The castle’s north wing was built of limestone, and had three levels. In the middle, beneath a pavilion, there was a grand staircase with four straight handrails above an open space, possibly inspired by the staircase at the castle of Blois. This pavilion was surrounded by a chapel to its east, and a residence to its west.
Unfortunately, all of these buildings were abandoned in the 18th century, and were torn down after the French Revolution. The limestone was crushed to make whitewash.
The only part of the castle’s north wing that remains is a large arched cellar, beneath the entire building.
The north wing’s wall was decorated with many limestone sculptures : Gothic Flamboyant sculptures with an Italian influence from the first Renaissance, much like the castle of Argy in the Indre area. Those which were not destroyed were reused and placed in the south wing, on the well and in the mausoleum.
Capitals, fragments of fluted columns, keystones and other architectural elements such as pieces of a small column door, can be found.
Several pinnacles and other window ornaments may come from casement windows.
The tower motif is commonly found : a reference to the Pompadour family’s coat of arms, which is “blue, with three silver towers”.
A large part of these decorative elements, such as this sculpted capital, representing a dog, come from the west wing. They are typical of the Renaissance and linked the north wing to the south wing.
Les Cars castle, south of Limoges, is similar to Pompadour castle, in many ways: An important Limousin family boasting its power, in the early 16th century, by building a sumptuous castle with limestone decorations. In both cases, important fortifications were added on during the Religious Wars.
Stud farm and castle tour
- 12. The honorary saddlery
- -1. The castle’s north wing
The castle's north wing
Let’s take a moment to evoke the parts of the castle which no longer exist: the north wing and the west gallery. Both were sophisticatedly decorated with limestone sculptures. You’ll be able to see what these parts of the castle looked like thanks to this video’s computer generated images.