The Château de Thibault de Termes was a medieval castle in the French town of Termes-d'Armagnac. The construction of castle dates from the end of the 13th century and start of the 14th century for Jean, Count of Armagnac. The keep is 36 m high and includes six levels. Strategically built on a hill which dominates the valleys of the Adourand the Arros, it allowed the d'Armagnac family to keep watch over the frontiers of the province of Armagnac.
Its most famous inhabitant was the founder's son, Thibault d'Armagnac, who fought alongside Joan of Arc. He gave evidence on her behalf at her trial.
The castle belonged to the Armagnac-Termes family until the French Revolution, when it was declared a national asset and sold. Various people owned it until it was bought by the commune in the 1960s. The main building having been demolished, the stone of what remained was used to build the railway line between Port Saint Marie à Riscle. The keep became overgrown until it was bought by the commune in the 1960s and, under the Association du Pays vert de d’Artagnan, restored and turned into a museum.
The tower now houses a museum of Gascon life with exhibits on regional history and culture.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.