The seigniorial dwelling was seemingly totally rebuilt in the course of the XIVth c., in place of former XIIIth c. buildings, which were demolished in the process.
The building comprises two storeys, the upper level being exclusively intended to the lords’ and their relatives, while the lower one was where armed men and servants would live and work. Both levels were divided into two separate areas, and a partition wall stood to the left of the central tower, on the pilaster. This explains why two doors (one of which was rather recently walled up) lead to the same tower. The second storey was covered with a ribbed vault which seems to have been only continued in the XVth c.
The lodging-house was built leaning against the curtain-walls of the northern front (we call curtain-wall a crenelated wall built between two towers). It only connected with the three towers on ground level. A wing to the east formed a L, following which two palace chapels were constructed one after the other (cf. page 9).
The building work started in the late XIVth c. wasn’t finished when Louis II died in 1410, and never were. A sign of this lies in the absence of lime render on the XIVth c. walls, when one can spot vestiges of render on XIIIth ones (in the North-West corner of the Old-Hall).
Look at the remains of the lime render in the north-western corner of the hall under a walled-up door that used to lead to the upper level.
Note the last foliage capital (XVth c.) at the base of the arches of the now ruined vaulted ceiling.
Seven metres above ground level, oak main beams were lodged into holes created between the stones; note the impressive corbels as reinforcement. The small corbels underneath supported wooden load struts; there might have been stone pavement covering the floor of the first storey, though it was also common to use black and red terra cotta floor tiles.
The two pairs of chimneys have twinned pipes for the lower ground and the upstairs chimneys.
Also note here and there « graffiti » engraved by some visitors (or prisoners) of the past who wanted to leave a trace of their visit.
© March 2023