Watch it! We can now get a clear shot through two arrowslits that had been blocked off for centuries. Recent restoration work has cleared away through the thickness of the walls and reopened these early defense features, which were put there 800 years ago to protect the château when it was built in 1220.
Château Cramirat was a fortified stronghold, serving as the Templar commandery in Périgord and home of the order’s grandmaster. There are several arrowslits set in our chateau walls, pointing at the measures taken to protect its residents. Mind you, back then these arrowslits were called Meurtrières, from the French word Meurtre, meaning Murder…
From the outside, the old arrowslit may seem like just a narrow vertical opening, but from the inside, you can see there is a whole architectural logic around them, with a proper bay area built for the archer to work from with precision. These two reopened arrowslits are located on the northern walls facing the nearby church, which signifies the Templar’s connection with it as a crucial structure they protected, too.
The meurtrières in Château Cramirat come it two shapes. There are other newer arrowslits more typical of the 14-century fortification design that is shaped like a cross, which are set on the two sides of the main entrance gate in the northern walls of the château.
Be it a design choice or an architectural one, it is clear that Château Cramirat was built to be prepared and ready for safeguarding its people.