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Lords of Pirou's amazing epic tale in Sicily

Illustration picture | Public domain
Castle Hundred Years War Tancrède de Hauteville Pirou castle

The Holy Land in Normandy

In the heart of Contentin, near the sea, Pirou castle dates back to the 12th c.

We are now in front of the oldest Norman fortress! Do you feel that warlike past, this rough medieval life?

The castle was many time besieged, destroyed by Scandinavian invasions, then by the English during the Hundred Years War, then restored as time flew until the 18th c.

You know what? It seems its medieval architecture looks like fortresses raised in the Holy Land during Crusades!

The castle was in the past raised near a small harbour, a real bastion which protected city of Coutances: it was located on an island in middle of a pond!

We had 5 massive gates defending the fortress: 3 are still here.

When North meets South

In Pirou, there were powerful lords and brave knights!

First lords of the castle left for conquest of Southern Italy and Sicily, in the 11th c.

Unique knights, strong and brave. Knights who were known as Guillaume Bras-de-Fer, Robert Guiscard… all sons of Tancrède de Hauteville.

A mighty lord who handled the sword like no one: the legend says he killed a big boar with one single sword blow on the forehead!

One of his son stayed in Normandy while they were in Italy: Serlon, the elder son.

He stayed in Cotentin and get married. Pirou, with its 30 fiefs, became in the Middle-Ages one of the most powerful seigneury of the area!

In 1066, a lord of Pirou crossed the Channel to go to the battle of Hastings, with William the Illegitimate (future Conqueror)…

He’d stay here, with his descendants: we still can find nowadays the name of Stoke-Pero (Pirou) in Somerset!

About the the author

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