About Chateau d’Ivry-la-Bataille
The Chateau d’Ivry-la-Bataille is a ruinous Norman castle in Normandy, France. It is among the earliest examples of a stone donjon or keep, which would become a common feature of later Norman castles in various parts of Europe. The construction of the castle dates to around 1000 AD.
Chateau d’Ivry-la-Bataille history
It was built in the 10th century, then enlarged and reinforced during the following centuries. Overlooking the valley of the Eure, it is considered one of the first stone castles in Normandy.
Chateau d’Ivry-la-Bataille has marked similarities with later Norman castle keeps in Normandy, notably Avranches in France and Colchester Castle and the White Tower at the Tower of London in England. It has been suggested that Ivry was the model for these buildings.
Its border position between the Duchy of Normandy and the Kingdom of France made it the stake of many battles.
The castle was besieged by the English in 1424 and the castle eventually capitulated but the victors decided not to maintain a garrison there. The fortress was instead destroyed so that it could not be used by the French.
The abandoned site was occasionally used as a quarry before being the object of excavations in the 1960s. These have made it possible to unearth, enhance and enhance the ruins, which are now protected as historical monuments.
Chateau d’Ivry-la-Bataille today
Today only ruins now remain. The ruins can be viewed as part of a scenic walk overlooking the valley of the River Eure. It is an official historical monument of France.
This small town is now best known for the archaeological excavations, resumed in 2007, in the fortified castle, the remains of which dominate the area. It is one of the oldest Norman stone fortresses built in the 10th century and one of the most powerful of its time.
Getting to Chateau d’Ivry-la-Bataille
Most visitors choose to travel by car, often from the ferry ports at Cherbourg or Caen on the coast.
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.