Chateau de Gisors

Chateau de Gisors is a castle in the town of Gisors in Normandy, France. The castle was a key fortress of the Dukes of Normandy in the 11th and 12th centuries. It was intended to defend the Anglo-Norman Vexin territory from the King of France.

The first fortress dated to about 1095 and consisted of a motte, which was enclosed in a spacious courtyard or bailey. Henry I of England, Duke of Normandy, added an octagonal stone keep to the motte. In 1193, while King Richard I was imprisoned in Germany, the castle fell into the hands of King Philip II of France. After Richard’s death in 1199, Philip conquered much of the rest of Normandy and Gisors thereafter lost a good part of its importance as a frontier castle.

The castle is also known for its links with the Templars. Put into their charge by the French king between 1158 and 1160, it became the final prison of the Grand Master of the Order, Jacques de Molay, in 1314.

Since 1862 Château de Gisors has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.

Legends of Château de Gisors

The castle in the town of Gisors was originally built to protect Normandy from the territorial claims of the French crown. It ceased being a frontier fortress after the surrounding area fell into the hands of the King of France at the end of the 12th century. For a castle that has never been formally held by the Knights Templar, Château de Gisors has many ties to the medieval Order.

In 1158, a group of three Templar Knights was appointed to maintain castles Gisors and Neafle as a part of the dowry for Marguerite, the infant daughter of King Louis VII of France. Her eventual marriage to Henry, the infant son of King II of England, was supposed to forge ties between the two kingdoms. The names of the three Templars were: Robert de Pirou, Tostes de Saint Omer and Richard of Hastings. When in 1161 King Henry II decided to bring the wedding date forward and take over the castle, along with surrounding areas, the Templar guardians happily surrendered Gisors. King Louis was furious over this act and immediately exiled the knights. This so-called Gisors affair is well attested by Roger of Hoveden:

Shortly after this period, Henry, king of England, caused his son Henry to be married to Margaret, the daughter of the king of France, although they were as yet but little children, crying in the cradle Robert de Pirou, Tostes de Saint Omer, and Richard de Hastings, the Templars who had custody of the said castles, being witnesses and consenting thereto immediately upon which they surrendered those castles to the king of England. In consequence, the king of France was extremely indignant at them, and banished these knights from the kingdom of France, upon which the king of England received them and rewarded them with many honors.

This event may not have been the scandal of the decade, but it caused enough interest to produce a related legend, according to which the King of France apprehended the three Knights Templar and had them hanged on a tree. This dark and curious addition to the story was probably invented much later to “foreshadow” the future rift between the Order and the Kings of France. This connection is especially important because early in the 14th century the castle in Gisors served as prison for many Knights Templar, including reputedly the last Grand Master of the Order, Jacques de Molay.

Although official Knights Templar presence at Gisors amounts to only a few years, the castle is viewed as a possible location of the much rumored Templar treasure. In the 20th century a man by the name of Roger Lhomoy claimed to have excavated areas underneath the castle’s keep. Supposedly Lhomoy discovered a hidden vault with many religious statues, sarcophagi and metal coffers. Needless to say, no one else has ever been able to verify Lhomoy’s findings.

Image by Nitot.

Description [ edit | edit source ]

The first building work is dated to about 1095, and consisted of a motte, which was enclosed in a spacious courtyard or bailey. Henry I of England, Duke of Normandy, added an octagonal stone keep to the motte. After 1161, important reinforcement work saw this keep raised and augmented the wooden palisade of the motte converted to stone, thus forming a chemise and the outer wall of the bailey was completed in stone with flanking towers. The octagonal keep is considered one of the best preserved examples of a shell keep. ΐ]

A second keep, cylindrical in shape, called the Prisoner's Tower (tour du prisonnier), was added to the outer wall of the castle at the start of the 13th century, following the French conquest of Normandy. Further reinforcement was added during the Hundred Years' War. In the 16th century, earthen ramparts were built.

Since 1862, Château de Gisors has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture. Α]


There is a treasure of the “Knight Templars” to Gisors. Gisors is a city of Department of the Eure (France). Former capital of Vexin, is located about 70 km from the center of Paris.
Gisors is a city of 27 140 inhabitants and is headquarters of the Eure Township.
Gisors in the middle ages played a great role in History of France and England. High place builds on the edges of the Epte she long was the issue of the Kings of the two kingdoms.

