Counts of Anjou raised a fortress in the 10th century. This one was demolished. The current one was put up in the 16th century, when Jean de Daillon, king Louis XI's friend, owned le Lude estate in 1457. So architect Jean Gendrot raised a quadrilateral flanked by 4 towers with machicolations, in 1458.
Then king of France François I raised the estate to a county for Jean III de Daillon, who rebuilt the Southern façade. In 1675, king Louis XIV raised the land to a duchy for Henri de Daillon... an estate which was considered as "the most considerable in France"! But Henri died childless...
So Le Lude fell to duke de Roquelaure then to duke de Rohan-Chabot. It was owned after that by the East India Company director, de Velaër, who gave it to his niece, marquise de Vieuville. The castle was altered by architect Barré in 1787, when he raised the Eastern façade. This Parisian architect put up some nice castles in the 18th century, as for instance Montgeoffroy (Anjou), Le Marais and Méréville (Ile-de-France).
Well, several architectural styles cohabit here! Let's sum up: the Northern wing, raised in the 15th century for Jean de Saillon, the southern Renaissance façade, with two big towers and the Eastern façade built in the 18th century. In a word, Le Lude fell to the Talhouët, then by marriage to the Nicolay. Gardens were altered between 1881 and 1883 by French landscaper Edouard André.