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Argentonnay (Municipality, Deux-Sèvres, France)

Last modified: 2023-11-11 by olivier touzeau
Keywords: deux-sevres | argentonnay | crosslet | torteaux(3) |
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Flag of Argentonnay - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 28 January 2022

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Presentation of Argentonnay

Argentonnay (3,197 inhabitants in 2020; 11,704 ha) is a commune of the Deux-Sèvres department.
The municipality was established on 1 January 2016 and consists of the former communes of Argenton-les-Vallées, Le Breuil-sous-Argenton, La Chapelle-Gaudin, La Coudre, Moutiers-sous-Argenton and Ulcot.
Argenton-les-Vallées (1,600 inhabitants) had been established in 2006 with the merger of the former communes of Boësse, Sanzay and Argenton-Château.

During the Middle Ages, Argenton was a barony as attested by documents from the 11th century. The lords of Argenton were very powerful in the Middle Ages and largely participated in the military and political life of their time, for example: a lord of Argenton took part in the conquest of England in 1066; Aimery d'Argenton took part in the first crusade in 1095; Geoffroy III d'Argenton paid homage to King Saint Louis at Clisson in 1230; Charles VII chose Guillaume d'Argenton as Governor of the Dauphin, who would become king under the name of Louis XI.
In 1459, Guillaume's son, Antoine d'Argenton, died without direct descendants. After a strong rivalry between the heirs, the seigniory fell to Antoine's great-niece, Hélène de Chambes-Montsoreau (granddaughter of Brunissende d'Argenton). Hélène de Chambes being the wife of Philippe de Commynes, Argenton-Château became the property of the most famous memoirist of the Middle Ages from 1473 to 1511. It was in Argenton-Château that he wrote his Memoirs from 1489 to 1498. He died in Argenton in 1511. He received King Louis XI twice, in 1478 and 1481.
Thereafter, the barony of Argenton passed into the hands of the powerful family of Châtillon. Indeed, after numerous trials, the barony returned to Jean de Châtillon, grandson of Brunissende d'Argenton, in 1515.
The town was largely destroyed during the French Revolution when it was renamed "Argenton le Peuple" by the revolutionaries. On February 26, 1794, Stofflet, a French leader of the Revolt in the Vendée against the First French Republic, demolished the gates of the city, part of the ramparts and burned part of the outbuildings of the castle; the city was burned with its castle on February 20, 1796.

Olivier Touzeau, 28 January 2022

Flag at the castle of Argentonnay

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Flags on the castle of Argentonnay - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 28 January 202

Since 2019 three flags can be observed on the castle of Argenton (photo, 2021).

" 2019 has seen the realization of projects which had been imagined since the establishement of the new municipality in 2016. Among them, the beginnings of the revitalization of the town center with the decoration of the streets with the coats of arms of the families d’Argenton, de Commynes and de Chambes to accompany walkers to the Château d’Argenton" (photo, 2021).
"Masts supporting the flags adorned with coats of arms have also been installed at the castle :
- yellow gradient with the coat of arms of the house of Argenton, blazoned: Or, three torteaux between seven crosslets Azure, three in chief, two next to the last torteau, one above and another below.
- blue gradient with the coat of arms of Hélène de Chambes, blazoned: Azure, semy-de-lis Argent, a lion of the same, armed, langued and crowned Gules.
- red gradient with the coat of arms of Philippe de Commynes, blazoned: Gules, a chevron Or between three escallops Argent within a bordure or."
(source: municipal gazette, december 2019)

Olivier Touzeau, 28 January 2022