History of Montrouch

In the Middle Ages Montrouch went by its latin name Mons rubeus and various references can be found in the Departmental archives, forcia de Mont Rubeo (1208), forciam de Taxo sive de Mont Rubeo (1214), even Monroug (1509) which is  close to its Occitan name Montrog– pronounced Montrouch. Literally translated the name means Red Mountain.

The Domaine de Montrouch was built on the ruins of the ancient Chateau of Montrouch at 401 meter a hill on the side on Montrouch, 1.3 kms South East of the village of Maisons. Below the site on one side runs the steam of Soulades and the other the Bac, both of which feed into La Valette which runs down to Padern. Of the Chateau and its wall nothing now remains apart from the remains of the foundation of the tower, outlines of the curtain wall and a huge quantity of cut stone, some of which was used to build the bergerie and the shepherd’s house.

The archives show that in 1389 there was a thriving community in a fortified hamlet below the Chateau of Montrouch, the census of 1366 shows that this consisted of 5 fires, approximately 50 inhabitants.

In 1203 the community of Masions was within the Parish of St Christol de Taichou, a church that was close to Montrouch,sometimes listed as Sainct Christol de Montrouch, indeed the old names of Montrouch before the Chateau was built in 1170 was the villa de Taxo (Taichou). Montrouch itself had its own chapel, St Martial de Montrouch, by 1671 the chapel had fallen into such disrepair that its use as a place of worship was banned, by this time the Chateau was in a ruinous state.

Here’s what I could find about the history of the Chateau de Montrouch, and its minor role in much bigger events.

842

King Charles le Chauve gave the rich mining district North of Pèrapertusès, essentially most of the High Corbieres of today, to his vassal Milon

876

The area passed into the hand of the Abbey of Lagrasse.

Some time in the early 12th century the powerful border warlord family de Termes who already had control of the High Corbieres decided to stop paying Lagrasse their dues, as they also stopped paying the various other powers that lay claim to dues from the mines and lands of the area the de Termes family controlled.

1128

Guillaume and Raymond de Termes formally recognized the right of the Abbey of Lagrasse’s ownership and control of Maisons and Montrouch. This recognition however did not lead to the prompt payments that the Abbey was expecting and the conflict about control and money continued. Silver mined in the are was still being sent to the Treasury of Carcassonne and payment returning direct to the family de Termes without dues being paid to either Lagrase or the Archdiocese of Narbonne.

1170

Pierre-Olivier de Termes and his vasal B de Taichou constructed the Chateau of Montrouch in the site of the villa de Taichou to control their lands of Masions and Taichou

1210

The siege and fall of Termes, the family strong hold of the de Termes family, and imprisonment of the Lord Olivier de Termes.

Long time powerless in the face of the de Termes obstinacy the Abbey of Lagrasse was hoping that the Crusade against the Cathars would finally hand them the control that the Cathar supporting de Termes family had so long withheld. Simon de Montford had other ideas handing Maisons and Montrouch over to the newly installed Alain de Roucy, Lord of Termes.

1214

A retrospective enquiry on ownership of Maisons and Montrouch confirmed that the Knight, Béranger de Nouvelles, under the fief of the Abbey of Lagrasse had the right to exploit 2/3rd of the land of Maisons. The remaining 1/3 was sold, with the agreement of Lagrasse by Bertrand of Rabesols to Valguier de Durfort. However Valguier, without the permission of Lagrasse, sold the land onto Pierre-Olivier de Termes.

1215

As a result of the findings of the enuiry being challenged by the Abbey of Lagrasse a court ruled that Maisons was Alain de Roucy’s and Montrouch was Lagrasse’s.

1221

Alain de Roucy killed by an arrow at the siege of Montreal.

1224

Ownership of the area seems to be continually disputed. In this year Olivier and Bernard de Termes gave their remaining lands of their lands in Maisons and La Valette to Olivier de Treilles, Lord of Gleon.

1250

Olivier de Termes, freed from prison, joined the Crusades in Palestine where he won the praise of the French King, Saint Louis, as ‘Christianity’s Perfect Knight’. In reward for his service he was given back Maisons and Montrouch

1260

In a letter dated this year, and confirmed in 1261, the King gave Olivier de Termes permission to sell Maisons and Montrouch

1262

Allegedly to pay off the debts run up crusading in Palestine Olivier de Termes sold Maisons and Montrouch to the French King.

At this stage Montrouch starts to disappear from the archives as a distinctive entity, often being merged in with Maisons.

1271

The death of a certain ‘Douice de Montrouch’, who gave her lands to the Church of St Genie-des-Fontaines in Roussillon. Today if you visit the Nunnery you can see a plaque commemorating the donation above the church door.

1344

Lord of Montrouch names as Philippe Rubert, squire of Perpignan

1366

Census showed for tax purposes there were 18 fires in Maisons and 7 in Montrouch- approximately 50 inhabitants

1397

In his will Philippe Rubert shares Montrouch between Bertrand of Peyrepertuse and the Knight Rodrique de Pobels. On the 29th August of the same year Bertrand of Peyrepertuse, in hommage to the King of France hands over his share to the Knight Lieutenant Pierre de Morney of Carcassonne.

1404

4th Feruary Rodrique de Pobels, also in hommage to the King hands over ¼ of Montrouch to the Lord of d’Entraiques, Senechal of Carcassonne. The other ¼ ends up in the hands of the family d’Arse who also by this stage semed to be large land owners of La Valette

1523

Census shows that Bertrand d’Arch (d’Arse) has now taken possession of Maisons

1557

Census showed that Francois d’Arse, Lord of Maisons, had taken over sole possession of Montrouch as well as large parts of Felines, Laroque, Massac, Montguillard and Davejean (LaValette)

At this time Montrouch ceases to be listed separately from Maisons.

1639

Masions feudal Lordship was given to the Vic family. On the 20th May of that year Guillaume de Vic married Margeurite de Barre of Davejean. On 3rd January 1671 Lord Vic was raised in the Nobility, the family remained the fuedal Lords of Maisons (Maisons and Montrouch) until the Revolution.

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