Château d'Ivry-la-Bataille

The Château d'Ivry-la-Bataille is a ruinous Norman castle in the town of Ivry-la-Bataille in the Normandy region. It is among the earliest examples of a stone donjon or keep, which would become a common feature of later Norman castles in various parts of Europe.

The ruins of the donjon at Château d'Ivry-la-Bataille

The construction of the donjon dates to around AD 1000;[1] it was constructed by an architect named Lanfred (or Lansfred, Lanfrai)[2] under the orders of Count Rodulf of Ivry (French: Raoul d'Ivry). According to Orderic Vitalis, Rudolf's wife, Aubrey or Aubrée, is said to have had the architect beheaded, so that he couldn't build a similar castle for another warlord.[1]

The donjon has marked similarities with later Norman castle keeps, in Normandy notably Avranches, and in England notably Colchester Castle and the White Tower at the Tower of London; it has been suggested that Ivry was the model for these buildings.[3]

The castle was reconstructed several times up to the 15th century and was repaired by Philibert de l'Orme in 1553.[2] Only ruins now remain, but form an attractive walk overlooking the valley of the river Eure. It is an official historical monument of France (MHC).[4]


  1. ^ a b Gravett, Christopher (2004), Norman Stone Castles (2): Europe, 950-1204, Osprey Publishing, ISBN 978-1841766034 (p. 12)
  2. ^ a b JOULAIN, Denis. "Le Château d'Alberède : essai d'histoire du château d'Ivry". Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  3. ^ Radford, David and Gascoyne, Adrian, Colchester, Fortress of the War God: an Archaeological Assessment, Oxbow Books, ISBN 978-1842175088 (Chapter 10). " early 11th century predecessor for Colchester and the White Tower has been identified at Ivry-la-Bataille near Evreux in Normandy (Impey and Parnell 2000, 19).
  4. ^ "Vestiges du Chateau d'Ivry-la-Bataille". Normandy Regional Tourist Board. Retrieved 6 November 2014.

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Coordinates: 48°53′06″N 1°27′25″E / 48.885°N 1.457°E / 48.885; 1.457