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A historical site

Brix village, situated between Cherbourg and Valognes and called successively Brucius, Bruce, Bruys, Bris and finally Brix, inherited a famous page in history: As a matter of fact, the past of the royal family of Scotland takes root in this village, on the land of the present “Bruce Castle” property.

Bruce family

The Bruce of Brix, who settled in Normandy in the early XIth century and probably came from Great Britain, number among their descendants the famous king of Scotland Robert 1 the Bruce (eighth member of the Bruce Family to be called Robert). He was a great liberator of his people and one of the most beloved monarchs in the long and bloody history of Scotland.

 

In the beginning, the first Robert Bruce listed by the historians (1025-1066) arrives in Normandy and becomes Lord of Brix. Together with his son Adelm (1050-1094), he follows William the Bastard to conquer England and takes part in the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Having won the battle, William the Bastard (William the Conqueror) sends him to the north of England. Robert is then one of the most powerful lords of his country. As for Adelm, he becomes Lord of Brix and Lord of Skelton.

Two of Adelm’s sons, Adam and Robert (second to bear that name), will then put their marks on history. Robert becomes the first Lord of Annandale, he will support the conquest of Normandy in 1105-1106. Six generations later, another Robert decides to take in hand the destiny of Scotland. On March 29th 1306, he proclaims himself King of Scotland under the name of Robert 1 the Bruce. Adam becomes Lord of Brix and gives his name to the castle built in the XIth century on the lands of High Brix, close to “Bruce Castle”, and probably finished in his lifetime.

>>Click here to discover the genealogy of the Bruce Family.

The "Château d’Adam"

The construction of the castle started in the XIth century, on an extraordinary natural site overlooking Brix forest. This fortress, which was one of the most important in the region, enjoyed a strategic defensive position.

There are only foundations left today, and a few details of the building such as the ruins of a spiral staircase, and the entrance of an underground gallery, the main part of which has been filled in. As a matter of fact, the castle had just been finished when the French King Philippe Auguste recovered  Normandy (1205). The lords who owned lands in France and in England were forced to choose between the two nations. As they preferred England where they had more lands, they lost their properties in France.
In the early XIIIth century, the French King Saint Louis ordered the castle to be destroyed, after Richard the Lionheart and John without Land had stayed there (May 12th 1194 and October 22nd 1203). The stones of the castle were partly used to rebuild the church (1) in the XVIth century and the village houses.

(1) The church was first built by Adam Bruce in the 11th century, then destroyed by the Normans.

The present castle

The construction of the present castle started in 1914, close to the site of the ancient fortress. It was built in the XVIIIth century french style. Unfortunately, during First World War, money went out and the right wing could not be finished. The castle was then connected to a small farm building built in 1784, as it is today.