A historical hotspot

Located between the city of Le Mans and that of Chartres, at the border of the Departments of Eure- et-Loir, Loir et Cher and Sarthe, Montmirail stands as a picturesque village which is home to its eponymous castle, a quite rightly exceptional site in many respects. This 15th century castle stands out indeed for its unobstructed view over the Sarthe Perche country which it overlooks from an altitude of more than 200 m. Its outstanding architecture reflects many periods, from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance period, the 17th and 18th centuries.

Dated as a roman site in the antiquity, then built as a simple wooden tower in the 5th century. The wooden structure edifice evolved over the years to eventually disappear and make place to the famous U shaped castle which struts over a central courtyard.

This medieval fortress now stands in contrast with the 18th century castle, the latter being a fully fledged dwelling where major historical figures resided.

Archevêque de Canterburry
Louis VII Roi de France
Princesse de Conti

A few key dates

Ending into the possession of the Gouët family through a donation from the Bishop of Chartres in the 9th century, the castle has remained the property of this family over a period of nearly 600 years as it was passed down from one generation to the next. It was also under the Gouëts’ time that the castle hosted a famous meeting on the 6th of january 1169 between Henry II Plantagenet, King of England and Louis VII the Young, King of France, in an attempt to reconcile the King of England with his Archbishop Thomas Becket then exiled in the kingdom of France following a disagreement over the religious governance in the United Kingdom.

From the 14th to the 15th century during the hundred year war, the castle fell in the hands of the English. In 1421 at the end of the war the castle was destroyed by the the King of France armies. A few years later Charles V of Anjou, Earl of Maine, rebuilt the defensive castle that stands today adding the magnificient vaulted arms room.

From then on the castle was handed over according to alliances until the Renaissance when it retrurned to Marie de Melun, wife of the famous Maréchal de La Palice, of his real name Jacques II of Chabannes.

Two centuries later in 1676, Louis Armand de Condé, Prince of Conti, bought the castle. At his death he bequeathed the castle to his wife, Marie-Anne of Bourbon who happened to be the daughter of King Louis XIV and Mademoiselle de la Vallière, the King’s first official mistress.

The Princess of Conti eventually sold the castle in 1719 to the Marquess of Neuilly further to having it fitted out with some splendid reception rooms boasting Regency style furniture and remarkable heritage woodwork panellings representing the Five Senses nowadays listed, all of which can be visited.

The castle has been remaining the property of the family of the Marquess of Neuilly for nearly three centuries to the present day, being handed over by women from one generation to the ne.

Les grandes figures historiques