The Castle built on a feudal mound by Robert II de Bell?me on order King of England William II Roux (1087-1100), Normandy Duchy Regent , the current Castle enclosure is French construction ordered by Philippe-Auguste, who took advantage of removal of Richard Coeur de lion to grab the fortress. At his comeback, King Richard replied to this affront by the foundation of the Andelys forecastle.
It is also at Gisors that Philippe Auguste ordered the crusade to go free the tomb of the Christ.

The castle is the object of a collation as historical monuments since 1862.
The castle of Gisors is renowned for its links with the history of the order of the temple. Indeed This castle transformed, also served in prison.
It will welcome hosts famous in the wave of the Knights Templar Knights arrest: the Fortress thus became the grand master of the order detention place Jacques Molay, joined in the jails of the Castle by three other dignitaries of order: Hughes Pairaud, Geoffrey de Gonneville Poitou and Aquitaine Preceptor, and Geoffrey de Charney, Preceptor of Normandy. Many graffiti from Knights Templar have been discovered.
Note all the same that this castle from the earliest times linked the temple and its legendary existence was busy than two years by the Knights monks. Gisors is a passage in the great epic brain ensuing persecution of soldiers of Christ, but what passage and that of mysteries….

The exceptional Château de Gisors, one of the most beautiful in France, has suffered greatly from the case of its hidden treasures. “The magic combination of the words” treasures “and “Templars” attracted to the Epte Valley of” little enlightened amateurs unfortunately devoid of any compunction. Armed picks and shovels, this cloud has unsuccessfully drilled the mound in all feel the transforming it into an unstable Swiss cheese.

The castle is consisting of an imposing Dungeon, established on a mound of about 20 meters of Top 70 meters wide. It is surrounded by a ditch, completed a enclosure measuring approximately 200 meters long and 10 meters high, flanked towers, whose most famous rest the Tower of the prisoner. Several underground are established under the Castle.
The Gisors case is a matter that to the beginning of the 1960s, it sink much ink.

An author, its business journalist published a book entitled: “The Templars are among us.”
By this book, the reader discovered the history lived Gérard de Séde, the author of this book.
At a time where Gérard de Séde had decided to engage in the pig farming, it hired a man, Roger Lhomoy, put to him tell a fabulous story.
Since his childhood,. Roger Lhomoy, Vexin Normand, child had heard of the legend of a treasure that was buried in the Gisors Castle. In the years forty Roger Lhomoy able to hire as guardian of the Castle. Here,. It can carry out its research in worry. The City Hall, then owner the Castle shall make available a function of the overall housing medieval. What windfall for our researcher! From the moment its researcher activities begin. In the evening, dice the garden doors are closed, Roger Lhomoy powers at work. It seeks.
The years of occupations by the German army slow its work.

But dice the release of 1944, Roger, resumes its work so hard. It begins by searching at the foot of the Dungeon mound. Eventually find a that will be other than the Castle as we underground excavations them are currently experiencing. Some of the presence of a treasure, Lhomoy decides to resume its work in a new area of the Castle. Rising on the clod and penetrating into the surrounding wall of the Donjon, he decided to clear the well of the donjon blocked for several years..
Penetrating inside it descends in the antrum. It descends until about 30 meters in depth. There, one part of the wall collapses and hurts Lhomoy. Victim of a fracture of the leg, he stopped his researches during his convalescence. Delivered, Lhomoy do not wish to return to the Dungeon has barely wells cost him the life.

Certain of his idea, he decides to make an excavation a few meters from the wells. We are in June 1944. It makes one of his friends in the confidence, a certain Mr. Lessenne, which subsequently becomes itself castle goalkeeper. This same Lessenne will be witness to a surprising discovery. Digging and reaching about 16 meters,. Lhomoy updates an unknown room of 4 metres on 4 approximately. Regrettably, it is empty. It does not make the affair of the guard which decides to continue. Before, it stop up the room. Then without any valid ground, he(it) starts again digging in the horizontal on a distance of 9 meters meadows.. It is easy to imagine working conditions. Such a mole it hollow a new vertical gallery that reaches approximately 4 meters. Purpose, it is to approximately 21 meters of Dungeon surface.
We are current March 1946. And then one day, Lhomoy takes the bar to mine serving him to dig strikes and sees the stones in block. It includes only it is in front of a wall.

