Château de la Roche Martel
Located at the meeting point of the three regions of Poitou, Anjou and Touraine, La Roche Martel has long occupied a strategic position.
The gateway to the Saumur area, the château overlooked the Loudun Plain and stood by an old secondary Roman road, guarding over the entrance to the Loire Valley and the port of Montsoreau. It also belonged to the parish of Roiffé (under the bishop of Poitiers), the northern forests of which provided the site of the Royal Abbey at Fontevraud, with which it sometimes had strained relations. Thought to have been built on the site of an earlier castle belonging to the Plantagenets, the current château was built from the beginning of the 15th century by the Martel family, whose name it bears.
At a later date, infrequently inhabited by its owners, it was for a long time used as a base for local farms and the buildings were modified accordingly. In the late 19th century it was purchased by a notary who turned it into a second home. He demolished most of the older buildings, transforming the original military architecture into a residential design. The main remnants of the early castle to have survived include the gateway building and the framework of the old drawbridge, plus an original wooden gallery.
Currently undergoing restoration, the Château de la Roche Martel now boasts modern comforts and is home to a chambres d’hôtes.