This castle, along with Moulineaux, Orival and les Andelys, was built by Richard the Lionheart in response to the incursion of Philippe Auguste into the Rouen region in 1194, to defend the valleys of the Andelle and the Seine.
Although there may have been structures dating back to the period of Henry I Beauclerc, the fortress is a creation which is chronologically very similar to the others, whose construction was supervised by Guillaume Tyrel, and subsequently, by Maître Chavigny. Having been started in 1195, the construction continued until the autumn of 1203, when the castle, owned by the count of Leicester, was taken by Philippe Auguste after a month's siege. A royal decree of 1218 refers to its destruction. The ruins were redeemed and “restored” by the marquis de Radepont at the beginning of the 1820s in order to ornament the park of the current château.
The construction is situated at the end of a narrow cliff, hemmed in by two small marshy valleys and set apart by a ditch, which at one point enabled control over the former Paris to Rouen road. It includes an oval perimeter wall of 80 m by 40 m, supported on the hillsides and flanked by towers, and an enormous keep with rustic bosses, which was very elongated (35 m by 9 m) and which divided the castle into two courtyards.
The so-called John Lackland tower, transformed into a chapel in the 19th century, belongs to the original monument; the only old part of the edifice carrying the name of Richard the Lionheart is its dungeon and first floor.
Fallue L., Histoire du château de Radepont et de l’abbaye de Fontaine-Guérard,
Rouen, Alfred Péron, 1851, p. 4-6 et 32, plan p. 39.
- Delisle L. et Passy L. éd., Mémoires et notes de M. Auguste Le Prévost pour servir à l’histoire du département de l’Eure, t. III, Evreux, 1869, p. 13-14.
- Anonyme, Monuments de la région de l’Andelle et de Lyons, Nouvelles de l’Eure, 51, juin 1974, p. 48-59, spécialement p. 52.
- Baume A., Les châteaux-forts et leur contexte historique dans la région des luttes franco-normandes (911-1204), Mémoire de maîtrise, Université de Rouen, ex. dactyl. cons. aux Arch. dép. Seine-Maritime (1mi 993), 1975, p. 153.
- Beck B., Châteaux-forts de Normandie,, Rennes, 1986, p. 145.
- Joulain D., L’Eure des Plantagenêts, Connaissance de l’Eure, 89-90, juillet-octobre 1993, p. 49-53, spécialement p. 53.
- Mesqui J., Châteaux-forts et fortifications de la France médiévale, Paris, 1997, p. 457.