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A little history of Ballon keep

The keep | Mv287 / CC-BY-SA
Fortification Ballon keep

The keep is the only vestige of a huge fortress... A stronghold raised by Guillaume I "Talvas" de Bellême, in 1020, in order to control the area. Count of Maine, Herbert Eveille-Chien, and bishop of Le Mans Avesgaud (Guillaume’s brother), fought for the place.

A strategical place in the Middle-Ages, many times besieged! Occupied by William the Conqueror in 1064, Robert II de Bellême who reinforced the wall of the fortress, in 1098.

Finally, king of France Philip Augustus took Ballon and razed the castle...

It was re-raised later. Meanwhile, Arthus de Chaorces occupied it in 1356. Oh, not for long... the English besieged it in 1361!

Fortunately, at the end of Hundred Years War, the English were expelled, in 1449: Ballon was at that time completely ruined...

It was rebuilt between 1505 and 1509 by Jeannot d’Ynurse, a Burgundian squire who had just bought the ruin to René of Surgères (who owned the estate when the English left it).

Fell to several owners, the castle was abandoned and the keep nearly disappeared! They wanted to raze it, but finally the city owned it in 1914. Phew!

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!