Bourg Castral de Grignols

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History of the Bourg Castral de Grignols and its Comté (by Antoine Grassian, President of the association "Mémoire du Comté de Grignols")

Grignols, cradle of the Talleyrand Périgord

The Château de Grignols was built in 1099 on a rocky outcrop by Boson de Grignols (Grahnol en Oc). This warrior fortress which, in the 12th and 13th centuries became a "Bourg Castral" , includes 3 fortified enclosures (of which there are still traces): that of the Castle of the Counts, that of their knights and armed men, that housing the population and craftsmen. The châtellenie of Grignols, included in the Middle Ages 1200 fires (5000 to 6000 inhabitants), as much as Périgueux. Over the centuries Grignols has known all the wars in the history of France: 100 years, religions, fronds? plus 2 Crunchy revolts. The castle and the Castrum de Grignols were destroyed during the Fronde in 1652 by Captain Balthazar, officer of the Prince de Condé. Following the defeat of the armies of the King of France and the Count of Grignols, at the battle of Montanceix. the castle is looted, ruined, burned. Only a renaissance main building resisted, in which, until her death in 1681, the Countess Marie de Courbon, widow of André de Talleyrand, lived. The name Talleyrand is a nickname "waist size", acquired in the 10th century by force of arms. Then by successive alliances the Counts of Grignols acquire other titles of nobility made famous by Charles Maurice de Talleyrand Périgord, this great diplomat, in the service of France under Louis XVI, the Republic, the Consulate, the 1st Empire and finally Louis XVIII . He included among his many titles of nobility: Duke of Périgord, Prince of Chalais, Marquis of Excideuil, Count of Montignac and Count of Grignols.

Grignols Châtellenie then Comté

In the 13th century, the Châtellenie de Grignols included around thirty knights. It extends over an important territory, where these knights are established. Some of their families have become famous (Grimoard, Barrière, Tailhafer ?.). Besides the castle of Grignols, there are still many castles of these knights (called at the time: "haunts "): Frateau, Mauriac, Jaure, Barrière (in Villamblard and Périgueux), Puy de Pont, St. Paul de Serre , Beauséjour in St. Léon (home of the Countesses of Grignols)? and parishes: Bruc, Bourrou, St. Léon, Grun, Vallereuil, Villamblard, Manzac, Neuvic ... In the 17th century the Châtellenie de Grignols was erected as a Comté (1613). Its geographical footprint is between Villamblard, St Astier, St. Germain du Salembre, Grun Bordas, St. Paul de Serres. Thanks to the protection of Charles Maurice de Talleyrand Périgorg, Grignols remained the chief town of the canton until the 19th century.

The Granhol already lords of Périgord under the Carolingians

The lords of Granhol (Occitan name of Grignols) already live under the reign of Charles the Bald (allegedly his parent). Their castle is then of wood, on the feudal motte of "Gri". One of the most important feudal mound in France, called "Castel Vetus" (Château Vieux), and of which there is still a trace of a stone tower.

It was at this time (980) that Aïna, Nonia de Granhol's daughter brought the name of Périgord to the family by marrying Boson III, count of Périgord. For 2 centuries the 2 settlements of “Castel Vétus” and “ Castel Novum” coexisted.

The ancestors of Charles Maurice de Talleyrand Périgord

This great diplomat had among his ancestors, the counts of Grignols, some unusual characters whose talents and glories he must have known:

- Already in the 10th century, the Counts of Grignols, deserve the nickname "Taille rang ", which becomes the name which makes them proud: "Talleyrand"

- 10th century: Adalbert insolently asks Hugues Capet: "Who made you king?" " The founder of the Capetian dynasty does not dare to reply to a "Row Size ".

- 12th century: Hélie V de Talleyrand, comrade-in-arms of Bertrand de Born (lord of Hautefort), waged war together against Henri Plantagenêt and Richard Coeur de Lion,

- 13th century: Boson I, feal knight of St. Louis, acts as guarantor during a truce signed with the king of England Henri III. With the money offered by Louis IX to thank him, he built the fortifications of the castle of Grignols, still visible today.

- 14th century: Hélie de Grignols married Agnès de Chalais. From this period, the ladies of Grignols prefer to live in Chalais or Beauséjour in St. Léon sur l? Isle. The castle of Grignols remains only a fortress, which allowed to keep it, until today the "purity" of the medieval battit.

- 14th century: Hélie, abbot of Chancelade, was to be pope. He refuses because he finds it more interesting to "make the popes than to be himself".

- 15th century: Jean de Talleyrand (known as "Jean de Grignaux"), is chamberlain of Charles VIII and Louis XII, knight of honor of the Queen of France, Anne of Brittany, and friend of François 1er. It was Jean de Grignaux who built the Renaissance houses, still visible today. Brantôme tells Jean de Grignaux many historical anecdotes in "La vie des dames galantes".

- 18th century: Gabriel Marie de Périgord, godfather of Charles Maurice, Marshal of the King's armies, Governor of Languedoc obtains from Louis XV the final right to bear, the title "de Périgord"

Grignols castle martyred and restored

Since its destruction in 1652, the castle and the Castrum de Grignols have suffered other depredations. During the revolution, the Grignolais hammered the coats of arms and fleur-de-lis. Donated by the heirs to the hospices of Chalais, it is sold in plots. Does it serve as a nursery, a prison, a stone quarry?

Grignols saved by heritage lovers:

In 1902 André Jouanel bought the castle and restored it, until 1952, with great respect for its history. Among the successive owners, some continue its restoration, like the Sagne which rebuild the tower and the 13th defenses, on the moat side. But alas, the other buyers do not respect this heritage and start again the divisions (like the walling of the entrance doors via the barbican to make an indoor swimming pool). In the early 2000s Michèle Trimble bought the castle and undertook a magnificent restoration of the stately home, and began the reopening of the historic entrance via the moat and the barbican.


Member association in charge of the organization

Mémoire du Comté de Grignols

Président de Mémoire du Comté de Grignols
La Jembertie
24110 Grignols

Location : 24110 Grignols / New Aquitaine / France