About Chateau de Regneville
Chateau de Regnéville is a ruined medieval castle in Normandy, France. The fortress was founded in the 12th century and the major remains date from the 14th century.
Built at the edge of the Sienne river estuary, it was intended to protect the important dry harbour of Regnéville-sur-Mer, one of the most active of the Cotentin Peninsula from the Middle Ages until the 17th century.
Partly dismantled at the end of the Hundred Years’ War, it was much altered during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Chateau de Regneville history
Château de Regnéville or Regnéville Castle lies near the shore in the village of Regnéville-sur-Mer, in the Manche department in France. At the beginning of the 14th century the castle came into the possession of Charles ‘Le Mauvis’ (which translates to “The Bad”) King of Navarre. After the beginning of the Hundred Years’ War and the invasion of the Cotentin peninsula in 1346 by the King of England, Charles of Navarre sided with the English.
In 1364, Charles V ascended the throne of France. The bands of Charles the Bad, allied with the English, hold Normandy by leaning on innumerable castles. During this time Regneville underwent major work to strengthen its fortifications.
In 1378, the King of France decided to drive out Charles of Nevarre and destroyed 16 castles on the Cotentin peninsula. Regnéville Castle was preserved, amongst 5 others in order to keep these strategic places located at the “borders” with England armed.
In 1418 the English returned and Regnéville Castle was taken by the Duke of Gloucester. In 1420 the English garrison at Regnéville Castle consisted of around 50 men.
In 1425, a large operation was mounted by the English against the fortified abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel and part of the flotilla was assembled in the port of Regnéville.
In 1449, after a siege of six days 5, the fortress was taken back from the English by the constable of Richemont with the army of the Duke of Brittany. The fortress sustained heavy damage. The following year, in 1450, the English following the Battle of Formigny, between Isigny and Bayeux, were driven out of Normandy. The castle was restored shortly before the end of the Hundred Years War.
In 1626 Richelieu decided to dismantle the castle as it had no more function for the Kingdom. In 1642 the keep was filled with gunpowder and set to explode. The castle has remained a ruin ever since.
Chateau de Regneville today
Today the Chateau is owned by the government. Archaeological excavations and restoration work have been carried out over the years. In the summer visitors can enjoy bustling markets with live music in the courtyard.
Getting to Chateau de Regneville
Château de Régneville is very close to the Bourg de Regneville-Sur-Mer. The nearest train station is Coutances.
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.