The castle of Bricquebec
As reveals the etymology of its name, the origins of Bricquebec (from the Scandinavian bekkr, streams, preceded by brekka, slope) relate to the epic of Viking invaders, very solidly implanted in Cotentin at the beginning of the 10th century.
Tradition attributes the Foundation of the castle to the Scandinavian Anslech, close to the Duke of Normandy, Guillaume Longsword.
The constitution of this great Barony was then part of a Ducal policy, to establish control of acquired territories of fresh date, through feudal. The Cotentin, semi-insulaire region attached later to the Duchy as the rest of Normandy (in 933) remain in effect long jealous of its independence.
Anslech would be following the long line of Bertran, succession of loyal Knights whose name is entered in each major chapter in the history of the Duchy. Robert Ier Bertran, said “the wrong” (“the lame”), is the largest barons that in 1066 accompany Guillaume the conqueror in the conquest of England. His son, Robert II, shall be deemed to have participated in 1096 to the capture of Jerusalem during the first crusade. Shortly after the annexation of Normandy by Philippe Auguste, in 1204, the Bertran paid tribute to the King for a fortnight of noble fiefs falling within their barony of Bricquebec.
Robert VII Bertran, elevated to the dignity of Maréchal de France, played an important role during the troubled period of the beginnings of the hundred years war. Having obtained for his son a rich hertitiere hand, he aroused the anger of a second suitor to this marriage, Geoffroy of Harcourt, Lord of Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte, who in revenge joined a war private against his rival. Convicted for these acts, Geoffroy of Harcourt took refuge at the Court of England binetot and are incited King Edouard III to gain a foothold in Cotentin. Robert Bertran, is nicknamed “the Knight of the Lion green”, tried in vain to resist the English army landed in Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue July 12, 1346.
Shortly after the death of the old Marshal, whose two sons died on the battlefield, extinguished a four hundred year old dynasty.
By marriage, the Castle and the barony of Bricquebec then pass the Paisnel family, who also owned the Château de Hambye. Delivered to the abuses of the soldiery, subjected to the ravages of the plague and famine and the Cotentin peninsula offer in the second half of the 14th century, the frame to multiple clashes between French, English and Nafarroa troops. A time subject to the King of Navarre, Bricquebec is quickly back into the french fold and provide King Charles V a valuable asset in its strategy of reconquest.
After a brief and fragile period of peace, the war resumed en1418. BRICQUEBEC is quickly occupied by the troops of King Henry V of England. Offered to William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, then resold by the latter to Captain Bertin Entwistle, the castle remains under English rule until 1450. When in 1452 Louis of Estouteville, valiant defender of the Mont-Saint-Michel, returned to take possession of the Castle, already announced the end of the middle age. At the beginning of the next century, the barons of Bricquebec will indeed abandon the ancient fortress of the Bertrán to settle in their new residence, the castle of Galleries, built following the precepts of the Italian Renaissance.
To visit in the castle:
- The motte
- the polygonal keep
- “the clock tower”
- the Tower of the chartrier
- the crypt
- the circular towers
- the medieval logis
- the Tower of the spine