Sunday, 3 September 2017

Medieval furniture at Chateau Langeais: chairs, chests and a bed

 The ruin of the keep of the castle of Fulque Nerra at Langeais, France.

The castle of Langeais in the Loire valley in France was founded in 992 by Fulque Nerra as a motte-and-bailey castle, and later reinforced by a stone keep. The keep is still present as a ruin on the castle grounds. During the Hundred Years' War, the castle was destroyed by the English. The castle was then rebuild around 1465 during the reign of King Louis XI. The castle was the scene of the marriage of Anne of Brittany to King Charles VIII of France in December 1491. In 1886, the castle was acquired by Jacques Siegfried who began a restoration program - influenced by Viollet-le-Duc. He also added his collection of medieval tapestries and furnishings; this makes it hard to distinguish the ‘new’ neo-gothic furniture from the 15th century medieval ones.

The 15th century castle of Langeais, seen from the 10th century medieval keep.

It was possible to take photos in the castle without flash, but some rooms were too dark to successfully make some pictures. All rooms were lavishly decorated with floor tiles, wall panels, paintings and tapestries and crammed with furniture. 

The wall panels all are painted in red, blueish green, yellow and grey-blue colours. Many have different patterns in the Gothic flamboyant style as shown by the 8 panels here. The panels are very likely 19th century. 

A 15th century chest with some restoration on the lid. The original medieval furniture looks much more worn. 

A late 15th century chest, lavishly decorated at the front and with linenfold panels at the sides. Also the lock is nicely sculptured.

Another 15th century chest, with detail of one of the panels.


A 15th century chest. Also the lid is decorated. 
The lock looks like it is a later addition as it does not match with the remnant of the hinge.

A 15th century linenfold chest with a replaced lid. Note that the lock has a sliding mechanism, as well as a keyhole.

A table of which the top can be enlarged. The table also has a shelf halfway.

 A 16th century high chair.

A sedia savoranola with carved feet and roses at the armrest. The backrest has the outlines of a heraldic shield; the actual heraldic shield was probably painted on it.

A replica bench, screwed to the castle floor. At the moment I am making a similar type of decorated bench.

A 16th century wall bench (or a neo-gothic one).

 A two-person high chair with balcony in the dinner hall (one of two present in this room). I suspect this piece is a neo-gothic one, like most of the furniture pieces in this room are. It is interesting to see the underside of the balcony.

 A Flemish type strycsitten, likely a neo-gothic one.

 A 15th century bed with linenfold decoration on the boards. A detail of the carving on one of the bedposts.


  1. fantastic post. Thank you for sharing it here. Would it be possible to upload pictures which resolution is slightly larger? It's sadly very difficult to get a detailed view of some of these...

    1. Well, the images sizes in this post are already (2x) larger than in my previous posts. There is also a restraint in how easy the website would load, or how much data people can download on their mobile phone. So the answer is no. If you want a specific photo at a larger size you can contact me.

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