The newly completed ‘bijoux’ Eleanor Suite is situated below the South Tower of the Chateau. The suite is 25 sq m with a double bed and private en-suite bathroom. The bathroom contains a large walk-in shower, wash basin, toilet, towel radiator, towels, hair-dryer and toiletries. The suite is partly below ground and access is via a small steep staircase.
The Eleanor Suite was formerly a secret chamber – having been discovered during renovations of the Cathar suite, in 2018. Excavation of the secret chamber revealed ancient stones, rubble and pottery which has probably lain hidden for over four centuries and from the time when the chateau was attacked during the Wars of Religion. An original arrow slit, which once looked out on to the Chateau’s massive dry moats, has been converted into one of the suite’s two windows. The chamber’s walls, under the stairs, show the stonework of the original ‘keep’ or ‘dungeon’ corner blocks from the 11th century. This room was part of the tower constructed to protect the vulnerable corner during the 12th century.
The Eleanor Suite is named after the intelligent, charismatic and ‘more than beautiful’ ‘Aliénor d’Aquitaine’ who was the Queen of England and France in the 11th century and mother to Richard the Lionheart and Bad King John. She was imprisoned by her husband, King Henry II, in 1173 for 15 years, having lead a revolt against him with her sons and escaping to a convent after Henry’s death. She was a popular Queen in this region of Aquitaine during the time of the Chateau’s early medieval history and would have been well known of by the Viscount’s family