A little history of Harcourt castle

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The castle - ©Tango7174 / CC-BY-SA The castle - ©Tango7174 / CC-BY-SA
Harcourt castle Castle

Lost in the middle of the forest, surrounding by vast moats, it's a real medieval fortress, with drawbridge, big walls, strong abutments! Robert I d'Harcourt raised a first castle in the 11th century, later transformed by Robert II, king Richard Lionheart's comrade in arms.

After Normandy was annexed by France in the 13th century, here was the Hundred Years War: Jean V d'Harcourt decided to support king Charles le Mauvais ("the Bad") and king of England Edward III. Very bad choice... they hanged him in 1356 and his castle was seized. His son Jean VI get his lands back and was allowed to rebuild the castle in 1360.

The new building site dates back to the 17th century: Françoise de Brancas, countess d'Harcourt, transformed façades into Classical fronts and laid out terraces. Louis-Gervais Delamarre owned Harcourt in 1802: the estate needed a restoration! The new owner transformed a part of the park into a landscaped garden then gave his estate in 1827 to the French Farming Academy.