CHâTEAU DE CHERVEUXA 15th century fortified castle
DescriptionFeudalism In the beginning this was just a simple feudal manor house but the Lusignan family transformed it into a fortress. They claimed Melusine as one of their ancestors, who was a fairy with the powers to build things. Half woman, half snake….. The house of Lusignan reached such a peak of power and influence in the early middle ages, that Guy Lusignan held the thrones of Cyprus and Jerusalem. In 1242 the fortress was left to Hugues XI de Lusignan and then given by him to his brother Alphonse, who was the Count of Poitou. It passed fairly soon into the hands of his descendents because Alphonse died in battle in Egypt, where he had accompanied the king on crusade. In 1303 the castle belonged to the Mello family then to the Craon family and later the Chalons family. It was seized by the English in 1363 in the reign of Edward III and given to William of Felton, who was the Attorney General of Poitou. After du Guesclins’ Spanish victory in 1369 and the routing of the English, the castle went back to a previous owner, Amaury de Craon and then passed to the family Trémoille. They sold Cherveux Castle in 1457 to Amaury d’Etissac who left it to Jean de Naydes who in turn bequeathed it to the family Chenin. Their daughter Louise Chenin married Robert Cunningham in May 1440. A scottish Captain of the King’s Guard, he fought against the English at Formigny alongside Arthur de Richemont, Lord of Parthenay. Cunningham had the finances to improve the castle and by 1470 it was restored and extended. Accused of treachery by Charles VII then rehabilitated by Louise XI he died in 1479. The Religious Wars Cherveux Castle was transferred as part of the marriage portion to the family Puyguyon and then to the St Gelais family. Louis de St Gelais, admiral of the Protestant fleet and one of the main leaders of the protestant movement in the region, seized Niort and was put in charge of the whole Poitou province. Later he was named Lieutenant General by Henry IV. During this period Cherveux castle suffered a fair bit of damage. After Louis’ death his son Josué de St Gelais became the lord of Cherveux. In 1620 he donated a garden to the Reformed Church so that a temple could be built. After all these troubles, his son Charles, when he became lord, converted to Catholicism and forbade protestant worship at Cherveux. The Plessis-Chatillon family took over from St Gelais, and then in the 18th Century the Narbonne Pelet family. The Revolution The Count and Countess of Narbonne Pelet died on the guillotine, all their possessions were confiscated and sold for the profit of the state. The records were burnt and their coats of arms defaced. The only reason the castle wasn’t razed to the ground was because the locals needed to use the moat to water their animals, and do their washing. Later it was sold to Mr Pierre Alloneau, the village Mayor, who, after an argument with his Assistant Mayor, denied access to the courtyard. The local people went to Court over their right of access to the water, but after 15 years of deliberation the Court decided in favour of the Mayor. This gentleman had two of the towers, some of the upper floors and the ramparts demolished in 1886. His descendants (family Clouzot Meynier) kept the building until 1931 when they sold it to Mr and Mrs Lucien Redien whose family had been farming the land around it since 1912. The castle was made an historic monument on 16th September 1929 and is today still in the hands of the Redien family.
Where to find us and what to do near by ?
2 Place de l'Église, 79410 Cherveux, 79410 Cherveux
|Groupe tour for more than 10 people||6€/adults 3€/children|
Ouvert au public les samedis et dimanches de 15H00 à 18H00 d'avril à octobre Possibilité de visite en semaine (pour les groupes uniquement)