© La bâti en pierre du château de Regneville-sur-Mer | Département de la Manche

A building trandformed, destroyed and rebuilt throught the ages

A BUILDING TRANSFORMED, DESTORYED, AND REBUILT THROUGH THE AGES

The rampart to the south of the castle has witnessed numerous destructions and at least as many reconstructions, as shown by the traces on the walls. The stones were probably used as building materials to construct the castle, houses and the boundary walls in the fields close by.

The origin of the Regnéville castle stones

The building materials present in this wall are of local origin. Conglomerate or sandstone, the reddish stones may have been extracted from the moat of the castle. The blue-toned stone – the Montmartin limestone, was extracted a few hundred metres from the castle in the hillside. The granite, visible at the right angle of the wall may have come from the castle at Montchaton, as probably did the Caen stone, spread amongst the walls of the castle as stated by this passage from 1468 “…when this land – at Montchaton – had a good manor house, which by proclamation of the king was destroyed – in 1360 – at the request of the people, that the edifices of the said manor, such as the Caen stones and cut stones and other things be brought to the castle at Regnéville, belonging to our King…”

Construction methods

In order to build the walls, the masons used wooden posts which they pushed into these holes. The holes known as “boulins” were vertically spaced about a 1 metre apart. The wood posts supported planks which served as scaffolding. As for most old walls, two carefully constructed faces contained a centre part filled with small stones and earth. For the fortresses, this format is designed to withstand and limit the devastating effect of projectiles. The corners of the wall are fragile and so to reinforce them, the masonry is made up of long, solid and cut stones.

 

> Have some fun finding the places where the photographs of these details were taken on the wall in front of you. More difficult to find, look out for the Caen stone visible in the courtyard of the castle.