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The Bridore Castle in the history of France

The Bridore Castle is a former fortified castle which stands in the French town of Bridore, in the department of Indre et Loire, in the region Centre-Loire Valley.

The Bridore Castle is a medieval military fortress (XIV–XV century), with a defense device in unique condition France (four caponiers), steam baths, of the latrines on all floors, a stone system of sewage disposal, of the ovens, of the ditches, a system of food preservation and a dungeon top of 30 meters


In 1590, the castle is lined with false braies on which come to stick in the ditch the four caponiers, which are visible only at the top of the counterscarp.

The origins

Bridoré  is a municipality in the canton and district of Loches, located 14 km from Loches and 54 km from Tours. The town was formerly part of the canton of Grand-Pressigny.

The Bridoré civil status registers begin in 1020. 
In the VIth century it is supposed that there was a monastery in Cerçay, or Saint-Martin de Cerçay (which today is part of the parish of Bridoré).

The inhabitants of Oizay, of Saint-Martin de Cerçay and of the Saint-Hippolyte Chapel, owed le guet and the guard to the castle. The fiefs of Rigny, Villedomain, Mardelle and Rouvray,  were under Bridoré.

In the 10th and 11th centuries, the lords of Bridoré  owned the fief of Rangé, which belonged to  the archbishop of Tours.

The Lord of Bridoré was required to attend the coronation of the Archbishop of Tours.  During this ceremony, he was to fulfill the functions of bailiff near the prelate and serve him water. He received, for this duty, the silver ewer he had used.

From 1200
The first lords

In the first half of the 13th century, Josbert I of Sainte-Maure, Pressigny and Nouâtre, husband of Agnès de Vendôme, is Lord of Bridoré, and after him their youngest son Marshal Renaud I of Precigny, died in 1270 in Tunisia during the eighth crusade.

The latter's great-granddaughter, Marguerite de Precigny (daughter of Renaud III, son of Renaud II, himself son of Marshal Renaud), and her husband Godemar I of Linières, widower of Agnès de Sancerre who died in 1340, became lords of Bridore.

one of their children, Florie de Linieres, died in 1406, transmitted Bridore to her first husband, Jean 1st le Meingre, the 1st Marshal Boucicaut  (died in 1368) then temporarily to her second husband, the knight Maurice Mauvinet, died around 1375.

Château de Bridoré sous les Boucicaut

1346 - 1475

Bridoré under the reign ofes Boucicaut

​ This fortress was rebuilt under Charles V the Wise, as was the Saint-Roch chapel, which became a parish church, for the Marshal of France Jean I Le Meingre called Boucicaut (1310-1368).


Its history is the cradle of thefrench historyand that of the100 years war.

Jean I Le Meingre say Boucicaut took part in the battle of Crécy in 1346, he was to write part of the negotiation of the Treaty of Brétigny in 1360 (Marshal of France in 1356 under Jean II le Bon), he was the brother-in-arms of du GUESCLIN in the war against the King of NAVARRA.

Then his son Jean II Le Meingre called Boucicaut (1366-1421) count of BEAUFORT, viscount of TURENNE, lord of BOURDAISIERE also Marshal of France at the age of 25 (knight at 17).

He was raised at the court of Loches during the reign of Charles V. 

He married by order of King Charles V, Antoinette de TURENNE against the advice of Pope Clement VII. He participated in the battle of NICOPOLIS against the OTTOMAN army of BAJAZET. He is governor of Genoa, high constable of the emperor and of the empire of CONSTANTINOPLE.

In 1415, he took part in the battle of Agincourt against the English under HENRY V. His only son Jean died on the battlefield as well as a large part of the French knights and he was taken prisoner and died 6 years later in captivity in England.

Bridoré then passes to the younger brother of Jean II le Meingre called BOUCICAUT II, Godefroy, Lord of Bridoré, ELABLEAUX, LUC, ROQUEBRUNE and BULBONE, King's Chamberlain and Governor of Dauphiné.
He married Isabeau de POITIER in 1410, their 2 sons: Jean and Louis Le Meingre (son of his second wife Isabeau daughter of Louis de Poitiers-Valentinois-Saint-Vallier; co-lords of Bridoré, cited in 1463; both died without posterity).
In 1430, Charles VII was crowned king in REIMS thanks to Joan of ARC who went to Bridoré.  King Charles VII stayed in 1454 for a time at the Château de Bridoré.
Louis Le Meingre will sell the Bridoré estate to Imbert de BASTARNAY in 1475.

