Another one in my series about medieval frontier chateaux in the Anglin Valley, the Chateau of Plaincourault sits opposite the extraordinary little painted chapel that we visited last year. [Chapelle de Plaincourault]
This former commandery of the Knights Hospitallers rises above the Anglin. The only artefact remaining from the time of the Hospitallers is a carved stone dated 1291 with the name of the commander Guy de Caveron. The castle of Plaincourault is composed of a high rectangular multi-storey dwelling, flanked by three towers. Two of them, of the same size, are attached to each corner of the facade overlooking the river, the other over the courtyard. Each tower is covered with a conical slate roof, topped with a finial. They are pierced by rectangular bays with simple transoms. The main building has only one decorative element on the façade: the entrance door, which dates from the 15th century. This is surmounted by a Gothic bracket that forms a pediment whose center is decorated with a carved motif that is slightly damaged. The facade overlooking the river is sober, and the two bays with mullioned windows on two levels are the only ornament.
A feudal castle was built on the estate of Plaincourault at the end of the 12th century to house the commandery of the Hospitallers of the Order of Malta. The commanders, in charge of collecting alms, succeeded one another until the French Revolution.
The castle, unoccupied from 1791 to 1850, gradually fell into ruin due to lack of maintenance. So much so that a new castle was rebuilt in 1872 on its foundations. It was bought by Emile Châtenet in 1898, and his family still own it today. It was restored in 1924 and subsequently fitted out for modern comfort.
The only other remnant of the feudal castle is a superb dovecote 10 meters high.
The castle is private property. The two rooms on the first floor, recently restored, can be hired for events, and the park can be used as a film location.
The chateau is currently on the market for around €725 000.
The photo above is taken from across the river. You can also get a good view of the chateau by standing in their front gateway, across the road from the chapel, but we didn't stop to photograph it on either occasion that we have driven past.