Château de Bonaguil

Château de Bonaguil is a castle in the French commune of Saint-Front-sur-Lémance, but actually owned by the neighbouring commune of Fumel in the Lot-et-Garonne département. It has been classified as a Monument historique (Historic Monument) since 1862. The château de Bonaguil was the last of the fortified castles. It was built in the 13th century, but was entirely restructured at the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th centuries by Bérenger de Roquefeuil, who added all of the defensive improvements of the end of the Middle Ages. A marvel of military architecture covering 7500 m², incorporating the latest developments in artillery (both for defence and in adapting the defences for protection against it) it was, however, obsolete when completed. It was never attacked. The name derives from bonne aiguille (good needle) and refers to the defensive site: a steep, rocky promontory perfectly suited to the siting of a castle.

It was the nephew of Marguerite de Fumel, Joseph-Louis de Fumel who inherited in 1788. He fled in October 1789, and the castle was declared bien national (national property). The furniture was dispersed, the roofs, floors and wood panelling taken down. Following the Thermidor, the Fumels recovered the castle, but did not live there, and sold it. It passed from owner to owner until it was purchased in 1860 by the commune of Fumel, who obtained the classification Monument historique(1862) and began some restoration work by B Cavailler in 1868 and by the arrondissement’s architect A Gilles in 1876. The architect from the Monument historique restored the keep between 1882 and 1886. Other repairs were made between 1898 and 1900, including covering the watch tower roof with stone tiles in 1900. Further restoration works were carried out in 1948-1950, 1977 and 1985.

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