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Castle of Huriel

History of the castle

Probably undertaken by the family of Humbaud d' Huriel, the construction of this keep starts with orée of XIIème century, the stone tower replacing a simple constructed tower. With the improvement of the weapons of jet, one increases first once the height of the 1st block about the middle of XIIème century, before giving him his final rise (24 meters with the parapet) to end in XIIème or at the beginning in XIIIème century. A gallery out of wooden covered - the hourd - who girdled the building with middle height, allowed rounds and covered the foot of the wall.

In XIIIème century, one surrounds the town of ramparts, and of the easily flooded ditches are dug around the Hat, leaving the tower insulated on its small island, only connected to the city by two portable bridges.

With the end of the One hundred year old war, the Hat loses its strategic interest for the king of France: the closed city dominated by the keep was located hitherto on the border of the county of Walk, traditional ally of the dukes of Guyenne, kings d' Angleterre. Jean II of Brush, lord of the places, thus decide to make his keep more livable: it caps it with a roof with 4 sides, flanks it of 4 turrets connected between them by an enclosure to each angle and adds dependences to him. Here is the old woman tower become pleasant residence! This countryside doubles interior installations: one bores the large mullioned windows, one builds the chimneys with hoods of the stages, and a beginning of staircase between the rooms which replaces the old system of scales.

After the departure in XVIème century of the family of Brush, the Hat will know many owners, the lack of interest of the latter causing the progressive ruin of the enclosure and the turns. From 1779, until 1879, the ditches will be filled (because of the epidemics that they cause), and demolished ramparts. The Municipality, new owner of the Keep (since 1879, the classification Historic building intervening in 1885), arrives just in time to save two of the four turns. It undertakes with the architect Darcy, a vast restoration campaign in 1903: the roof is demolished, and replaced by a terrace which offers one of the most beautiful panoramas of Bourbonnais. One builds also a turret of staircase, which makes it possible to reach on the floors and after a rise of 105 steps, to the terrace.

One century later, the Keep always belongs to the commune, which ensures its conservation like that of the Church Our-Lady: it shelters a museum of the Vine and the Middle Ages in three of its rooms, and accomodates in the two remaining rooms of the estival exposures.

The Huriel family:

The town of Huriel takes again at the XIXème century the armorial bearings of the family of Brush (1265-1514) in her blazon: "of azure with three brushes or sheaves of corn of gold, dependent of mouths".

This family remained in the popular memory like most famous of the houses seigneuriales huriéloises. The fact is explained by the value and the reputation soldiers of some of its members as well as the presence until the Revolution of their family mausoleum in the old collegiate church Saint Martin d' Huriel, disappeared today. One can always see with the museum the single vestige of this necropolis: the lying one of Pierre Ier de Brosse, lord of Huriel.

Among the members of this famous family, we will quote:

  • Roger de Brosse: valorous knight, it took part in the Crusade of 1248 (under Saint Louis). One of its sons, Guillaume was a bishop of Meaux, Puy, Bourges (from which it devoted the cathedral in 1334).
  • Jean Ier de Brosse: it was illustrated in the military career under the orders of Jeanne d'Arc. It was present at the sacring of Charles VII in Rheims in 1429 and at the sides of Jeanne d'Arc when this one was done captive.
  • Jean II of Brush: man of war like his father, it illustrated himself in Normandy with the various battles and seats which marked the end of the one hundred year old war.
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