The feudal castle is nearly 1000 years old. It is located on a rocky ridge, oriented east-west. Its walls, sitting mostly on schist rocks are of unusual strength. They are often built of hard stone carved in relief with a hammer. Their thickness may reach two meters. Most of the many underground tunnels out in the village are now walled up to prevent accidents, but they are still visible.
Pougnadoresse is very rich in history, with its older tower dating from the Carolingian period (year 1000) and its double wall from the twelfth century. The tower to the south, so-called "big tower", houses a wide and deep ice storage which was already mentioned in a charter of King Louis the Younger, who in 1156 gave the castle and its dependencies to the Church of Uzès and its bishops.
The castle has been in the Sorbier de Pougnadoresse family for 450 years – but it changed hands several times earlier. In 1156, it is the property of the Bishops of Uzès. In 1332 and again in 1449, it passed into the hands of the Viscount of Uzès. Honorat Le Chantre, the ancestor of Gerard de Pougnadoresse, the current owner, officially became owner in 1562. "My great great grandfather was involved in the War of Independence of the United States along with La Fayette, says Gerard de Pougnadoresse, which entitles me today to be a member of the Society of Cincinnati, which includes all the descendants of the officers who fought in America."
Peace has not always reigned at Pougnadoresse. In 1645 the castle was besieged by Gondina-Servezanne – the own brother of the owner at the time, who was killed during the assault of the night. Fourteen years later, his two sons led a punitive expedition, and killed in turn Gondina-Servezanne. This earned them a death sentence ; they took refuge in Avignon where they were made prisoners but were able to plead their case to King Louis XIV – who pardoned them in the end.
The family history is intertwined with the history of France, as the castle suffered particularly during the Revolution in 1790, when it was burnt down despite the mobilization of the villagers who are on the frontlines to defend its owners. In 1793 again, the west wing was burned, the drawbridge and turrets were completely destroyed.
The current family took over the castle in 1974. "I was just 15 when my uncle, former owner with no children, asked me if I wanted to keep the castle,” said Gérard de Sorbier de Pougnadoresse, current owner. “I accepted even though I knew very little about the place, but the village is the birthplace of our family. For many years, Pougnadoresse was our vacation home, we have undertaken major work, and we finally moved there gradually between 1988 and 1990 at the age of retirement”.
And the line does not seem ready to go out because they themselves have a son who has two sons. "However, our name has almost disappeared since my great great grandparents died very young with an only son a year and my grandfather was also an only son."
Gérard de Sorbier de Pougnadoresse and his wife gladly open their gardens to visitors, especially during tours of the village or at the request during the Heritage Day (Journée du Patrimoine).