Château-sur-Epte is one of the main components of the frontier line drawn up by the dukes of Normandy on the Epte, between the Norman and French parts of the Vexin region. Founded in 1087 by William Rufus, it is a perfect example of the wooden motte and bailey castle of the 11th century into a reinforced stone fortress, especially under Henri II Plantagenet.
The large ditched bailey 70 m in diameter was retained and surrounded by a wall and two turret gates. The internal walls were added at the end of the 12th century sealing off access to the motte. The wooden tower perched on the highly sloped motte was replaced at the beginning of the 12th century by a round tower in stone consisting of a noble floor surrounded by a circular wall.
Château-sur-Epte was besieged many times. It finally passed to the king of France in 1199. Its position enabled surveillance of the road from Paris to Rouen which probably saved it from demolition.
Château-sur-Epte ”, Annuaire des cinq départements de la Normandie, Congrès
de Vernon, 1981, p. 16.
- Decaëns, Joseph. “ Châteaux de frontière ”, L’architecture normande au moyen âge, actes du colloque de Cerisy-la-Salle, septembre 1994. - Caen : Presses de l'Université. Condé-sur-Noireau : Ch. Corlet, 1997.
- Mesqui, Jean. “ Château-sur-Epte ”, Châteaux forts et fortifications en France. – Paris : Flammarion, 1997, p. 111-112.