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A little history of Martainville castle

The castle | Pline / CC-BY-SA
Castle Martainville castle

A Gothic castle...

The current castle, between Gothic and Renaissance style, dates back to the beginning of the 16th century. Originally, the land belonged to the abbey of Saint-Ouen (Rouen), who gave it to a man called Guillaume de Martainville, at the end of the 13th century.

But it was in 1481 that our story truly began, when Jacques Le Pelletier owned the land: he was born in a rich family from Rouen and he was deputy mayor of this town: so he needed a brand new castle, worthy of his social rank!

The building site began in 1485: an inscription carved on the stone, above a window, recalls the fact.

Soon, the brick main building flanked by round towers was raised. A very medieval plan, in fact! Jacques Le Pelletier, who went on the construction when his uncle died, softened this austere look by adding a High Gothic style corbelled window above the entrance door.

... converted into a Norman museum!

Oh, nowadays, the castle houses a museum of Norman Arts and Traditions.

In the ground floor, we have the hall, the kitchen and two living rooms. On the first floor, the chapel and bedrooms. On the second floor, the servant rooms.

Anyway, the Pelletier family soon became important: king even allowed them to add “Martainville” to their (too common) name, becoming Pelletier de Martainville!

In 1668, Louis de Martainville raised the detached houses surrounding the courtyard and refit out the apartments.

But in 1757, the family died out, childless... In 1906, French Nation bought the castle in order to create a museum.

About the the author

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