
Tradition has it that the first castle at this site was built by a certain Anslech, of Scandinavian origin, who was related to the Duke of Normandy; William Long-Sword.
The castle was later owned by Robert I Bertran, who accompanied William the Conqueror in the conquest of England in 1066. His son, Robert II Bertran, is believed to have taken part in the taking of Jerusalem during the First Crusade in 1096.
The story goes that the Knights Templar founded a commandery in the castle in 1270. The castle’s architectural features are characteristic of the order.
Robert VII Bertran, who had risen to become Marshal of France, played an important role during the beginning of the Hundred Years’ War. Having obtained for his son the hand of a rich heiress, he provoked the wrath of another suitor, Godefroy d’Harcourt, Lord of St. Sauveur-le-Vicomte, who out of vengeance engaged in a private war against his rival.
Godefroy d’Harcourt was sentenced for his actions and took refuge at the English court and there incited King Edward III to invade Normandy. Robert VII Bertran, nicknamed “the Knight with the Green Lion”, attempted in vain to resist the English army which landed in St. Vaast-la-Hougue on the 12th of July 1346.
After the death of the last of the Bertrans, Bricquebec Castle passed to the Paisnel family through marriage. During the 14th century, the local population suffered plague and famines. The area was also the scene of multiple skirmishes between French, English and Navarrian troops. In 1418 the castle was occupied by the troops of King Henry V of England. Given to William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, then sold by him to captain Bertin Entwistle, the castle stayed under English rule until 1450. In 1452 Louis d’Estouteville took possession of the castle.
In the 16th century the barons of Bricquebec abandoned the castle in favour of their newer manors. In 1857 the castle was visited by Queen Victoria of England and in 1957 by Field Marshall Montgoméry.
Bricquebec Castle today
At present there is a hotel inside the castle. The keep, amongst other parts of the castle, can be visited during the summer months.
Getting to Bricquebec Castle
The city of Bricquebec is a small town located north west of France, in the department of Manche of the french region Basse-Normandie.
As one of the great historic regions of France, Normandy is bursting with a number of stunning castles with equally compelling histories to match. Here's our pick of 10 of the best.