The castle of Montmirail and the birth of the Montmirail knife

 The castle

Situated between Le Mans and Chartres, on the borders of the Eure-et-Loir, Loir-et-Cher and Sarthe departments, the small town of character of Montmirail is home to the eponymous castle, an exceptional site in more ways than one
This 15th century castle is distinguished by its unobstructed view of the Perche Sarthois, which it dominates at an altitude of more than 200 metres, as well as by its architectural richness, which bears the imprint of each era in a beautiful mixture of styles: Middle Ages, Renaissance, 18th and 19th centuries.
Occupied since ancient times by the Romans, Montmirail was built from the 5th century AD around a simple wooden tower raised on a mound of earth. The wooden building evolved over time and eventually disappeared to make way for the famous U-shaped castle with a central courtyard.
Today, the medieval fortress, proof of the defensive castle, contrasts with the 18th century castle, a real home, the place where great historical figures lived.

Continuous renovation

A testimony to several centuries of architecture, the Château de Montmirail is surprisingly well-preserved, which can be explained by the fact that, in addition to having been the home of great historical figures, and in particular the Princess de Conti, the château has always been inhabited, and this for nearly three centuries by the descendants of the same family: that of the Marquis de Neuilly to whom the Princess de Conti sold the château in 1719.
The castle has been regularly renovated by all the generations of owners who have succeeded one another, each one bringing his own personal touch in accordance with the fashions of his time. A mixture of styles that makes the castle so original, without forgetting the underground armouries and the 12th century dungeons, medieval remains of the previous castles built on the original motte castrale, whose three-storey extension is a rare feature nowadays
The successive restorations bear witness to the continuous desire of the various owners to keep this regional heritage open to the public, so that it can be a place for sharing a common historical culture, but also a meeting place open to all and particularly to the inhabitants of Montmirail.
This is a strong commitment, pursued by the current owner, who wants the Château de Montmirail to remain a living heritage, becoming more and more part of the region.
The great historical figures
  • William I Gouët (1005-1060)
  • William III Gouët (1079-1140)
  • Louis VII The Younger (1120-1180)
  • Henry II Plantagenet (1133-1189)
  • Thomas Becket (1118-1170)
  • Marie de Melun(1495 - 1552)
  • Jacques II de Chabanne Marshal of La Palice (1470-1525)
  • Pierre le Pesanr de Boisguilbert (1646-1714)
  • Louis-Armand de Condé Prince of Conti (1661-1685)
  • Marie-Anne de Bourbon, Princess of Conti (1666-1739)
  • The Marquis of Neuilly
For more information, visit

The birth of the Montmirail knife

It was in 2019 that Pascal Turpin, a weaponsmith, and Philippe Herbelin met during the European Arts and Crafts Days in Montmirail.
One being gifted with his hands, and the other the owner of a historical monument, they decided together to create a knife in the image of the castle and its history: the Le Montmirail knife.
A unique and 100% Sarthe model, this handmade folding knife has a very singular shape. Indeed, the unhooking of its blade is a wink to the past, recalling the knives of the Middle Ages when the fork did not exist and knives were used to prick in the dishes.
Following a recent renovation, several beams that were more than 200 years old were removed from the building. Some of these beams can now be seen on the handles of Pascal Turpin's Le Montmirail knives.
Thanks to its success, this knife has become the standard bearer of theAstelle Montmirail company, which is constantly diversifying its range and its offer. You can find them on our website or come and discover their manufacturing secrets from June in our new shop at 23 rue du Docteur Castaing, in the heart of the village of Montmirail(72320).