Thomas P McMahon

Grignan, France - Sidewalk between the homes on the main street


In the heart of France, there is a small village. Archeological excavations have proven that the rocky promontory of Grignan and its vicinity have been occupied since the Iron Age according to archeological findings. As far back as the ancient Bronze Age societies were concerned, there was also evidence of Roman occupation in the 5th and 6th centuries AD. According to historians, the Abbey of Saint-Chaffre in the Haute-Loire, in the year 1035, had a cartulaire (a ledger of church or monastery property titles) that mentions an obscure castellum Gradignanum, which dates back to the 13th century. There are a lot of details that have evolved over the next hundred years to become the name of the castle Graian (1105), then Graigna, Grazinam ... And from these details we can construct a theme of what we understand about the creation of this castle or its builders. Some time around the year 1030, the existence of a certain Christophe de Grignan was established, and in 1035, the cartulary of Saint-Chaffre makes a mention of a 'Rostaing du château de Grignan,' a Rostagnus de castello Gradignano, in the cartulary.


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