Once upon a time

Once upon a time

The castle of Saint-Martin which was, with the castle of Lamothe, one of the oldest stately homes in Pouillon. Tradition reports that a lord of Saint-Martin de Pouillon was already fighting alongside Charles Martel in Poitiers, but this hypothesis appears totally unfounded.

It is above all thanks to the Gascon Roles, texts relating to the English occupation in Aquitaine, that regional feudalism is better known to us, from the 13th century, the Pouillon region being in its entirety under the domination of the King of England. , Duke of Aquitaine. The king-duke owns a castrum in Pouillon, the current district of the Castle, which he has fortified and populated. From 1254, Edouard 1st gave instructions in this direction; he renewed them in 1289, when he distributed places in the castrum to a certain number of inhabitants of Pouillon. He addresses this last text to "Gaillard de Saint-Martin and other people". This is the first mention of a member of the Saint-Martin de Pouillon family; (in the same text, are quoted Bernard and Guillaume-Raymond de Saint-Martin).

The same Gaillard received, in 1305, payments from the King-Duke for campaign expenses, as did Arnaud de Saint-Martin.

In 1317, Pierre de Saint-Martin received from the king-duke the authorization to "fortify and surround with a ditch and a palisade his place of Saint-Martin de Polhon", while Lubaud de Saint-Martin was appointed royal bailiff de Pouillon and Hastingues (mention 1314).

In the thirteenth-fourteenth century, the family of Saint-Martin thus appears remarkable for the career that its members accomplish in the service of the King-Duke and in the Anglo-Gascon army. We also find in 1337 the Lord of Saint-Martin de Polhon among the recipients of the letter written by King Edward III to the main lords and towns of Gascony.

In the 16th century, the family was divided into two branches: the elder branch occupied the castle here, the younger branch "of Saint-Martin Lacaze" took up residence in the district of Maas and allied itself with the family of Luppé (1610: Laurent -Etienne de Saint-Martin Lacaze marries Jeanne de Luppé-Lamothe).

In 1665, Fermy de Saint-Martin sold the castle to his cousin Bertrand de Betbeder, who came from the country of Gosse. In 1720, during a new sale, it passed into the hands of the Pémolié-Saint-Martin family who kept it until the end of the 19th century.

In 1780, the Pémolié ST Ms joined forces with the lords of Garanx in Pouillon: Louis-Marie de PSM married Sophie-Saubade de Suhigaray; their daughter, Félicité-Anne, will marry the count of Abadie de Barrau. Louis-Marie Pémolié Saint-Martin was a member of the Legislative Body under the 1st Empire.

In 1878, Elisa de Pémolié Saint-Martin bequeathed the castle by will to the Lazarists of the Cradle of Saint Vincent de Paul who made it a holiday home for their orphans, with a swimming pool! After the second GM, it houses a training center for young farmers.

Then abandoned until, in 1976, the Büsche family acquired it and, with the help of Pierre Décla, devoted all its efforts to the restoration of this vast house of 25 rooms, fitted out to accommodate passing guests, including the chapel transformed into an apartment. In 2017, the castle was sold to the Ramos Dos Santos family who completely renovate it and continue the activity of bed and breakfast and lodge.

The current buildings date, for the most part, from the 19th century; the vaulted briquette cellars are much older (Renaissance); the southeast wall retains a Renaissance window; the beautiful entrance staircase, as well as some interior woodwork date from the 17th century.