historic buildings for sale - seine-et-marne - Île-de-france

The ruins of an exceptional, listed, 13th century fortified castle
with a gatekeeper’s cottage, about 10 km from Provins
Provins, SEINE-ET-MARNE ile-de-france 77160 FR


On the borders of the French department of Seine-et-Marne, some 10 km from Provins, near several hamlets and in a forest. This “timeless” site is reached via a track.
The French capital is a little less than 100 km away.


A little background:
Montaiguillon fortress was probably constructed under Blanche-de-Navarre (1177 - 1229), regent for the Count of Champagne, whilst his son, Thibault IV, was underage.
In 1420, the castle experienced its first siege from the troops of Claude-de-Beauvoir-de-Chastelux on the orders of the Duke of Burgundy.
During the One Hundred Years War, Montaiguillon castle was besieged again for six months by the English Count of Salisbury 1 in 1423. It was defended at this time by Tugdual-de-Kermoysan and Prigent-VII-de-Coëtivy by order of the English Duke of Bedford (who claimed to be “regent of France”).
The 120 besieged soldiers from the Armagnac region inside the fortress were under the command of 3 captains: the lord of La-Bourbe, the lord of Cotigny and a man-at-arms named Bourghenon. The siege, regularly exacerbated by English attacks, was to last almost 6 months after which time the thirty or so survivors were reduced to eating their horses so that they did not die of hunger. They finally decided to surrender to the Count of Salisbury by promising that they would pay for their lives to be spared, for which Salisbury demanded the payment of 22,000 “saluts d’or” (gold coins). The besieged, with no other choice, accepted and left 4 hostages as security, until the sum demanded was paid in full. Once negotiations were completed, Salisbury ordered the demolition of the fortress.
The Anglo-Burgundy alliance was to prosper in the 1420’s until Joan-of-Arc providentially appeared on the political scene.

It is then possible that the fortified castle was used as a base by bands of ill-disciplined soldiers and other idle members of the military who only moved from there to rob honest travellers.

In 1613, Richelieu had Montaiguillon dismantled in order to make the fortress indefensible and to prevent rebellious captains from taking refuge there.

This fortress is currently in a state of ruin, but these large feudal ruins, still encircled by impressive walls, in the midst of a magnificent forest, are still just as fascinating.
Montaiguillon is a perfect example of medieval military architecture.
The castle ruins were classified as a French historic monument in 1875 and in 1971.

The ruins

This rectangular forecourt, spanning approx. 2,500 m², was closed on its three sides (south, north, west) by 7 m high walls, reinforced at regular intervals with buttresses. There was a well, 2 ovens and 2 storerooms. It was entered via carriage gates.
Currently, a gatekeeper’s cottage has been redone like-for-like, the interior of which awaits conversion.
The rectangular castle itself, spanning approx. 2,700 m², is surrounded by dry moats. It was flanked by nine towers that were probably interconnected via a curtain wall.
The entrance was flanked by twin towers whilst the corners were taken up by four partially engaged towers.
Two semi-circular towers reinforced the curtain walls with a pentagonal tower on the east side.
The roofs were covered with slate.
The quarters of the castle owner were no doubt in the north-west corner of the inner courtyard.
The unit formed by this dwelling, the north-west corner tower, complete with its water storage tank, and the neighbouring twin tower no doubt constituted the “defensive centre” of the keep.
The chapel on the north-east side features arched and vertical mullioned windows.
In the south-east corner, a gigantic water storage tower is supported by a clever construction of triangular arches.
A postern is in the east moat. Hypothetically, two others could have existed, one at the foot of the middle tower on the south side and, the other, at the foot of the middle tower on the north side.
The postern set at the foot of the entrance towers comprised an advanced work of two arches, resting on the one hand on the slope of the towers and, on the other hand, on the end of the stationary bridge.
The highly evolved character of this military architecture (watch-towers, a drawbridge, a postern under the drawbridge, a polygonal tower and the twin entrance towers) bears a resemblance to Villandraut or Coca (Spain) according to certain authors, whilst other historians compare it with Dourdan or the Louvre.

Our opinion

This is perhaps a unique occasion to purchase a listed ruin near to Paris for a very good price! The gatekeeper’s cottage, awaiting completion of its conversion, would make it possible to live in this eminently romantic, pastoral spot. The building will lend itself to visits by the general public and to the organisation of events.
The owner of this exceptional witness to the Middle-Ages would be able to take advantage of tax benefits linked to its French historic monument listing. A challenge that is well worth undertaking.

360 000 €
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur

Voir le Barème d'Honoraires

Reference 419949

Land registry surface area 10470 m2
Main building surface area 2700 m2

Regional representative
Seine & Marne

Corinne Angeli       +33 1 42 84 80 85



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NB: The above information is not only the result of our visit to the property; it is also based on information provided by the current owner. It is by no means comprehensive or strictly accurate especially where surface areas and construction dates are concerned. We cannot, therefore, be held liable for any misrepresentation.

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