THE LORDS OF OINGT
The Château de Bagnols was built on the lands of the Lords of Oingt in the heart of the Beaujolais vineyards and the Monts du Lyonnais. In 1217, Guichard d’Oingt, a powerful lord in the Beaujolais region, undertook the construction of a vast Château which, in size, is the equal of the largest buildings of the Aristocracy and the Clergy. It is during this era that work was started on building the Château, its fortifications and its moat. it was designed to look out over the valley, and from its towers, watch could be kept over the whole of the surrounding region. This key date lent its name to the Château de Bagnols' current gourmet restaurant, The 1217.
THE ALBON LORDS
Eléonore, the granddaughter of Guichard d’Oingt, married Guillaume d’Albon in 1288 and this illustrious family took over the fiefdoms of Bagnols which it then controlled for 6 generations.
Towards the middle of the XIVth century, the region fell victim to numerous disasters - floods, climate disorders, epidemics, followed by their lots of misery and famine. In 1337, war broke out, marauding bands of looters criss-crossed the region, spreading disorder and terror. Churches were abandoned and villages deserted.
THE BALZAC LORDS
In 1453, the marriage of Jeanne d’Albon and Rauffec de Balsac places the Château under this family's coat of arms. This is when the North tower was built incorporating embrasures to strengthen the Château's defences.
Geoffroy de Balzac, son of Rauffec, was raised at court, he was first a page before becoming advisor to King Charles VIII, whom he received in his Château de Bagnols in October 1490 when the King was just 20. To commemorate his visit, a crown was cut in the stone on the fireplace of the Salle des Gardes. This visit was a supreme honour that marked a page in the history of the Château. Geoffrey de Balzac later married Claude Leviste, who is thought to be the lady from the famous "Lady and the Unicorn" tapestries.
THE CHABANNES LORDS
Claude then married a relative, Jean de Chabannes, who took possession of her estate. The Bagnols lands were subsequently sold in 1566 to Jehan Camus and his sons.
THE CAMUS LORDS
This family occupied Bagnols for 3 generations until 1619, date on which the domain was sold to Gaspard Dugué.
THE DUGUÉ LORDS
In the XVIIth century the Château became the favourite residence of the Dugué family that created numerous decorations in Bagnols. The Dugués were connected by marriage to the marquise de Sévigné, who mentioned her visits to the Château in her voluminous correspondence.
Gaspard Dugué carried out major repair work. He employed a master of water to bring water to the Château from the pond in the lower courtyard to the cast iron taps in the kitchen. Gaspard was the first owner of Bagnols to make it his main residence. He invested large amounts of money to glorify it by reinforcing its defensive character, symbol of its power and its nobility.