DE LA MOTTE
About 8 km north of Châtellerault dominates the 15th century Château de la Motte, a protected monument since 1973, the valley and Usseau, a friendly village, 44 km from Poitiers. A lot of big names in French history have made their appearance here.
The proof of the first lord of Usseau goes all the way back to 1065. On a motte, this is an artificial hill (hence the name of quite a few castles in France),a castle is built in the 12th century. The High Court (la haute cour) was surrounded by a palisade that separates the castle of the Low Court (la basse cour).
At the end of the 14th century the castle had all rights of higher, middle and lower justice.
In 1432 donates Isabeau de Poitiers (ancestor of Diane), widow of Geoffroy Le Meingre, who was governor of the Dauphiné and son of Jean I Le Meingre the fief La Motte to Jean VII, count of Harcourt and viscount of Châtellerault.
In 1449, the castle was owned by Geoffroy du Bec, the secretary of King Charles VII and it might be destroyed by a fire.
The current castle was probably built by his son. The fortified main building corresponds to the architecture laws of the late Middle Ages. The gothic style is predominating: sculpted battlements, windows with window crosses, high gable windows with pediments, and of course the parapet with machicolations and arrow slits.
From 1614 on, the castle is inherited or sold time and time again by marriages. In 1863, the last heiress of the Viart family grants the castle to the order of Picpus. Some fathers of the monastic order are housed there and they changed the interior partially.
The law of 1905 on the separation of Church and State leads to the dissolution of the order. The castle passes again from hand to hand.
In 2000 the castle is restored, the first rooms are opened and in the park a medieval garden is built.