Or at least go to school in one! Don’t we? The castle at Sille-le-Guillaume, just a half-hour on the train from Le Mans in North West France, was used as the town’s school right up to 1971. A purpose built school was built across the road and the chateau opened to the public as a tourist attraction and exhibition space.
Today the chateau still retains much evidence of its former use as a school and continues to undergo renovation works. We peeped in through a window at an unaccessible area and there were noticeboards on walls and chairs stacked up on desks. It made me wonder whether it still hosted lessons?
I’d like to believe that the Armoury Tower was where the headmaster had their office. If I ran a school in a building such as this, with a tower this cool, it would be irresistible. The door at the bottom leads to a circular room with an amazing corbelled ceiling; perfect for detention!
In the guard room there is grafitti said to date from the Hundred-Years-War, carved into the stone walls by bored guardsmen itching for something to do, some proper battling perhaps.
The image of a sword is quite clear, but as for the rest, its for the academics to decipher. Are they tallys of how many enemies they hit with an arrow, or are they a record of someone’s winnings at cards? I guess living in a castle back then had its own share of drudgery mixed in with occasional excitement.
These days I guess there would be arguments over whose turn it was to drag the hoover up and down the spiral stairs and had anybody remembered to top up the moat? But that would have to be balanced by the amazing views from the top of the tower and being able to dive into the moat from your drawbridge on hot summer days!