Château de Bournazel

Bournazel, France

Château de Bournazel was built in the mid-16th century by Jean de Buisson. He replaced the older castle with Renaissance style residence. Today the gardens are added to the List of Remarkable Gardens of France.

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Address

Rue Noire, Bournazel, France
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Details

Founded: 16th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Brian Kennan (2 years ago)
One of the most beautiful chateaus that I have visited. The architecture and stonework is exceptional. Extensive renovation under way. Beautiful gardens. The location is out of the way on the outskirts of nowhere and the village is picturesque but has almost nothing going on. Having said that, it's very worthwhile to visit and I will revisit. Perfect destination for a motorcycle day out.
Garry Hardman (3 years ago)
The castle and the surrounding village is a lovely place
Cedric Ramos (4 years ago)
Very good visit, and explanation of the renovation. The guide was very good and the castle is beautiful
Chris Flynn (4 years ago)
A huge amount of effort has been put into renovating the house and gardens. No doubt improvements will continue. Unfortunately the tour guide did not speak English and there is no audio assistance. The English guide book is very short and does not match up to the detailed description given by the guide. We cut our visit short of the house a walked around the gardens. Please provide an audio guide for foreign visitors.
Matthieu B (4 years ago)
A gorgeous castle and its garden. The castle is still under renovation but there are guided tours. Our tour guide was a young lady very passionate about history. We passed by each room of the castle and she commented on the architecture the furniture and the paintings. A very enlightening visit.
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Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.