Liste des sites du Bocage Normand

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(canton of Vire, Calvados)


    The keep was probably built in 1123 by Henry I, Duke of Normandy and King of England. It was one of the main residences of King John. Located on the summit of a rocky promontory, at the foot of which flows the Vire, it was only accessible from the town side, where it was protected by ditches and two walls, one built in the 14th century and the other at the end of the 16th century. The keep is now in ruins. Its demolition was ordered in 1630 by Cardinal Richelieu and only retains its west face and half of the south wall. The keep has a square ground plan which measures 14 x 14m with walls of sandstone, 2.30m thick. The corners were each reinforced by flat buttresses. On the inside, a ground floor without openings was succeeded by three further floors. A north – south structural wall divided the interior space vertically. The original crenellated parapet gave way in the 14th century to machicolations.


- Beck, Bernard. - Châteaux forts de Normandie, Rennes : éditions Ouest-France, 1986, p.142-143
- Chatelain, André. - Donjons romans des pays d’ouest, Editions A. et J. Picard, Paris, 1973, p. 120-121