Château d'Arques-la-Bataille

Castle d'Arques-la-Bataille

Castle d'Arques-la-Bataille is situated in Arques-la-Bataille, Seine-Maritime department in France. The castle was constructed by a deep dry moat that measured 15 meters to 20 meters in width. In the 16th century it was widened even more for better defence. Original medieval stronghold had only one gate with a drawbridge in the North- West wall. In the 16th century another gate was added. About the same time a new bastion was added. It was defended by several cannons for a better protection against attackers.



Location: Arques-la-Bataille, Seine-Maritime department, Haute-Normandie region Map

Constructed: 11th century by William of Talou


Castle d'Arques-la-Bataille MapCastle d'Arques-la-Bataille Recreation

History of Château d'Arques-la-Bataille

Château d'Arques-la-Bataille was constructed in the 11th century by William of Talou, uncle of William the Conqueror. Ironically famous conqueror of England, William laid siege to the citadel and took it.


During the Hundred Years War the castle became a site of several failed sieges and attacks by the British forces. It was never captured by the military attack. It was seceded to the English after the Treaty of Troyes of 1420. Jeanne d'Arc or Joan of Arc, known as The Maid of Orléans, was kept here by the English in 1431 before she was transferred to Rouen for a court and latter execution. The stronghold was finally captured by the king of France in 1449. The castle was captured by Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy during his war with French king Louis XI. He burned and destroyed its military fortifications.


During Battle of Arques in 1589 the castle's cannons helped French monarch Henry IV to win the battle. Firepower inflicted serious casualties on the enemy forces sending them fleeing. Many troops were bogged in the swamps where they were killed or simply drowned. In 1688 the castle was abandoned by the military garrison. In 1792 the property along with the surrounding lands were sold to the residents of Arques. The castle became a museum. During World War II German troops settled an air defence battery within its walls, causing some damage to the superstructure. Today reconstruction of its walls and towers are still underway to secure all parts of fortress. Despite centuries of neglect ruins of the castle are still very impressive and worth the visit.


Castle d'Arques-la-Bataille

South Castle Gate and a collapsed part of the bridge that led to the original North Gate. Drawbridge is also missing.