Château de Bridoré sous Imbert de Batarnay

1475 - 1614
Bridoré under Imbert de Batarnay

The dolphin Louis XI great hunter sees a young man of 17 years hunting a falcon with great skill. This meeting will decide the future ofImbert de Batarnay(1438 - 1523):  Imbert de Batarnay, Count of Fezensac, Baron of Bouchage and Authun, Lord of Montrésor, of Moulins en Berry, Ambassador to Spain and Chamberlain of King Louis XI buysBridoreat the end of the100 year wars.

He will be an advisor to Kings Louis XI, Charles VIII, Louis XII and François 1er. 

Imbert de Batarnay bought the seigniory of Bridoré in 1475 from Louis Le Meingre. He raised the keep which thus reached thirty meters and covered it with a frame with watchtowers. He had the barnyard built. 

In 1463, he married Georgette de Monchenu in the presence of King Louis XI. From this union is born Jeanne who marries Jean de Poitiers, their daughter Diane de Poitiers will become the favorite of Henri II. 

King Louis XII and Queen Anne of Brittany had a daughter in 1499, Princess Claude of France, who was entrusted to the governance of Georgette de Batarnay. 

Charles VIII sends him as an embassy to Milan, Germany, Spain, and will become governor of the daughters of François 1er. Charles VIII stays in Bridoré in 1489 and François 1er resides for a few days in 1521.

Imbert de Batarnay, owner of an immense fortune, enlarged the Château de Bridoré, which became one of the most important fortresses in the region. He lends money to François 1er. 

He will serve 5 kings and will be chamberlain of Louis XI, Charles VIII, Louis XII, and François 1er.

His son François de Batarnay, maternal uncle of Diane de Poitiers and husband of Françoise de Maillé the Young Lady of Rillé, was the father of René de Batarnay (1513-1580). 

The grandson of Imbert de Batarnay, René de Batarnay, count of Bouchage, baron of Authun, lord of Bridoré, of Montrésor, governor of Mont Saint Michel married Isabeau of Savoie in 1530. 

It is René de Batarnay who will develop the prototype of the defense buried within Bridoré in 1590. This unique fortification called caponniere will inspire the Marquis de Vauban in the 18th century to build fortifications in France.

René is the father of Gabrielle de Batarnay (1546-1570), she married Gaspard de La Châtre de Nançay (1539-1576) in 1570, hence Henri de La Châtre, 1st Count of Nançay in 1609/1610, father of Edme de La Châtre, died in 1645, who sold the lordship of Bridoré in April/May 1641 to Charles de Boursault, lord of Viantais and Voise, who died in 1653.

Château de Bridoré à partir de 1641

Bridoré Castle from 1641

In 1641, Charles de Boursault, Marquis de Viantais, Lord of Villecuit, La Roche, Boissemé erects the land of Bridoré as a marquisate. Anne Louise de Viantais maid of honor to the Princess of Conti owns Bridoré.


Catherine-Angélique and Marie-Thérèse, daughters of the marquis, founded in 1643 a monastery of regular canonesses of the order of Saint Martin in Beaulieu Les Loches (the convent of the viantaises), one of the largest convents in France with 200 nuns. The Château de Bridoré and its lands become the property of the convent.


Charles's son, Pierre de Boursault (1624-1704), field marshal, inherited from Bridoré, then his own daughter Anne-Louise, who sold the estate on April 10, 1717 to the Viantais nuns of Beaulieu, founded by the sisters of Pierre: Catherine-Angélique (1619-1712 ) and Renée-Thérèse de Boursault (1626-1714).

Château de Bridoré aujourd'hui

The Château de Bridoré today

Sold as national property to theRevolution, it remains in the same family until today.


theBridore Castleis classified ashistorical monumentsby decree of January 19, 1911, restored by the paintersSimone Lefevre(1913-1983) andPierre Mouveau(1905-2004), then by one of their sons,Vincent Mouveau(1943-1993). 


Since Vincent's death, he's been his son, Pierre-Alexandre Mouveau, which maintains and ensures the conservation and restoration of this site. He also carried out a major renovation project in 2021.

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