Releasing the clay It discovers a structure built flaked stone masonry. It liberates the joints of stones and eventually the push. He dares barely believe what his ears him do hear. An echo! Is that the victory? Lhomoy liberates the hole. Realizes in front of a room wall of large dimension. It attempts to shed light on it but its precarious equipment him not to see everything. Brought into the room and there, he believes that his heart will stop. Let him speak, as did G?rard de S?de in his book, “the Templars are among us!”: “”.That I saw at that time there, I will forget it ever, because it was a fantastic show. I am in a Romane Chapel in Louveciennes stones, 30 meters wide of nine meters long, high stone of approximately four meters 50 to Keystone key. Immediately to my left, near the hole through which I had, there is an altar stone, too, as well as his tabernacle. My right all the rest of the building. On the walls halfway. supported by stone crow, statutes of Christ and the twelve apostles life-size. Of walls, laid on the ground stone coffin 2 meters long and 60 cm wide: there are 19. And in the nave, what lit my light is incredible: thirty coffers in precious metal. sorted columns of ten. And the trunk Word is not enough: it is rather cabinets procumbent should speak with cabinets which each measure 2.20 meters in length, 1.8 meters tall, 1.60 meters wide. ?

The discovery of Lhomoy is incredible! It supports the legend and confirm! In any case it is that expresses the goalkeeper. Decided to claim its share of discovery, it is makes to the municipality of Gisors, to meet with the Mayor and let him see its discovery.

A delegation from the City Hall went on the premises. No one dares down in Lhomoy wells. A representative of the Department, precisely in Town Hall that day, says: “gentlemen you have in front of you the work of one crazy! ? .
Only a certain Emile Beyne former officer of engineering, accepts from entering the hose. It will go almost at the end of the excavations of Lhomoy. But in front of the incurred risk and the lack of air, he will not go farther and will throw stones in the opening and notices that ” it resounds ” It will be the only testimony which will go to the sense of Lhomoy. Certainly Lhomoy tell “i have seen” but another say “i have heard”. For the city hall of Gisors, the affair will stay there. With authority, and without tempting the other searches, the excavations of Lhomoy will be walled up.. It will attempt during many years to be heard, both the municipality’s only with of the Department. For many, Lhomoy will be more than an original in mind one little disturbed. It is exactly this story he told G?rard de S?de When the latter hired it as porcher. Before this incredible story. G?rard de S?de decided to write a story for a weekly strong draw.

In parallel at the Lhomoy story, the Nazis have stayed and have looked something in Gisors… but one other person is interested meadows to Gisors in the person of Andr? Malraux (French Minister of Culture).

In 1962, the Cultural Affairs on its Minister Andr? Malraux order is ask the seals on Gisors Dungeon. Then at the end of September this Ministry instructs a the engineering to undertake searches .

The suite is remarkable and Mr A. Malraux will follow the matter with more interest: journalists will be kept away from certain details and television does will never be allowed to shoot the excavations. As for the Freemasonry, which curiously will be interested very close in this affair, his persons in charge will declare that this enigma ” does not look at the general public “! On what criteria these dignitaries could they rely to say such a thing?

Although it is in 10 February 1964 the 12th Regiment of the engineering shall initiate the Dungeon excavations and Mr. Malraux, March 12, will announce the result negative searches. It was noted in excavations that zero hand reports It returns the word ‘unknown civilisation’. Worse yet, the result will be rendered in terse manner by stating simply ‘ that there is nothing under the feudal mound of Gisors ‘… It can only stress in these accounts rendered a large number of omissions, change of opinion. inconsistencies and a stance to want to minimize to the extreme that would have been discovered by this regiment of engineering. Usually excavations Archaeological are entrusted to licensed archaeologists who obligation of publicizing the comprehensive reports on their work. In that case we can only be surprised that these works are realized by servicemen. However the approach would be meaningless if a.

Malraux wants conceal these searches. Moment indeed where we have to do to the army and it is clear that the officers during this mission does leave Nothing filter that discovers their men… and especially the military are kept the ‘reserve duty’… and reports will be only delivered to the relevant ministerial authority therefore never disclosed to the media!

Can be say that there is in this process of Andr? Malraux an implacable desire keep the discoveries for the sole use of the State… and it cannot be that assume capitals or very serious reasons to justify such a luxury of safety!

written by

Thibaud Payen de Gisors, I

The name of Gisors is a name that leaves no one indifferent in addressing the history of the Templar. The story begins in 1066 when William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy and a vassal of the King of France seized the kingdom of England.

Thibaud Payen is known to have been the commander in the castle of Gisors to the Dukes of Normandy. He is known as the Lord of Gisors, the name being passed on to his descendants.

William, King of England, built the castle in 1097 by Robert de Bellesme Payen, and Thibaud was the Lord of Gisors before the castle was built. Thibaed Payen de Gisors had entered conflict against Henry I, King of England, and Duke of Normandy, which deprived him of his fief and all his honors and passed them to Hughes de Gisors in 1124, his second son.

