Azay's first lord was Nicolas Turpin de Crissé, in 1250. At the end of the 13th century, Azay fell to Preuilly then by marriage to Pierre Frottier, king Charles VII's councillor. In 1496, the construction of the big tower flanked by machicolations began... The François I detached house was built between 1515 and 1524. Then Azay fell to Crevant lords in the 16th century.
Louis inherited the title of marquis d'Humières thanks to his wife, and raised the Humières wing in 1630. In parenthesis, this duke, also marshal of France, was a VIP at that time! He was 40 years old when in 1648, he distinguished himself during the Dunes battle against the Spanish. They said que sa présence ornait la Cour et tous les lieux où il se trouvait, "he dazzled everywhere he went"... Whoa!
Then the castle fell to the Breteuil family: a member added a Louis XIII's detached house to the right of the François I's wing. Then the Gallifet owned the estate in 1739, followed by marquis de Blainville in 1785 and Mr. Lecomte in 1791. In 1852, Azay was owned by the Luzarche, a blacksmith family, who kept it for one century.
The elder daughter of Alfred Luzarche (Azay-le-Ferron's mayor between 1881 and 1925) was called Marthe. She married the engineer Georges Hersent in 1896: for that special occasion, people gave them orange-trees, as a tradition. Marthe and Georges used to make a special sweet-smelling bitter orange cocktail! In the 20th century, gardens were relaid out.
In 1926, a new gallery was born, in order to link the medieval Frotier tower wing to the detached house... But Mrs. Hersent died childless in 1951: so she gave Azay to the city of Tours, who opened it to the public...