Museum | An exceptional place

The Castellany and the Court of Justice

The Hôtel de la Noble Cour has had a troubled history. Until the French Revolution, it housed the Castellany, which had an administrative and financial role, and the Court, which dispensed local justice.

The Castellany appears to have been founded in the 11th century, doubtless by Robert I, Count of Flanders, known as Robert the Frisian – but no document attests to it. However, a text from 1218 mentions its purchase by Jeanne, Countess of Flanders. From that date and until the French Revolution, several bailiffs held the Castellany, which covered nine vierschaves or jurisdictions, or 54 parishes. In the 18th century, a hall that, today, is called the “Castellany Hall”, was fitted out as a space for storing archives; its spandrels display the Four Cardinal Virtues: Courage, Prudence, Justice, and Temperance.

Also in the 18th century, the courtroom was laid out on the first floor of the building. The blue woodwork and the wooden sculptures painted white appear to be of later date, possibly from the 19th century.