The castle served as a barrier between the two King on the river that separates Normandy. The King of England got the castle partly by money and partly by force from Lord Thibaud Payen, to have an entry into France by that side.

In the conflict between the King of France and the King of England, Lord Thibaud was taken prisoner by the King of France, who confiscated all his lands and the fortress of Gisors.

Thibaud bought his way out of prison, bought his land and fortress back, but the King of France, jealous of this property, made an agreement with the King of England that he could be the one who would retire at the Castle of Gisors, and that Thibaud would have to share. The King of England won the 'OK' ('with prayers and threats') from Thibaud, but the King instead of sharing, kept it for himself.

The King of France is furious, and rebukes the King of England through an ambassador.

In the end, all recognized that the Castle of Gisors belonged to Thibaud of Payen, and by 1110 or 1119 Lord Thibaud of Gisors became the Duke of the Normandy area.

Additional information

An exceptional architectural heritage, a medieval city full of riches. no doubt! You are at Gisors, capital of the Norman Vexin. Rich in its strategic position between Normandy, Picardy and Île-de-France, the dynamic city has many treasures. Surrounded by unspoiled nature, the town enjoys as many valleys and wooded area dotted with water bodies that perfectly preserved remains rising massively over the city. It is the Middle Ages that makes Gisors an inescapable place for meetings between kings, although its existence dates from the Gallo-Roman era. Economic and commercial crossroads in the twelfth century, the city has a castle in the thirteenth century. Following are avant-garde infrastructures for the time as a hospital and a new church. The village becomes permanent. Then, over time, the industries set up and despite the outrages of the war, preserve its historical heritage intact.

The city center, memories of the city of yesteryear: Despite the extent of the destruction caused by the bombings of June 1940, in addition to the visit of the castle, the church and the chapel Saint-Luc, at the turn of the streets, a walk in the city still allows to discover vestiges of the past life of its inhabitants. Vienna street and the old houses of the city center. Known as "Grande Rue" in the 19th century, the history of the city's main shopping street has changed in appearance and name over time. It is now called "rue de Vienne" to commemorate the support given to Gisors by this city of Isère at the end of the Second World War. Although the old city was partly destroyed, the bombings spared the north side of the street, which now houses many half-timbered houses. Continue your discovery of old houses in the extension of the rue de Vienne by taking the rue Cappeville, or the passage of Monarque which gives access to the castle from the city center. If you visit the city on a Friday or Sunday, you can also enjoy the market that drives the heart of the city every week.


  • BOUCHARD I DE MONTMORENCY ca 940-ca 978 Married toHILDEGARDE DE BLOIS ca 948-997/
  • ITON DE GISORS ca 949-ca 1004 Married toGISELBERTHE DE GOURNAY EN BRAY ca 950-ca 1011

If your a history fan, this is a simple visit.

This is a very historic castle. That alone makes it worthy of a visit for any history readers. The view from the castle over the town's rooftops was photo worthy.

In 1097 William Rufus had an earthen mound erected at Gisors, topped by a wooden tower and palisade. The latter were soon replaced by a stone keep and curtain wall.

Henry II Plantagenet (1160-1189) surrounded the mound with a large second enclosure, protected by eight towers.

Philip August conquered the stronghold in 1193 and added a barbican and a new keep.

Today the courtyard of the castle is a public park and can therefore be visited free of charge. There are however neither a guidebook nor information panels.

People with a genuine interest are therefore warmly recommended to take part in one of the guided tours (lasting about one hour), organized several times a day. Be aware though that these cover only the exterior of the stronghold.

At present the mound itself, the cellars and the barbican are off limits due to works. No walls or towers can be scaled. No living quarters have been preserved.

Nevertheless the knowledge, wit and charm of the enthusiastic guide made our visit very pleasant. She clarified the history of the site, illustrated the evolution of medieval military architecture with the help of the surviving structures and finished with a few words about the enigmatic treasure of the knights templar.


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  • with Clotilde DE NEUFCHATEL EN BRAY , De Neufchatel , born about 990, deceased about 1010 aged about 20 years old
    • Mathilde (de Roucy) ou Adelaide ou Maud De MONTMORENCY, De Montmorency ca 1008-ca 1085 Married toWilliam (Comte) de CORBEIL ,ou Guillaume `Werlac' de CORBEIL, (Guillaume Werleng) "Le Prudent", Comte de Mortain, et d'Avranches, Comte de Corbeil , De Corbeil ca 1005-1067

    Watch the video: Château de Gisors et Église Saint Gervais Saint Protais (January 2022).