The Niort region was part of Eleanor of Aquitaine’s vast dowry when she married King Henry II of England in 1152. By 1189 he had erected the castle’s double keep, now regarded as an outstanding example of this unusual combination (Fig. 27). Long after, in the fifteenth century, distinctive round towers were added at the corners of each of the two square keeps and the two curtain walls joining the keeps were raised in height, thereby enclosing residential quarters and a 16 metre wide courtyard.

Fig. 27 – Pairing of donjons at Niort castle, Deux-Sèvres